Personal Bias is not the Basis for Law

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Once you recognize that moral disapproval in and of itself is not a legitimate basis for depriving liberties or equality, there’s no other justification left for these type of laws that single out gay and lesbian Americans for ill treatment this is why Cardinal Francis George and US Conference of Catholic Bishops have become irrelevant in the discussion of LGBT rights, and why Pope Francis is now willing to entertain the approval of civil unions for both straight and LGBT couples.

States around the country have been given all these opportunities to come up with any kind of legitimate, credible argument for why same-sex couples should not have the same marriage rights as others. And over and over again now, in a steady drumbeat of decisions, judges are rejecting those arguments . These state governments can come up with nothing.

We’re seeing a really steady and accelerating progress in the courts for LGBT people not just the Supreme Court being like the lone court, you know, reaching down and issuing somedictat. [Rather,] the Supreme Court, when it comes to the gay rights cases it’s had in the last, you know, almost two decades now, has been not leading the way but acknowledging where the country is . When sodomy laws were struck down, at that point in time only like 13 states still had those kinds of prohibitions on the books. The court was not in any way, I think, getting out ahead of evolving notions of personal liberty and equality.

We call on NCR and other Roman Catholic media to recognize when we speak of homophobia we are in essence speaking about the Church’s full Teaching on the homosexual person. Promoting discrimination in any form can only be understood by most reasonable people as a personal bias from many in the Church to scapegoat LGBT people because of their difference nothing else is at play.

The Rainbow Sash Movement takes a very different view than the National Catholic Reporter. We see this situation in terms of homophobia, like racism and sexism it should be condemned wherever it rears its ugly head, but for some reason the editors of NCR promote the ideal to debate homophobia as a concept. We do not.

Bob Murphy
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Roman Catholic Holy Communion Wars

Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, known for his fundamentalism, and an example of what Pope Francis was talking about when he remarked some in the Church obsess over judgementalism, has decided to deny Holy Communion to Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois for supporting a woman’s right to choose, and gay marriage.

The Bishop said in an email he sent out that “Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law,” Paprocki wrote. “My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.”

Canon 915 states that those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” So supporting civil rights is now a grave sin. What screwed up logic is this? I might add this is the same character that went on a homophobic tirade over the fact that members of the Rainbow Sash Movement wanted to pray for Gay Marriage in his Cathedral. This Cannon has been the epee center of a disputed between the majority of Bishops and minority of fundamentalist among their number.

Some prelates argue that denying politicians Communion turns the Eucharist into a political “weapon.” However the legalist among them believe all who do not support the Church’s Teaching should be denied communion. This puts the onus not only the celebrant of the Mass to do so but also lay Eucharistic Ministers.

The Bishops of England and Wales refused to allow the Eucharist as did the German, Scandinavian, and Dutch Bishops to be used as such a political tool.

U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke has been the most prominent promoter of this action.

However the leader of the Illinois Conference of Catholic Bishops is clearly at odds with both Cardinal Burk and Paprocki . But Cardinal George is not known for his consistency in this matter since he denies communion to members of the Rainbow Sash Movement.

The Church continues to look like a 3 ring circus to most reasonable people no wonder so many in the Church are voting with their feet and wallets.

Jack Anderson
Rainbow Sash Movement

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The Rainbow Sash Movement responds to Cardinal Francis George’s Letter on Clergy Sexual abuse

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The Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Roman Catholics) finds Cardinal George’s letter that will be released to entire Archdiocese this weekend on clergy sexual abuse astonishing. In the letter there is no indication of an apology to the victims of clergy sexual abuse. Further the Cardinals explanation that the various offices of the Archdiocese did not tell him what he needed to know about those involved in the sexual abuse of minors under his care as Cardinal/Archbishop of Chicago to be unreasonable.

Had this been a doctrinal matter Cardinal George would have been all over it. Why not the same attention to the clergy sexual abuse scandal: or was Cardinal George blinded in the words of Pope Francis with his obsessing over Gay Marriage, abortion, and contraception?

George will soon be leaving his office as Cardinal/Archbishop of Chicago. He must become more accountable for his actions. We call on the Cardinal to listen to the people of the Archdiocese on this matter and stop trying to absolve the part in played in this matter with smoke and mirrors. We also realize the only reason the Cardinal is issuing this letter to the entire Archdiocese is because of the pressure that was brought to bear by the victims of clergy sexual abuse in a legal settlement.

If Cardinal George is unable to be fully accountable to the people of the Archdiocese we than call on his replacement to immediately institute a thorough investigation of the Archdiocese. Such investigation should not be focused on passing the buck; rather it should acknowledge the full truth wherever that may lead.

In our opinion, the sincerity of Cardinal George is suspect given his history as “George the Corrector” in his time as the leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago. How could he of been unaware of the magnitude of the problem. Why is he not than taking immediate action against those within the Chancery who refused to share critical information? We believe his letter only opens up more questions than it responds to.  

Cardinal George the buck stops with you it is about time that you fully except that responsibility, we do not believe this to be a unreasonable position.

