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By Diogenes (articles ) | May 09, 2007

The Rainbow Sash Movement is reconfiguring itself as a rainbow ribbon revue for this year's Whitsunstunt -- presumably on the grounds that a slenderer middle finger flipped at the Church will make those clergymen who refuse the flippers communion appear the more unreasonable.

The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) announced today that they will be challenging the practices of the Catholic Church this 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.

Priests have withheld communion from people wearing the rainbow sash in prior appearances by the RSM. According to Joe Murray, US Convener for the RSM, parishioners have taken it upon themselves to share their wafer with ribbon-wearing churchgoers, much to the consternation of the priests.

"For some reason," 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 actually turn the Holy Eucharist into a weapon of division and exclusion."

Got it exactly backwards, chum. If Catholic church doors were guarded by bouncers and dobermans specially trained to sniff out persons with same-sex attraction -- irrespective of dress, demeanor, or declaration -- you might have a point. But in reality there is no such screening. There never has been. The logic intrinsic to Catholicism makes it the case that, because the Church's children are agreed that her teaching is true and her sacraments salvific, those children don't care what particular weaknesses their brethren drag with them through the doorway. All gather as sinners drinking at the springs of salvation and -- as has been stressed on other occasions -- even if you have reason to suspect your fellow Catholic has a vulnerability to one particular sin, you have no grounds whatever to think he doesn't accept the Church doctrine pertinent to it. Your brother has to go out of his way, he has to stand on his head, he has to garb himself in wacky multi-color livery, in order to ANNOUNCE his disturbance and his dissent to the other worshipers. He has to shake you to get your attention.

So you think the Church is wrong, Joe? Well, lots of folks do: more than 80% of the world does. They call themselves Buddhists, Muslims, Methodists, agnostics, etc., and manage to steer clear of Sunday Mass with no damage to their civil rights. What they don't do is seek out that particular body of Christians -- who, being Catholic, believe the truth the Church teaches in the year 2007 she taught in the year 57 and will still be teaching in the year 10,007 -- in order to 1) declare to them that they're mistaken, and at the same time 2) demand to share in their highest act of Communion.

Complains Murray, "These ill-advised bishops cannot possibly know our hearts when they deny us communion." Well, if you didn't do everything in your power to wear your heart on your sleeve -- in the form of polychrome polyester -- it wouldn't even occur to them to deny you. But for your ceaseless insistence to the contrary, they'd assume you came to church to find God.

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Show 17 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 14, 2007 2:37 PM ET USA

    If those INTRUDERS show up in your parish, here's a useful and constructive response anchored in the "free excercise" clause:

  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2007 8:16 AM ET USA

    Murray (& many others) need to know that our conscience is to be formed & informed by the teachings of Jesus Christ & His Church. He also needs to know that we go to Mass (Jesus' Mass in His Church) to worship, praise, adore, thank & love God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit, to listen to His Word, to receive Him in Holy Eucharist, to grow in holiness. Also, Jesus never said to pick up a sodomite's sash & follow Him... He did tell us to pick up our cross daily & follow Him (Luke 9:23)... AMDG

  • Posted by: - May. 10, 2007 7:55 PM ET USA

    We need to start a counter "Pure White Sash Movement" that supports the holiness of sexual relations only inside the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony between one man and one woman. People could wear the White sash to events that the RSM shows up.

  • Posted by: - May. 10, 2007 12:28 PM ET USA

    Thanks for the invite, Convert! To be honest, I am, as the Holy Father described us, one of those that are nostalgic for the old ways. I actually don’t have such a sash, but if I did, I would know not to wear it at Mass, where the center of attention ought not to be the congregation, the choir, or even the “presider.” At the chapel I attend, these sash people would not get past the ushers in the vestibule. But if they did, they certainly wouldn’t like what they’d likely hear from the pulpit.

