Stay Out Of Our Churches Chicago Cardinal Tells Gays

Wed. May 26, 2004 12:00 AM by

Chicago, IL - Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has a simple message for a gay Catholic group that plans on attending mass this Sunday at Holy Name Cathedral: "Don't bother showing up."

Members of the Rainbow Sash Movement announced plans this week to attend mass wearing their distinctive rainbow sashes.

In a memo to all pastors in the Archdiocese Cardinal George said anyone wearing the sash is to be denied communion.

"The policy of the U.S. Council of Bishops is not to give Communion to those wearing the sash," he told priests.

George said that the sash shows disrespect for the Church's teachings that homosexuality is sinful.

"The Rainbow Sash movement wants its members to be fully accepted in the Church not on the same conditions as any Catholic, but precisely as gay," the cardinal wrote. "With this comes the requirement that the Church change her moral teaching which is from the Lord and his Apostles."

The Rainbow Sash Movement, which has chapters across the country plans to show up at the Cathedral anyway.

"The cardinal is refusing to give out-of-the-closet gays communion," Rainbow Sash's Joe Murray told the Chicago Sun Times. "As long as you remain hidden, that's fine."

"We wear the sash because it is a symbol of the gifts that we bring to the church as gay and lesbian people," said Murray. "It's a symbol that we need to also be ministered to as gay and lesbian people and we can't be ministered to in the clerical closet."

One Chicago priest has concerns about the Cardinal's instruction.

Rev. Richard Prendergast said that while he understands the Church's teachings on homosexuality, "I think the question of the increased usage of bishops withholding communion as a punitive measure is a slippery slope."

by Steph Smith Newscenter
Chicago Bureau
©® 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.