May 30, 2009

Once More Unto the Breech, Dear Friends, Once More

Here we go again...

Tomorrow is Pentecost and, around here, you know what that means. Yes, the annual trooping of the color at the Cathedral of St. Paul's Noon Mass.

For the innocent among us; There is a local group called the Rainbow Sash Alliance that makes an opportunity every Pentecost Sunday to remind us they exist and they are not going away and they want their demands that homosexual practices must be affirmed met by the Catholic Church. The same Catholic Church that they CLAIM to be a part of.

This group and their misguided supporters meet at the Cathedral with slogans and signs and loudspeakers and lame jingles. Some of them go inside and wear rainbow sashes, a outward sign of their inward confusion, and expect and demand to receive Communion.

Friends; we all know that anyone can CLAIM to be anything. We all know that, short of public expressions of disunity and sin, there is no way for any of us to be sure that people approaching to receive Communion are properly disposed to do so.

BUT, in this instance, there is a CLEAR public expression of disunity with the Church and, thus, as his predecessor before him, Archbishop Nienstedt has stated that anyone presenting themselves for Communion wearing a rainbow sash will NOT be permitted to receive. Furthermore, the faithful are discouraged from receiving Communion and then breaking off the host and handing it around to those who were denied reception-a scandel that has occurred in the past. I know people think they are being "nice" but some of us need a reminder that the Host IS the Body of Christ and carrying it around, breaking it off, and handing it around increases the likelihood of profanation by dropping it or giving it to the unworthy. THAT Host is for YOU.

The "Sashers" will, as they always do, reject any suggestions that they are being disrespectful to the House of God, they will reject their Shepherd's very well-phrased and compassionate request that they turn away from this protest. Note I said: THEIR Shepherd. If this group is, as they claim, Catholic, then we have the same beliefs and the same Shepherd. They are as required to listen to the Archbishop's counsel, with as much prayerful reflection and serious attention, as I am.

The words of Brian McNeill of Rainbow Sash Alliance say many things:

"We cannot repeat too often that we attend Mass on Pentecost to celebrate who we are, not to protest. We participate in Mass in the same way we do all the other days of the year. But on Pentecost we come out of the closet as lgbt Catholics, family and friends to remind our fellow Catholics that we too are part of God’s loving family."

"Celebrate who WE are?" I thought the Mass was to celebrate the Sacrifice of Jesus for us and for the forgiveness of our sins?

"We participate in Mass in the same way we do all the other days of the year" Really? Interesting. Are you saying every Mass is a protest for YOU? I can see that if you are receiving Communion at every Mass you attend knowing full well that you may not be properly disposed to do so.

"But on Pentecost we come out of the closet..." I get it! Like the Holy Spirit came out, right?!?

"...remind our fellow Catholics that we too are part of God's loving family" Does Mr. McNeill think that people who regularly attend Church forget that sinners ARE part of God's family? There are more sinners around than those with the sin of practicing homosexuality, but, it's all about them. On what day do the other sinners parade? Try: EVERY day. I'm in that parade. When I'm not properly disposed (NOT by MY definitions of propriety but by the rules I profess to live by) I don't demand to receive Communion. I stay in my pew and go to Confession at my earliest opportunity, receive Absolution, and resolve to amend my life.

Know this: The Sashers do not limit themselves to the Cathedral on Pentecost. Many of them attend Masses on Pentecost Sunday at "sympathetic" parishes around town and receive Communion wearing the sash. Then, they go to the Cathedral later (there's a reason the protest is at noon) and try to receive there too. All local pastors should be ready.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope there's none of that rubbish here in Lourdes for Pentecost. That kind of thing goes with what the French call the "French mentality". I would say that if people make a thing of this every year, there should just be no Communion for anyone. Also, at least in Europe, disrupting a religious service is against the law.

Father George bloggingLOURDES

May 30, 2009 5:18 PM  
Blogger belinda said...

Why is it that a person who practices in unmarried sex feels that the rules should be changed to fit their agenda? No one is allowed to have sex outside of marriage, and protesting about this makes one look foolish.

Do these people not feel an obligation to keep Gods law? Even a little?

May 31, 2009 6:22 AM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


For them, it is "all about me", all the time, everywhere, especially in the mirror.

May 31, 2009 7:58 AM  
Blogger belinda said...

Dear Ray, I think that that "Me" attitude can bring a Nation down very quickly.

It's a terrifying attitude, given enough people have it at the same time..... I believe.
It's totally creepy in a demonic sort of way.

May 31, 2009 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray, I know lots of "straight" folks with the all-about-me attitude. Your point, though, is well-taken that gays are more up-front about it. I'm a musician who has worked a lot in community theatre, so have seen both sides of the coin. It's the main reason I'm taking time off from the whole business for a while. For me, it's all about doing the best possible show; for many of my colleagues, it's all about THEM in that specific show. And, sad to say, that frame of mind rears its ugly head at Mass too. But that's a whole other post, and I don't want to ruin the first sunny day around here in a while!

June 01, 2009 10:08 AM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


I admire your thoughtfulness.

But don't let others influence your career decision. Just find some musicians who are interested in quality like yourself.

June 01, 2009 5:28 PM  

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