A group of San Francisco Catholics threw a Hail Mary Thursday, asking Pope Francis to fire their archbishop. Among those calling for a replacement of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is the father of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Tom Brady Sr. joined about 100 other Bay Area Catholics in signing a full-page advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday, in which they ask Pope Francis to remove Cordileone as archbishop because of what they say is “an atmosphere of division and intolerance” in the archdiocese.
“Holy Father,” the ad reads, “please provide us with a leader true to our values and your namesake.”
Cordileone has been under assault from some Catholics since news broke in February that teachers in archdiocesan-run schools would be required to sign a contract that states they “accept the Church’s teaching that all extra-marital sexual relationships are gravely evil and that these include adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations.”
But Cordileone’s supporters have stood by his decisions, noting that the clause is common in other dioceses and fully in line with Catholic teaching.
Quarterback Brady was raised Catholic in San Mateo, Calif., where he played high school football for the Catholic Junipero Serra High School, an all boys school run by the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
The elder Brady, who still lives in San Mateo, is now chair of the school’s board of regents, according to its website.
He attended a Catholic seminary for seven years before leaving, and he is still active in his faith.
In a 2007 speech to a Catholic men’s group in Worcester, he cited his Catholic faith as offering “some degree of normalcy in our lives.”
Brady’s son married Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen at St. Monica Catholic Church in 2009, and the couple has baptized their children into the Catholic faith.
But the future Hall of Famer said in a New York Times Magazine profile earlier this year that his family isn’t tied to a single religion, and that he’s unsure what to believe.
When reporter Mark Liebovich asked Brady about a menorah in his home, Brady replied, “We’re not Jewish. But I think we’re into everything. I don’t know what I believe. I think there’s a belief system, I’m just not sure what it is.”
Following the win of his third Superbowl in 2004, Brady speculated that there must be more to life than winning football games.
“Why do I have three super bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me?” he asked on 60 Minutes in 2005. “There’s got to be more than this.”