Board of Directors
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Roman Catholics): Cardinal George should be held accountable for his Public Bigotry directed at LGBT People

A Time for Prayer and Integrity

A Time for Prayer and Integrity

Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, plans to celebrate Mass July 26 at the conference of Courage, a Catholic group that encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to remain celibate in keeping with the teaching of the Catholic hierarchy.

However, this year it is hosting two therapists, Bill Consiglio and Timothy Lock, affiliated with the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group that promotes the view that homosexuality is a disorder that can be cured. Consiglio and Lock offer seminars for clergy and mental health providers.

Exodus International, a group much like Courage, that once touted the ability to cure homosexuality, closed its doors in mid-June. The former head of Exodus, Alan Chambers, apologized to LGBT people for “the pain and hurt many of you have experienced.”

The Rainbow Sash Movement believes so-called “conversion therapy” is malpractice, and for very good reason: It hurts people much like the closet mentality that is promoted in the clerical Church. Even those priests who supposedly minister to LGBT Catholics try to hide the fact of their own sexual orientation.
The Cardinal should apologize to the LGBT Community for the harm he brings it.

Rainbow Sash Movement News Team

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Open Letter to the Chicago Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach Board of Directors

I write this note with a heavy heart because you have chosen to ignore the cries of your own community for Justice. You even try to legitimize your behavior by the idolization of the Eucharist; with a profound deception about separating the liturgy from the issue of social justice. You promote a closet mentality and hide from the cries of your own people for Justice for personal comfort.

Now you try to hide from the responsibility of inviting Cardinal George to your 25th anniversary as if you have no accountability to this Eucharistic Community. Your reasoning like your decision to invite this bigot into our liturgical community is flawed and lacking in both common sense and integrity.

My faith is in the power of the sacraments to change individual souls into a community that would overflow with love of neighbor and seek a just society where all people are treated with dignity and respect. You turn your backs on this form of Catholic Action, see, judge and act. I can only presume you do so out of fear of losing something you really never had.

We come to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel this Sunday as people of faith who have committed ourselves to the Gospels. I call on you to take a Christ inspired active role in saying homophobia is not a Value of those Gospels even if a Prince of the Church tries to promote it as such from the pulpit of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Also, I call on you to promote the equality of love due to each and every human being in the sight of God.

Be not afraid.

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Catholics) responds to the Faith based bigotry of Cardinal Francis George on Gay Marriage.

Cardinal Francis George will be visiting Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 708 W. Belmont, Chicago, in the heart of Chicago’s Gay Ghetto on Sunday, June 16, at 7PM. The visit was requested by the Board of Directors of the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach Ministry to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

A demonstration will be held in front of the Church led by the Gay Liberation Network and Rainbow Sash Movement, while inside individuals attending the Mass will stand when the Cardinal approaches the lectern to give his sermon, and turn their backs when comments on Bigotry .The RSM has informed Cardinal George by letter that if he shows up he will be met with open opposition. In the same letter he was told of our willingness to meet with him to discuss the issue.

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement said “Our message to the Cardinal is simple hate is easy, love takes courage, and the kind of faith based bigotry he promotes is not welcome in Chicago’s LGBT Community. This visit is especially poignant since it takes place during June which is the month our community celebrates Gay Pride.”

In his most recent column in the Chicago Catholic New World the Cardinal has conveniently ignored Christ’s mandate that his disciples love one another as he has loved them as he publicly beats his chest about the recent no vote on the Illinois Gay Marriage Bill.

Many in today’s Church feel a disconnect with the hierarchy because they have become detached from the concept of social justice and human dignity and wallow in the caves of bigotry when it comes to Gay Marriage.

Increasingly the Cardinal’s political activity shows open contempt for LGBT People. His trust in the promotion of bigotry over moral dialogue or ethical analysis only highlights how dysfunctional and unreasonable his position is. Clearly he does not agree with the concept of separation of Church and State when it comes to marriage.

RSM News Team

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Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Catholics) Calls on Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to Reclaim God’s radical inclusivity on Pentecost Sunday (May 19)

The Catholic Church teaching calls same-sex attraction “an objective disorder” and condemns homosexual activity as immoral, though it also calls on Catholics to welcome and respect gays and lesbians in their faith communities. How the later can be accommodated with the former is a mystery and therefore creates a web of bigotry resulting in Catholic’s losing their jobs, being denied the sacraments, being excommunicated or who have been made to feel ‘less than’ by their church leaders because of who their families are as result of love.

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) released the following statement.

“It has been difficult for the Rainbow Sash Movement to remain part of the Roman Catholic Church because of a hierarchy that has been so hostile towards the LGBT Community in recent years. This is especially true considering nearly 30% of all successful teenage suicides are attributed to sexual identity issues.

We call on Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to open his mind, heart and see this as an opportunity to love, support and welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation on Pentecost Sunday. We also call on him to support the right of all couples regardless of sexual orientation to be treated equally and fairly when it comes to the institution of marriage under Illinois State Law. A majority—54 percent—of U.S. Catholics support gay marriage, compared to 47 percent of all Americans, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll.

We see our speaking out as an act of love towards a community which was born of God’s radical inclusivity. We have lost that in our church, and we would like to get it back. This is why we will wear Rainbow Sashes this Sunday at Holy Name Cathedral at the 11AM Liturgy as a sign of love and hope.”

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