LGBT Rainbow-Clad Catholics Denied Communion

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  1. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Rainbow-Clad Catholics Denied Communion In Chicago
    People Denied Eucharist At Altar

    CHICAGO -- Roman Catholic gay-rights supporters wearing rainbow-colored sashes were denied communion at Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday, while dozens in Minnesota had to walk around protesters to receive the holy sacrament.

    About 10 people wearing the sashes stood in line to receive communion during Mass at the Chicago cathedral, but priests refused them the Eucharist at the altar. One priest shook each person's hand; another made the sign of the cross on their foreheads.

    "The priest told me you cannot receive communion if you're wearing a sash, as per the Cardinal's direction," said James Luxton, a Chicago member of the Rainbow Sash Movement, an organization of Catholic gay-rights supporters with chapters around the country.

    An internal memo from Chicago Cardinal Francis George that became public last week instructed priests not to give communion to people wearing the sashes. The memo says the sashes are a symbol of opposition to the church's doctrine on homosexuality and exploit the communion ritual.

    "The Rainbow Sash movement wants its members to be fully accepted by the Church not on the same conditions as any Catholic but precisely as gay," George wrote. "With this comes the requirement that the Church change her moral teaching."

    Rainbow Sash Movement spokesman Joe Murray was among those denied communion Sunday in Chicago. He said members wearing the sashes should be seen no differently than a uniformed police officer or Boy Scout seeking communion.

    "What we saw today in the cathedral is discrimination at the Eucharistic table, and that shouldn't be happening," Murray said. Those denied communion returned to their pews, but stood while the rest of the congregation knelt.

    The movement, which started in the late 1990s in England, also has members in Los Angeles, Dallas, New Orleans, New York and St. Paul, Minn.

    In St. Paul, people wearing the rainbow-colored sashes were given communion Sunday despite protests from a group a parishioners who kneeled in front of the altar to block their way.

    The Rev. Michael Skluzacek said in a written statement that the groups were "mistakenly using the Mass and the Eucharist to make their own personal statements."

    Brian McNeill, organizer of the Rainbow Sash Alliance of the Twin Cities, said the local group has worn the sashes every Pentecost at St. Paul Cathedral since 2001, but the group had never experienced such a confrontation.

    The Rainbow Sash Movement received an e-mail from the Los Angeles Archdiocese last week inviting its members to Mass on Sunday. Members may have attended but none wore the sashes at morning or midday Masses at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said.

    Last month, a top Vatican cardinal said priests should deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.

    A Vatican doctrinal decree last year directed at Catholic politicians said a well-formed conscience forbids support for any law that contradicts "fundamental" morality, with abortion listed first among relevant issues. A second Vatican statement said it is "gravely immoral" not to oppose legalization of same-sex unions.

    Bishop John Manz, who presided over the Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, said afterward that the group's members were not denied Communion because they are gay but because the sashes represent an open defiance of the church.

    "They've made it clear, both here and in other cities, that the sash represents strong disagreement, even defiance, to the teachings of the church in that area," Manz said.
     

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