Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, notified all his pastors in May not to give Communion to gay members of the Rainbow Sash Movement. Members of the group, who publicly reject the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, announced that they were going to wear rainbow sashes on Pentecost Sunday at many churches in Chicago, as well as in other parts of the country.
The Catholic League rushed to the defense of Cardinal George by issuing the following press release:
“Anyone who politicizes the Mass, for whatever cause, has placed himself outside the community of faith. In doing so, such persons show nothing but contempt for the Church’s greatest prayer—the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Thus do they leave bishops and priests with little choice but to ostracize them from fully participating in the Mass.
“This is not the first time this band of homosexual extremists has sought to upend the Mass. For example, they’ve been known to stage protests at the Mass attended by U.S. bishops at their annual meeting in Washington; for this they have been turned away at Communion. Now they’re back, ready to disrupt the Mass again. Their preferred tactic upon being denied the Eucharist is to return to their pew and remain standing.
“Cardinal George is not politicizing the Mass—the Rainbow Sash fanatics are. Their goal is to exploit the Mass by turning it into a forum of dissent. That is why they have left Cardinal George with no alternative, and they know it.
“Some pundits will inevitably compare this to the decision of some bishops to deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians. But this is all the more egregious because it constitutes nothing less than a shakedown of the Catholic Church. Nothing can justify a sacrilegious mutiny, and that is exactly what this demonstration is all about.”