Activists Urge Homosexuals to Wear 'Rainbow Sash' at Sunday Mass

Melanie Hunter | Deputy Managing Editor | Thursday, May 12, 2005

Activists Urge Homosexuals to Wear 'Rainbow Sash' at Sunday Mass

( - A group of homosexual activists plan to protest Mass at Catholic churches nationwide Sunday in opposition to the church's stance on homosexuality.

The group, Rainbow Sash, explained on its website that they "stand opposed to homophobia at the Eucharistic table" and "make no apologies for God's gift of our sexuality." The group encourages its members to wear the Rainbow Sash in a parish or cathedral as "an act of faith in the Lord, who works through weakness."

"This year, Rainbow Sash has upped the ante," Catholic League President William Donohue said in a statement. He pointed to a May 2 press release in which the group said that the purpose of the protest is to 'counter the lies that Pope Benedict XVI is promoting about our community' and called the new pope an 'aggressive homophobe.'

"By calling the pope a liar and a homophobe, Rainbow Sash has finally taken off its mask. We look for them to get what they want-to be denied Communion. We also hope the cops are standing by. To exploit the Mass for political purposes is obscene, but it is what we have come to expect from the likes of Rainbow Sash," said Donohue.

Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C. and Cardinal George of Chicago banned Rainbow Sash members from receiving the Eucharist last year, according to Donohue. Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, Archbishop Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Bishop Clark of Rochester, New York did not ban them, Donohue noted.

But this year Archbishop Flynn has told Rainbow Sash that they will be banned, said Donohue. "He explicitly said that 'the Vatican has communicated to me that it does indeed consider the wearing of the Rainbow Sash during reception of Communion to be unacceptable, a directive I believe all Bishops will adhere to,'" added Donohue.

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