.- Minnesota’s Archbishop Harry Flynn has decided to take a stand against what he sees as a protest by a national gay and lesbian organization against Church teaching.
In a letter sent this week to the Rainbow Sash Alliance, the Archbishop said that he would not allow rainbow-sash wearers to receive communion in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, saying that, "It has become apparent to me that the wearing of the sash is more and more perceived as a protest against church teaching.”
The rainbow-sashers have opted to make this Sunday’s Pentecost celebration the center of a demonstration in a number of dioceses across the country.
Archbishop Flynn said in the letter to Brian McNeill, Minneapolis organizer of the Rainbow Sash Alliance that, "I am asking you to remove your sashes before you receive Holy Communion” and “I ask you to observe this sign of respect for the Eucharist not only in the Cathedral but in all our parishes. No one wearing the sash will be permitted to receive the Blessed Sacrament.''
McNeill said he was disappointed but that the group was determined to go up for communion, sashes and all. The group says that they “are publicly calling the Roman Catholic Church to a conversion of heart around the issues of human sexuality.''
The Church teaches that while the orientation to homosexuality is not itself sinful, acting on that orientation, is.
The Archbishop continued in his letter 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 that I believe all Bishops will adhere to. “
"The criterion for reception of the Eucharist is the same for all — recipients must be in a state of Grace and free from Mortal sin. While the decision for that judgment rests with an individual Catholic's conscience, it has never been nor is it now acceptable for a communicant to use the reception of Communion as an act of protest,'' he said.