Archbishop to skip national rally opposing gay marriage 

click to enlarge In this Nov. 12, 2012 file photo, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, of San Francisco, center, and Archbishop William Lori, of Baltimore, listen to a speaker during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall meeting in Baltimore. Cordileone will not attend the annual march in Washington, D.C. opposing same-sex marriage, his archdiocese said. - PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP FILE PHOTO
  • Patrick Semansky/AP File Photo
  • In this Nov. 12, 2012 file photo, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, of San Francisco, center, and Archbishop William Lori, of Baltimore, listen to a speaker during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall meeting in Baltimore. Cordileone will not attend the annual march in Washington, D.C. opposing same-sex marriage, his archdiocese said.
San Francisco's Roman Catholic archbishop, who is at the center of growing debate over his opposition to gay marriage, will miss an annual march in Washington, D.C., next week opposing same-sex marriage, his archdiocese said.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone attended last year's march against gay marriage, leading a prayer rally outside the Supreme Court. U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, and some other Bay Area politicians criticized his attendance at the time.

A statement on the San Francisco archdiocese's website Wednesday night said Cordileone would stay home during this year's march but be with the marchers "in spirit and prayer."

Cordileone sparked cries of both support and opposition from local Catholics earlier this year when he required some church staffers to sign statements condemning gay relations as "gravely evil."

He also called for teachers and staff at four high schools within the archdiocese to accept contract and handbook language against abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, birth control and artificial insemination.

About 100 parishioners took out a newspaper ad last week asking Pope Francis to remove Cordileone.

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