The Rainbow Sash Movement is calling on its entire membership across the nation, along with its allies and the Chicago LGBT Community to hold Cardinal Francis George in their prayers.
Joe Murray the Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement said, “The Cardinal has been diagnosed with another bout of cancer. While at times we have been on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to the issues of women’s and LGBT rights we recognize this as a time of deep personal concern for not only the Cardinal but also for his family, loved ones, friends and the entire Archdiocese of Chicago. Our prayers are with Cardinal George and his loved ones as he takes another step in the journey with this disease that touches so many in our society.”
Murray added, “This is not a time to focus on our divisions, but rather our compassion for one another as children of God.”
According to the Rainbow Sash Movement official website, in Australia on Pentecost Sunday, 1998, all those wearing the Rainbow Sash, including mothers and fathers of gay children were refused communion. Upon returning to their places, the Rainbow Sash wearers continued standing in silent witness. As the Mass concluded, the archbishop read a statement rebuking them, and most of the congregation applauded.
National and international media covered this refusal of communion. In the following weeks, all of Australia’s Catholic archbishops told the media that they, too, would refuse Holy Communion to Rainbow Sash wearers. That policy has remained in place to today
In November, 2000, Michael Kelly, one of the leaders in Australia, came to the United States for the biannual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington D.C. A public announcement preceding the Mass informed the congregation that all those wearing the Rainbow Sash would be denied Eucharist, which did indeed prove to be the case.
The following year at Pentecost, 2001, Cardinal George in Chicago denied those wearing the Rainbow Sash communion at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, while those wearing the Sash in Rochester, NY, St. Paul, New York City, and Los Angeles received communion.
After relenting and giving communion to Rainbow Sash wearers in 2002, and 2003, Cardinal George changed his mind again in 2004, and forbade communion to those wearing the Rainbow Sash.
Source: Rainbow Sash Movement
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