Rainbow Sash group denied Communion at St. Paul Cathedral

The archbishop of St. Paul refused to have the Eucharist become a sign of protest. As a result, more than 100 people were denied Communion yesterday at St. Paul’s Cathedral during the feast day mass for Pentecost. These churchgoers were wearing rainbow sashes, demonstrating their support for homosexuals and lesbians in the Church.

While the Rainbow Sash Alliance has been encouraging supporters to wear the rainbow-colored bands on Pentecost Sunday since 2001, this was the first time that Archbishop Harry Flynn decided to deny them Communion, reported the Associated Press. 

Archbishop Flynn told the group earlier this month about his decision, saying that over the years the sashes appeared to have become a protest against Church teaching.

It has never been acceptable "to use the reception of Communion as an act of protest," the archbishop wrote in a letter to Rainbow Sash Alliance organizer Brian McNeill.

According to the press report Fr. Michael Sklucazek made an announcement prior to Communion that anyone wearing a sash could come forward for a blessing but could not receive the Eucharist.

Parishioners reportedly sat or kneeled after receiving Communion, but sash-wearers remained standing with their hands cupped as a symbol that they still wanted the sacrament. Their silent protest lasted about five minutes, until parishioners rose for the final blessing.

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