Earlier this week, the Church saw itself disdained in the eyes of many.
St. Mary’s Cathedral, the principal church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, had installed a watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral’s doorways (read the news story). The church leaders claimed the system was installed to clean the feces and used needles out of the cathedral’s entrances, much as the businesses in the financial district had done.
Many were outraged, myself included, to see a local church, called to be the reflection of the living God on earth, treat the homeless in such a matter. Newspapers, media, even Facebook and Twitter, blew up with comments on the story.
Everyone was angry with the choice made by the leaders of St. Mary’s Cathedral. They couldn’t believe a church would do such a thing.
But after a few hours, and some serious reflection, a question crossed my mind.
What if the entrance to my church’s building was covered in human feces and used needles? What if every morning the leaders of your church had to clean up poop, needles, and trash left behind by those sleeping in the entrance way?
How would our churches respond?
How would you respond?
I fear it would be similar to the way St. Mary’s Cathedral responded.