Gay Catholics Refused Communion At Holy Name Cathedral

Mon. May 31, 2004 12:00 AM by

Chicago, IL - A militant Catholic lay group attempted to block members of the Rainbow Sash Alliance from getting to the Communion rail Sunday at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral, and when the gay organization's members were able to get to the rail priests refused to give them the Eucharist.

The Rainbow Sash announced last week they would wear their distinctive sashes to Pentecost Sunday services prompting Cardinal Francis George to instruct priests to refuse communion to anyone wearing the rainbow sash (story).

About 10 members of the Alliance attended the mass. When they approached the front of the church to take communion about three dozen members of an organization calling themselves Ushers of the Eucharist knelt in front of the altar to block the path of gay Catholics and their supporters.

The gay group managed to move around the "users" and find a different route to the communion rail. But, when they got there, priests refused to allow them to take communion.

"God bless," is all priests would say to the Rainbow Sash members as they passed by.

"We're good enough to be blessed, but we're not good enough to receive the Holy Eucharist," said Alliance spokesperson Joe Murray.

For the past year the Roman Catholic church has stepped up its condemnation of gays. The Church has been one of the leaders in the fight against same-sex marriage.

Earlier this month, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Colorado Springs said Catholics who vote for politicians who do not oppose same-sex marriage, abortion rights, stem-cell research, or euthanasia may not receive Communion until they recant and repent in the confessional. ( story)

Some bishops have told Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry he is unwelcome in their churches because he supports civil unions for gays (he is opposed to gay marriage) and has voted for abortion rights.

by Steph Smith Newscenter
Chicago Bureau
©® 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.