Society Magazine

Doing the Right Thing

Posted on the 19 March 2015 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

There were many faithful Catholics shaking their collective heads when this news broke earlier in the week:

KCBS has learned that Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the principal church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, StMaryCathedralhas installed a watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral’s doorways.

The cathedral, at Geary and Gough, is the home church of the Archbishop. There are four tall side doors, with sheltered alcoves, that attract homeless people at night.

“They actually have signs in there that say, ‘No Trespassing,’” said a homeless man named Robert.

But there are no signs warning the homeless about what happens in these doorways, at various times, all through the night. Water pours from a hole in the ceiling, about 30 feet above, drenching the alcove and anyone in it.

The shower ran for about 75 seconds, every 30 to 60 minutes while we were there, starting before sunset, simultaneously in all four doorways.

The ArchDiocese of San Francisco, with embattled Archbishop Cordileone, has moved quickly to set things right:

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is, along with the Catholic St.Vincent de Paul Society, the largest supporter of services for the homeless in San Francisco. Every year, it helps many thousands of people through food, housing, shelter programs for people at risk includinghomeless mothers and families, and in countless other ways. 

St. Mary's Cathedral is a huge partof that program, and does more than any other Catholic church. The Cathedral itself serves hundreds of homeless people giving them food and shelter, as an integral part of the San Francisco Interfaith Council's efforts in that regard, for example, opening its doors for shelter and food for fiveweeks over the holidays. 

This sprinkler system in alcoves near our back doorways was installed approximately two years ago, after learning from city resources that this kind of system was being commonly used in the Financial District, asa safety, security and cleanliness measure to avoid the situation where needles, feces and other dangerous items were regularly beingleft in these hidden doorways. The problem was particularly dangerous because students and elderly people regularly pass these locations on their way toschool and mass every day. 

When the system was installed, after other ideas were tried and failed, the people who were regularly sleeping in those doorways were informed in advance that the sprinklers were being installed. The idea was not to remove those persons, but to encourage them to relocate to other areas of the Cathedral, which are protected and safer. The purpose was to make the Cathedral grounds as well as the homeless people who happen to be on those grounds safer. 

We are sorry that our intentions have been misunderstood and recognize that the method used was ill-conceived. It actually has had the opposite effect from what it was intended to do, and for this we are very sorry. We have also now learned that the system in the first place required a permit and may violate San Francisco water-use laws, and the work to remove this system has already started, and will be completed by the end of the day.

There are those claiming that this entire story is but yet another hit-piece against the Archbishop and particularly Catholicism.  There's likely some truth to that.  Nevertheless, the sprinkler system was a serious mistake impugning the dignity of those most affected.

I'm glad to see this is being handled as it's now being handled.

It was the right thing to do.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Racer

    Racer

    Top-MissguidedJoggers-MissguidedShoes-ConverseI'm obsessed with the racer trend right now, I'm slowly starting a small collection, it started with the Fanny... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Sammycx
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • P...P...P...Pick Up A Penguin

    P...P...P...Pick Penguin

    Penguin Books was the brainchild of one Allen Lane who at the time was managing director of publishing house The Bodley Head, back in an era when books were... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Ashleylister
    BOOKS, CREATIVITY, CULTURE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Wild Prey by Yossi Uzrad Has A Lot Of Secrets To Uncover #BookReview

    Wild Prey by Yossi Uzrad is an intense story of pain and suffering on one hand. And courage on the other hand. The book has two parts. Part 1 is Shlomki. And... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Jaideep Khanduja
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • 9 Revenue Models That Can Keep Your Business Thriving

    Revenue Models That Keep Your Business Thriving

    Every new business quickly realizes that revenue coming in every period on a committed basis is the Holy Grail to survival and growth. Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • How the West Was Stolen (USA Vs. First Nations)

    Interactive Map Shows the Seizure of Over 1.5 Billion Acres of Native American Land Between 1776 and 1887 https://t.co/XvpjmmuSpc pic.twitter. Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Bbenzon
    CULTURE, PHILOSOPHY, SOCIETY
  • Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum

    Life Cabaret, Chum

    This year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival has been in full swing with the usual eclectic mix of the traditional and the avant-garde in words, music, dance,... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Jackscott
    DIARIES, EXPAT, SELF EXPRESSION
  • A Sunday Conversation With Dylan Jarman of Shotgun Sawyer

    Sunday Conversation With Dylan Jarman Shotgun Sawyer

    What have been your musical epiphany moments? I grew up in a very pop-friendly house. The Beatles reigned supreme, but Elvis Costello and REM lurked around... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Ripplemusic
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC

Magazine