Catholic Gays Challenge Church Authority

Bishops Refused Communion in Prior Years

May 24, 2007, 01:00 ET from Rainbow Sash Movement

    CHICAGO, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM)
 announced today that they will be challenging the practices of the Catholic
 Church's hierarchy on Pentecost Sunday, May 27. RSM members wear a simple
 2-inch wide ribbon of rainbow colors across their shoulders, and
 respectfully present themselves to receive communion in Cathedrals and
 parishes across the nation.
     Bishops have withheld communion from people wearing the rainbow sash in
 prior appearances by the RSM. According to Joe Murray, US Convener for the
 RSM, individual parishioners have taken it upon themselves to share their
 hosts with ribbon-wearing churchgoers, acts which infuriated the Bishops
 who could do nothing about it.
     "Out of fear and their own homophobia," says Murray, "Church officials
 have chosen to go against their own teaching, that individual conscience is
 paramount in guiding the individual to spirituality. These ill-advised
 bishops cannot possibly know our hearts when they deny us communion. They
 are desecrating the Holy Eucharist by making it a weapon of division and
     "When we wear a rainbow sash, we are honestly expressing who we are.
 Bringing our honesty into the Church is a way of asking the Bishops to
 include all the Children of God into the Body of Christ, and to stop
 thinking they can make decisions for God. These Bishops need to be reminded
 they are pastors, while they call themselves Princes. Try finding that in
 the scriptures!"
     Murray questions why the Church hierarchy, which sets anti-gay and
 anti-war policies, gives communion to soldiers in uniform, but denies the
 Body of Christ to gays. "Who did Jesus turn away?" he asks. "These
 so-called spiritual leaders preach about Christ-Consciousness, but have no
 clue what it means in reality. They preach 'hate the sin but love the
 sinner,' while pointing to the sins of others and ignoring their own. For
 instance, I'd like to know just how much hush-money the Church has paid --
     "American bishops have a history of viciously opposing equal rights and
 even civil rights for people whose lifestyle is not 'traditional.' In
 Chicago and New York, they stooped to working against job and housing
 rights for gays and Lesbians. They condemn our lifestyle as one of
 indulgence and profligacy, but fight our ability to commit to a partner in
 a civilly performed marriage. They are still demanding a 13th century
 lifestyle where they are the arbiters of right and wrong. They need to stop
 talking about us, and start talking to us. My partner of 27 years and I
 agree, they are hopelessly out of touch."
     Murray adds, "Pentecost Sunday celebrates the reunion of ALL of
 humankind to the Light of God. In this spirit of unity, we will be joined
 by straight people, bi-sexual people, transgender people, tall people,
 short people, fat people and thin people. It's time the bishops learn
 spirituality from their own congregations."

SOURCE Rainbow Sash Movement