Controversial San Francisco mayor uses historic church on inauguration day

ppcnac080108 Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Mission Dolores Basilica

The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, has made the news in the past for conducting an extra-marital affair and catering homosexual groups. His support for these groups puts him at odds with the Catholic faith, but according to the California Catholic Daily, he has chosen the historic Mission Dolores Basilica for a family Mass on Tuesday, to celebrate his inauguration to his second term in office.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is divorced, is scheduled to attend Mass with his family.  Following the Mass, Newsom will be sworn into office by his father, a retired judge, at San Francisco City Hall.

Last year Newsom admitted to an affair with the wife of one of his closest aides.  He claimed he had a drinking problem and the affair happened during his divorce from his first wife.  Newsome entered a rehabilitation program, while his aide resigned.

The mayor canceled a 2006 trip to Rome for the installation of former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying it was in protest of the Catholic stance against adoptions for homosexual couples.

"The idea, the principle that two loving parents of the same sex can't be great parents and that this church is now going to start attacking gay adoptions in this country and around the world was really disconcerting," Newsom told the San Francisco Sentinel.

In February 2007, Mayor Newsom issued a proclamation congratulating Colt Studios, one of the world’s largest producers of hardcore homosexual pornography.  He declared February 23 Colt Studio Day in San Francisco.

Mayor Newsom also issued a proclamation welcoming the 2007 Folsom Street Fair, whose publicity mocked the Last Supper by replacing Christ and the disciples with leather-clad sadomasochists and placing obscene devices on the table in front of them.  The event describes itself as “the world’s largest leather event” and featured gross, unpunished displays of public indecency.

Some cited these past acts while questioning Mayor Newsom’s choice of such an historic venue.

“Given his record, it is difficult to understand why Newsom would choose a Catholic church – or why any Catholic sanctuary would agree to it,” the California Catholic Daily wrote.

Mission Dolores, whose full Spanish name is Misión San Francisco de Asís, was founded June 29, 1776 by Blessed Junipero Serra, a missionary priest.  According to its website, Mission Dolores “has always had a central place in the religious, civic, and cultural life of San Francisco.”  It is both the oldest original intact Mission in California and the oldest building in San Francisco.

At the swearing in ceremony today, Mayor Newsom continued to endorse homosexuality. In his inaugural address he touted "San Francisco values," like his fight for gay marriage, that he said, while threatening to the values of some, served as inspiration for many others.

"The world didn't become worse when over four thousand lesbian and gay couples were allowed to express their love and responsibility for each other right here in this building," he said. "It became better."

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