Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

yukking it up with the Swallow Patrol

By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. ( articles ) | Jul 12, 2006

Some folks just LOVE taking offense. And they know unfailingly where to find it. From this week's NCR:

Emotions ran high among some participants in the Pentecost noon Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Minnesota last month. There were tears, a break in the orderly queue to receive Communion, and allies on different sides of the Communion rail.

Brigid McDonald, a Sister of St. Joseph for 53 years, was shocked when she, along with others wearing rainbow-colored sashes in solidarity with Dignity Twin Cities, Catholic Rainbow Parents, the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities, and Rainbow Sash Alliance, were denied Communion. "It was extremely scandalous," said McDonald, a retired schoolteacher who volunteers to teach immigrants and visit nursing home residents. "I was never rejected before at Communion."

If you're a Provo, few things are as fun as Mass-crashing, especially if you can put people into a lather about those little wafer things:

This year, eucharistic ministers again refused to offer hosts to sash wearers.

An odd way of putting it.

MacNeill said that an unidentified man, who was not wearing a sash and was unfamiliar to local gay-rights advocates, received a host and proceeded to break it into pieces that he offered to those who had been refused Communion. Ushers insisted he promptly consume the host, which they are trained to do if they perceive a recipient may do otherwise, said Skluzacek. Witnesses reported that ushers told the man they would call police if he did not comply with their directives, and that subsequently several rainbow sash wearers came forward to place their hands on the man's shoulders in solidarity

I guess the wafer-breaker was just minding his own business.

Darlene White, a member of Catholic Rainbow Parents who attended and wore a sash, joked, "What's next, swallow patrol?"

Laughter all around. Only a bigot could object to those who make a party prank out of the Eucharist, especially when the stunt is meant to benefit a New York Times-endorsed cause, and when the party-ers have passed up many congenial communion services and gone out of their way to find a Church that can be relied upon to resist. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, what's the point of joining a club if you can't find something that will make them exclude you?

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