On May 15, Pentecost Sunday, a group of radical gay activists plan to enter various Catholic churches across the nation during Mass to stage a protest. The group, Rainbow Sash, has done this in the past and is planning to do so again this Sunday.
They have instructed their members to put the rainbow sash over their left shoulder and pin it to their right hip while the priest is processing to the altar. They are then told to go to Holy Communion and, if refused, to return to their seats in the pew and stand while everyone else is kneeling. The sash, they readily admit, is worn as a symbol of protest against the teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:
“Last year, Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C. and Cardinal George of Chicago banned Rainbow Sash members from receiving the Eucharist. Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, Archbishop Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Bishop Clark of Rochester, New York did not ban them. This year Archbishop Flynn has told Rainbow Sash that they will be banned. He explicitly said that ‘the Vatican has communicated to me that it does indeed consider the wearing of the Rainbow Sash during reception of Communion to be unacceptable, a directive I believe all Bishops will adhere to.’
“This year, Rainbow Sash has upped the ante. In its May 2 press release, it said that the purpose of their presence is to ‘counter the lies that Pope Benedict XVI is promoting about our community’; it also said that to many gays and lesbians the new pope is an ‘aggressive homophobe.’
“By calling the pope a liar and a homophobe, Rainbow Sash has finally taken off its mask. We look for them to get what they want—to be denied Communion. We also hope the cops are standing by. To exploit the Mass for political purposes is obscene, but it is what we have come to expect from the likes of Rainbow Sash.”