Gay and Lesbian Catholics of the Rainbow Sash Movement Challenge Catholic Bishops to Remove the Blinders of Homophobia on Pentecost Sunday

Jun 05, 2006, 01:00 ET from Rainbow Sash Movement

    CHICAGO, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the Rainbow Sash Movement
 entered Catholic Cathedrals and parishes across the nation wearing Rainbow
 Sashes on June 4, 2006, Pentecost Sunday. The act of wearing the Rainbow
 Sash is a symbol of identifying oneself as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and
 Transgender (GLBT). It is an act of witness, that Jesus Christ also
 proclaims his message of liberation to the GLBT Community. Lately the
 hierarchs of the Catholic Church have become increasingly hostile to the
 GLBT Community by attacking their human rights. As members of both the GLBT
 Community and the Catholic Church, the Rainbow Sash Movement is calling for
 dialogue based on the late Cardinal Joseph Bernadin's Common Ground
     The only two places in the country where members of the Rainbow Sash
 Movement were denied Communion was the Archdiocese of Chicago headed by
 Cardinal Francis George, and the Archdiocese Minneapolis, headed by
 Archbishop Harry Flynn.
     In Chicago Rainbow Sash Movement members were joined in solidarity by
 members of Voice of the Faithful. Immediately following the Mass Voice of
 the Faithful members held a prayer service in front of the altar. The
 purpose the prayer service was to pray for healing, reconciliation and
 accountability within the Archdiocese of Chicago.
     In the Archdiocese of Minneapolis the environment was different.
 Hostility from certain members of the Catholic right attacked the right of
 individual Church members to share communion with their fellow parishioners
 who wore the Rainbow Sash. Going as far as threatening to call the police.
     The Rainbow Sash Movement continues to call for dialogue and fairness
 in the treatment of GLBT people within the Church and in the broader
 community. We fear that the bishops are stirring the ancient flames of hate
 to support a marginalized dogma that does not have the full assent of the
 faithful. We call on them to remove the blinders of homophobia.
     We strongly encourage both Archbishop Harry Flynn and Cardinal Francis
 George to ask themselves if their actions are promoting peace or inflaming
 the passions of those who hate the GLBT Community. We are calling on both
 to seek understanding rather than bias, and love instead of hate. We call
 on both hierarchs to stop their actions before they cause violence. One
 only has to look at what is going on in Eastern Europe to see what happens
 when religious leaders of the Church promote hate against innocent GLBT
     To find out more about the Rainbow Sash Movement and join us please
 visit our web site at, or email us at

SOURCE Rainbow Sash Movement