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‘Roma locuta’: Young Catholics hang banner in response to rainbow flag on Vienna’s oldest church

The banner hung by the group Christus Vincit from St. Rupert’s Church in Vienna, Austria. The banner hung by the group Christus Vincit from St. Rupert’s Church in Vienna, Austria./ YouTube screenshot.

Young Catholics have hung a banner declaring “Roma locuta, causa finita” (Rome has spoken, the case is closed) beneath a rainbow flag on Vienna’s oldest church.

A video posted to YouTube April 26 showed young people climbing up the side of St. Rupert’s Church at night and draping a banner reading in full: “God cannot bless sin. Roma locuta, causa finita.”

The video explained that they took the step after a rainbow flag, also known as the LGBT pride flag, was hung from the church’s tower in protest over the Vatican doctrinal congregation’s “no” to same-sex blessings.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a “Responsum ad dubium” March 15 replying to the question, “does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?” The CDF answered, “Negative,” outlining its reasoning in an explanatory note and accompanying commentary.

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The explanatory note, signed by CDF prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria, S.J., and secretary Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, stressed that God never ceases to bless all “His pilgrim children.”

“But he does not and cannot bless sin,” it said.

Campaigners in Austria and Germany have announced that they will hold a day for blessings for same-sex partners on May 10 in defiance of the Vatican’s statement, which was issued with the approval of Pope Francis.

Representatives of the group that attached the banner to St. Rupert’s Church told CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, that they regarded the rainbow flag as a “provocation.”

“On the one hand, we wanted to show that such a provocation is not simply tolerated in Vienna and, on the other hand, we hope that this might trigger a rethink among certain officials,” said the representatives of group, known as Christus Vincit, who wished to remain anonymous.

“We also think that such an action can give other Catholics courage and hope. We actually hope that no further actions will be necessary, but should there be another one, it would arise from the same intention, namely to defend the Catholic faith.”

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