  • Posted by: - May. 10, 2007 10:08 AM ET USA

    I f one really loved the Church, the bride of Christ, he would fall on his knees, go to confession, and in the state of "Sanctifying Grace' recieve the Body, Blood ,Soul ,and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the true LOVE. (obiedence)

  • Posted by: - May. 10, 2007 8:38 AM ET USA

    You are welcome in my NO parish, Altar Boy. You would kneel at an altar rail and the Eucharist would be placed on your tongue. In the middle of the altar is the Blessed Sacrament. We do not do "gathering songs," either, but you would hear a real opening hymn and you would be expected to sing. Our solo singers have to be good or they will not sing, period, and people tell me our classical trumpet player is fantastic. (That's me. HAHA!)

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 10:10 PM ET USA

    The primary reason the homosexual movement puts so much effort into shoving their agenda down others' throats is that homosexuals are generally self-centered and immature. When they don't get their way they throw a temper-tantrum.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 9:40 PM ET USA

    Again, this is another tactic used by the "Fairy Tale Crowd", only this time they are wearing a Rainbow Sash to desecrate the Body of Christ. Notice they are wearing their"Sinful ways on their sleeve" and they call that respectfully presenting themselves? On Pentcost Sunday;The Birthday of the Roman Catholic Church; Jesus Christ's Church.The Church condemns the homosexual acts and all those that support and defend the"active homosexuals", which is, participating in an "intrinsically evil spin"!

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 5:41 PM ET USA

    If they really love the Church and want to be accepted they could go to Mass without the sash. They are more interested in espousing their lifestyle than being Catholic.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 4:46 PM ET USA

    I’ll wager you one of my Grants to one of your donuts, Di, that if I walked in to any N.O. parish on Pentecost Sunday, wearing a red sash with the letters “SSPX” and the likeness of Abp. Lefebvre emblazoned on it, that I would not be given Communion. In fact, I’d probably be asked to leave before the first note of the “gathering song” was intoned by the local Britney Spears. Besides, the super duper extraordinary minister wouldn’t know what to do after I knelt and stuck out my tongue.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 4:08 PM ET USA

    Do you see what happens when you allow a vacuum to occur caused by the absence of authority? Clown masses (sic), renegade theologians, experiments with the liturgy, etc., etc.. Eventually people really believe that they can do whatever they wish and no one will correct them. Does anyone wonder why less than educated Catholics are joining the Evangelicals in droves?

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 4:06 PM ET USA

    What I don't understand is why one needs the Church if "individual conscience is paramount in guiding the individual to spirituality". Why does someone feel the need to bring an "if it feels right, then do it" attitude into a Church that has principles that are 2000 years old? Half of my family walked away because the Church's principles cramped their lifestyle. They are not wearing ribbons and parading down the main aisle during Mass. Perhaps some are not as comfortable as my relatives.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 4:01 PM ET USA

    I'm single and I confess to pre-marital sexual relations, but I don't demand my church stick a flag on the front door professing its solidarity with pre-marital sex. Nor would I want my parish to tell me that they decided not to count pre-marital sex as a sin any more, so come on in and be sure to wear your pre-marital sex pin. As for this crowd, the least they could do is be honest about it. They just want to be accepted by the church. Yeah right.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 3:52 PM ET USA

    very curious. Virtually all of these people appear to be in their mid-60's. Is this the Vatican II effect?

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 3:44 PM ET USA

    I see all three sexes represented in this photo but the lack of racial diversity is troubling...

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 3:33 PM ET USA

    By the same token, why not wear NARAL or Planned Parenthood graphics on your sweatshirt--with the words, "I Support Abortion" when receiving the Holy Eucharist? Or a hammer and sickle? Or a Playboy logo ribbon? These folks want absolute approval for their rather pedestrian, but utterly mortal sins--and the open encouragement to give scandal to others at mass, children included. What did Our Lord say about that millstone? There are, unfortunately, other denominations willing to applaud sin.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2007 3:10 PM ET USA

    Gotta agree with Di. A person can only be denied Holy Communion when allowing their reception of it would cause scandal. Allowing a person making a public statement against church teaching to receive Holy Communion would be a scandal. I pray all bishops, priests, deacons and "extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion" have the courage to deny them Holy Communion.