The Sash is Back
Defeated at the polls, Minnesota's gays chose to direct their belligerence at a softer target. And won.
The Cathedral of St. Paul Sunday became a pulpit for both a Catholic gay rights group that showed up and received Communion wearing rainbow sashes and a rival group that prayed the rosary on the church steps to express disapproval. It's the second time this year the Rainbow Sash Movement and Catholics Against Sacrilege have used the sacred Mass to make a statement.
Note who's on the inside and who's not.
... Brian O'Neill handed out rainbow sashes to supporters and donned one himself to lobby the Catholic Church to end "spiritual violence" against the gay, lesbian and bi-gender community. "It's important we be here and speak the truth and not be intimidated by the victories of conservatives," O'Neill said. The Catholic Church "calls us evil. They call us objectively disordered. We strongly oppose that kind of language."
O'Neill's claim -- "They call us [not our libido] objectively disordered"-- is patently false, but serves as a commonplace of gay propaganda. It has proven to be a useful lie, however, and is undeniably effective in neutralizing opposition from squishy bishops, of whom O'Neill's is one of the squishiest.
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn has said he won't deny Communion to sash wearers even though Catholic leaders in other cities including Chicago have refused the gay activists communion. Roman Catholic Church doctrine condemns homosexual practices. It also forbids the use of birth control and premarital sex. "The Holy Communion ought not to be used as a form of protest or a litmus test," said archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath. "It's up to people's individual consciences. They are supposed to be in a state of grace."
Nonsense. Refusing communion to a rainbow-sashed congregant is not a question of judging his spiritual well-being. It is a simple recognition of the congregant's own public declaration, namely, that he denies the claim that God preserves the Catholic Church from error. Many excellent people deny this claim. Billy Graham denies it. The Chief Rabbi of Krakow denies it. The Iraqis who aided Jessica Lynch's rescue deny it. Would any of us claim that these persons are in full communion with the See of Rome? Of course not.
But suppose (for the sake of argument) the "individual conscience" of one of these persons assured him he was in the state of grace and bade him come up to receive the Eucharist. If the priest refused him, would he be employing an improper "litmus test"?
Here's the point. In ordinary circumstances, when you see a stranger standing in a queue, you can't tell what he believes -- what he believes about the designated hitter rule or what he believes about the Petrine primacy. You don't know who's Catholic and who isn't because personal convictions are usually hidden from view. But when a man puts on rainbow sash, he is taking what is hidden and "unconcealing" it. He is announcing to us: "I contend the Catholic Church is wrong." It's irrelevant (to the point at issue) whether he's gay or straight or a wastrel or a virgin. When I deny him communion, I'm not making some intuitional judgment about the nature of his appetites or the state of his soul. All I need to know he has declared to me himself.
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Posted by: -
Nov. 10, 2004 12:30 PM ET USA
Paterc - just as Diogenes can justly infer the opinion of a rainbow man in the queue for Holy Communion, so we can infer from the archbishop's silence that he supports these disordered perverts. No archbishop or parish priest worth his salt would fail to drive these miscreants from the Church with cat-o-nine-tails a flailing. The Catholic Church is America is proof that evolution is impossible. The passage of time has left us a largely blind, deaf and dumb idiot groping in the darkness.
Posted by: snowbird -
Nov. 10, 2004 8:05 AM ET USA
To: Archbishops, BIshops - It is WAY past time for you to be doing your "job" as our Chief Shepherds and Teachers of the faith. Teach what the Church teaches and do not hesitate for a moment to speak that truth loudly and clearly. If you can't take the heat, then, get out of the kitchen! SOME of you gentlemen are a real embarrasment to the Church and its people.
Posted by: principle not pragmatism -
Nov. 09, 2004 7:26 PM ET USA
There should be a large and vocal opposition by faithful Catholics against the Archbishop Flynn and a flood of letters to the Vatican for his dismissal and or resignation!
Posted by: -
Nov. 09, 2004 5:40 PM ET USA
"A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concerrn for the sheep." [John 10: 12-13] It has happened twice now in this same cathedral, twice in a period of about six months. Will the hireling turn into a shepherd, or will he remain a coward? Jashu
Posted by: patriot6908 -
Nov. 09, 2004 1:15 PM ET USA
The point now is not just the sash wearers, but the archbishop. By his public actions, he is aiding and abetting a sin. This man cannot be such a total fool. A coward, yes, but that stupid, no. So the question is whether or not the archbishop can receive communion without a full public contrition.
Posted by: -
Nov. 09, 2004 5:56 AM ET USA
It is time for Archbishop Flynn to take a stand for the Sacrament of the Lord's Body and Blood, if not any thing else. His reluctance to speak out, is an admission he agrees with the stand of Kerry and like Catholic politicians who ignore and defy Catholic teaching, without impunity. This is not a questioning of his Faith, but his reluctance to speak-out clearly, the church's stand on the issues.