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Austin Cline

Rainbow Sash in Minneapolis

By December 21, 2004

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The Rainbow Sash movement is made up of Catholics working for equality for gays within the Catholic Church. Most bishops deny people communion when they show up wearing rainbow sashes, but not Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Some Catholics have criticized him for this and even tried to block it from happening.

CNS explains:

Archbishop Flynn said it was recognized that U.S. bishops have come to different conclusions about how to respond to Rainbow Sash members who present themselves for Communion, but he said he got no sense that the Vatican was pushing for a single policy on this. "We all stand very strong in our teaching concerning human sexuality, and what is right and what is wrong, and the teaching of the church concerning homosexuality, the teaching of the church concerning marriage between one man and one woman," he said. "Then as you step away from the strong articulation of the teachings, you get into the pastoral practice of what do you do in some of these very difficult and challenging situations," he said.

Some bishops think that trying to take communion while wearing a rainbow sash is just a political statement and if so, their reluctance to give communion to such people is understandable. But do they take the same policy if someone is wearing a political button? Probably not. According to Flynn, he's been assured by these people that they aren't making a political statement and he takes them at their word. Why don't others try to do the same thing?

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