NEW ORLEANS, October 6, 2005 ( – The warnings of a retired Catholic Archbishop of New Orleans that the disaster of hurricane Katrina was a manifestation of God’s punishments for sin have been reflected by the son of the celebrated evangelical leader, Billy Graham.

Franklin Graham gave the other half of the message in an interview Tuesday with CNN, saying that the physical devastation left by Katrina is a call to conversion.

Graham told CNN, “As a minister of the gospel, there are a lot of people in New Orleans that are praying that God will bring a stronger, moral fiber to this city than this city has ever had before.”

Shortly after the storm hit New Orleans, Graham said, “There’s been Satanic worship in New Orleans. There’s been sexual perversion. God is going to use that storm to bring a revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose.”

Archbishop Emeritus Philip J. Hannan, 92, in an interview on the same day to the Catholic news website Spirit Daily, said “I think it’s up to us to preach very strongly and candidly and directly to say that this was a chastisement from God.”

Responding to the question of the prevalence of the homosexual culture in New Orleans, Graham said, “I certainly hope that the gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached. I want to see men and women converted… I would certainly pray that the gay and lesbian movement, the people that have this lifestyle, will come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior and experience their sins being forgiven.”

Graham and the Archbishop’s comments echoed similar opinions expressed last week at the first meeting of the New Orleans City Council since the hurricane.

Rev. Robert Guste of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Kenner, said that the lewd homosexual festival, Southern Decadence, the rampant pornography and gambling and the brazenly blasphemous activities surrounding the annual Mardi Gras, a festival renowned for its mockeries of Christian symbols, may have suggested divine punishment.

“Does this not invite divine judgment?” Guste, 78, asked. When he was asked if New Orleans will ever be the same, he replied, “I hope not. I hope and pray it will be a better city.”

On Sunday, New Orleans’ historic St. Louis Cathedral held its first Sunday Mass since the hurricane, and Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes said in his homily that he hoped the new New Orleans would be a city of stronger moral thread, free of racial tension and rampant self-indulgence.

Read previous coverage:
  New Orleans Archbishop Emeritus: Katrina “Was a Chastisement from God”

Lafayette Official Warns “Southern Decadence” Celebrators From New Orleans Will be Arrested

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