According to a report by the CBS radio affiliate KCBS, St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco illegally installed a plumbing system which unceremoniously dumps gallons of water (from an overhang, dozens of feet in the air) onto homeless people who camp out there. No word yet on whether San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone blessed that fountain after he installed it.
In about two weeks, during the Easter Vigil — the most sacred event in the church calendar — Archbishop Cordileone will stand in the Cathedral and ask God to unseal the fountain of baptism. Apparently, the Arch is a little impatient and decided to start baptizing homeless people on his own.
The revelation about the dousing system comes about four months after Pope Francis reportedly installed showers for the homeless in the Vatican. Real showers designed to promote the dignity of the homeless, not to humiliate them or coerce them into leaving.
CBS Radio reports that the plumbing may have been installed without the appropriate permits. Unicorn Booty has independently learned that at least one employee of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission intends to forward this issue to its enforcement staff to determine whether this might constitute water wasting.
Keep in mind, California is experiencing its worst drought in over a thousand years, and NASA estimates that California only has about a year’s worth of water left in its reservoirs. Northern California depends almost entirely on winter storms to drench the area, especially the building up of a snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains that melts and slowly feeds reservoir systems adjacent to Yosemite National Park. This year, Northern California received only about a fifth of its normal precipitation, threatening crops in the fertile Central Valley and vineyards in Sonoma and Napa Counties.
The Archbishop is already facing mounting increasing criticism for attempting to change the teacher contract at four local Catholic high schools to relabel all teachers as “ministers” even though many of them aren’t Catholic, Christian, or even self-professed believers.
In addition, he’s added “affirm and believe” morality clauses which highlight the Church’s obsession with pelvic issues. The contract calls adultery, masturbation, fornication, porn and gay relationships “gravely evil,” reinforcing in no uncertain terms that schools must affirm and believe in the infallible moral teachings of the Church, even as the Church avoids facing its own long and well-documented history of child sex abuse. Cordileone did not include strictures on care for the homeless or the necessity of respecting human dignity. Presumably, failure to follow the contract will result in being sent to hell.
Cordileone is known to show up on occasion at the largely gay parish of the Castro district, Most Holy Redeemer, to help serve a weekly dinner for the homeless. In an unconfirmed report to Unicorn Booty, he participated in the Simply Supper program at Holy Redeemer last Ash Wednesday night, while 400 students and teachers lit candles on the steps of the Cathedral and prayerfully asked the Arch to reconsider his teacher contract language. The Arch did not use that occasion to announce his new showers-for-the-homeless program.
But when the Arch returns to St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Easter Vigil, he’ll invite God to wash believers “from all the squalor of the life of old.” Apparently, where the homeless are concerned, he doesn’t need any help from God. He and his illegal plumbing system got things covered.