Ecumenism, Inclusion and Conciliation

Article excerpt

People of all faiths mourn the passing of Archbishop John L. May, who died Thursday night at the age of 71. In many ways, Archbishop May's tenure was marked by a philosophy of inclusion. He sought to build bridges across many divisions of modern life; he tried to reach out across the racial divide, the sectarian divide, even the philosophical and theological divides that separate Catholics from each other.

Archbishop May was conservative in his outlook on many social issues, but he often held out a hand of conciliation. He defended vigorously the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion, but he firmly rejected violent protest against abortion. He supported the church's ban on the ordination of women, but in 1987 he called for an end to the church's discrimination against women. He saw homosexuality as a sin, but he allowed the archdiocese in 1988 to be one of the sponsors of the AIDS quilt.

In other ways, Archbishop May was progressive. Committed to civil rights, he worked to make sure parochial schools were integrated. …