On September 10, CalCatholic linked to the first in a three-part series by Valerie Schmalz in Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the archdiocese of San Francisco. The story quickly jumped to number one on the Catholic San Francisco website’s Most Popular list. On September 11, Faithful America sent out the following email to its members’ email list:
“An Unprecedented attack on Faithful America
“Dear Faithful America member,
“One of the nation’s most prominent right-wing Catholic bishops just launched an unprecedented attack on Faithful America.
“The San Francisco archdiocese’s official newspaper just published a 9-page article purporting to show that we’ve ‘never really existed’ except as the name of a website, that members — like you — aren’t really Christians, and that our only financial support comes from gay atheist billionaires.
“Conservative bishops are already on defense as Pope Francis seeks to reform the church. That’s why San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is so furious that our campaign generated massive media coverage of his associations with anti-gay hate groups.
“Religious-right leaders like Archbishop Cordileone know their political influence will collapse if reporters and politicians find out that everyday Christians don’t share their hateful agenda. So they’re going on the attack, claiming that anyone who disagrees with them isn’t really Christian.
“We need to seize the momentum of this moment. Step one is placing an ad in the diocese’s own newspaper with the names of local Catholics who want their bishop to drop his anti-gay political crusade. Step two is to ramp up our work by adding another organizer to our team…”
Schmalz’s exposé is not the first to reveal the financial players behind groups attempting to change Church doctrine on matters of sexuality. And despite Faithful America’s attempt to minimize Schmalz’s contention via the reductio ad absurdum that “our only financial support comes from gay atheist billionaires” she did document the funding Faithful America has received from homosexual activist billionaires Tim Gill ($20,000) and Jon Stryker ($75,000), and mega-billionaire George Soros ($150,000 to Faithful America and $1.1 million to Faithful America’s “previous home” Faith in Public Life). While similar articles have been written in the past by Anne Hendershott and Thomas Peters, it is significant that Schmalz’s is the first such exposé to appear in a diocesan newspaper.
Part two of the exposé appears in the September 19 issue of Catholic San Francisco. The PDF version of the issue is online already. The letters to the editor section of the issue was devoted entirely to part one of Schmalz’s series. The letters would seem to bolster her contention. Five of the seven letters opposing the article were from outside (far outside) of the diocese: Arlington, Texas, Wichita, Kansas, Plattsburgh, New York, Sheffield, Vermont, and New York City. The issue can be viewed here.