NDO, Referendum Fails To Bring 61,045 Signatures – Why Did The SA Catholic Church Go ‘Silent’?
by Sonja Harris on October 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Pastor Gerald Ripley the Sr Coordinator for the referendum waited for the team captains to deliver their petitions to Abundant Life Church on October 13, Sunday night. Volunteer notaries Beverly Laseau and Pam Farris were ready to assist in notarizing the petitions. Pastor Ripley was hoping to gather enough signatures to be able to put the Non Discrimination Ordinance on the ballot so that the people of San Antonio could decide. “Referendums are for the people to be able to correct a bad law,” Pastor Ripley told me. He felt that the volunteers had done amazingly well. In fact he said, “They gathered more signatures than the total of the votes received by the council members who voted for the ordinance.”
The necessary signatures 61,045 did not materialize. As Pastor Ripley commented, “It’s nearly impossible to have a successful referendum in those rare instances where there is a bad law passed.” Not because of lack of support from volunteers but lack of time. The NDO passed on September 5 and there was a 40 day deadline in acquiring the signatures necessary. The petitions were due at City Hall on October 15, 2013.
Approximately 50 churches participated in the San Antonio area with the exception of the Catholic Archdiocese and some mega churches. It goes without saying that the Catholic churches have large memberships. IF, and if is a very BIG question mark, the Catholic churches would have participated the possibility of a successful campaign might have been met.
It should be very disturbing to Catholics that the Archdiocese went ‘silent’ on an issue that we all know goes against Catholic teachings. This is taken from a statement sent out to the parish priests on August 18, 2013 from Archbishop Gustavo Garcia Siller. Individuals engaging in sexual conduct outside of the legitimate marriage of a man and a woman are not living lives consistent with Catholic teaching or the natural law.
The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees us the right to publicly teach, preach, and live these fundamental principles.
The parish priests in San Antonio were instructed not to disseminate the statement to their parishioners. Isn’t it the moral responsibility of all pastors to keep us informed? I have obtained an email from a Catholic parish priest stating the position of the Archdiocese on the Referendum. For obvious reasons I have withheld names.
“Unfortunately at the request of Fr. Lawrence Christian, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, we have been asked that no signatures be collected at this time. This was an email that all of us priests received on August 23, 2013.”
As you can all see, the dates tell the story. On August 18, the statement was sent out to all parish priests and on August 23 the parish priests qwew asked not to collect signatures. On September 5, 2013 the NDO passed. Adding insult to injury, the Archbishop sends out his press release to the public on the same day that the NDO is passed by the City Council which is September 5.
As Catholics, we are very confused by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller’s actions. Christians are fighting and struggling to keep our Right of Conscience throughout the United States and our 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Religion. The Catholic Church has been targeted by the Health and Human Services Mandate. Now that it seems Obamcare will be implemented taxpayers will be paying for abortions. So why did the San Antonio Archdiocese go SILENT? If you have any questions it seems to me that the proper place to ask would be directly to the Archbishop himself. Please share with your Catholic friends.
PRAY, FIGHT, NEVER GIVE UP!
Archbishop Most Reverend Gustavo García-Siller
FAX: (210) 734-0708
Bias-ordinance repeal bid lacks signatures:
Sec. 35. Power of referendum. Ordinances submitted to the council by initiative petition and passed by the council shall be subject to the referendum in the same manner as other ordinances. Within forty days after the enactment by the council of any ordinance which is subject to a referendum, a petition signed by qualified electors of the city equal in number to at least ten per cent of the electors qualified to vote at the last preceding regular municipal election may be filed with the city clerk requesting that any such ordinance be either repealed or submitted to a vote of the electors. In addition to the ordinances excepted above, ordinances zoning or rezoning property shall not be subject to this power.