Friday, May 25, 2007

Catholic Gays Challenge Church Authority

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 exclusion."

"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 -- worldwide!"

"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."


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