Skip to comments.Catholic Bishops Refuse Communion To Homosexual Activists
Posted on 05/20/2002 3:06:17 AM PDT by kattracks
Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," the Roman Catholic bishop of Australia's largest city told his congregation Sunday morning, minutes after refusing to give communion to homosexual and lesbian activists.
"Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, they close the sexual act to the gift of life," Archbishop George Pell told Catholics gathered for Pentecost Sunday Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney.
In an orchestrated move, 20 members of a group campaigning for the church to give full recognition to homosexual Catholics had earlier gone forward for communion, while another 12 did the same St. Patrick's Cathedral in another major city, Melbourne.
Each member of the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) wore a rainbow-colored sash over their clothing. In both churches they were denied communion, although in Melbourne, Archbishop Denis Hart did offer the sash-wearers a blessing.
Although the bids failed, a spokesman for the group said Monday they were heartened to hear that similar attempts made by RSM members in several cities in the U.S. Sunday had met with success.
In New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Rochester, spokesman Michael Kelly said, homosexual and lesbian members wearing the sashes said they had received communion. RSM was formed in Australia, but now has chapters in a handful of U.S. cities, too.
Kelly, a former Franciscan seminarian, attributed the discrepancy to "confusion" in the church hierarchy about how to handle the issue of homosexuals.
Because some priests had knowingly given communion to homosexuals, while others had refused to, the organization was now considering "an appeal to Rome."
"Refusal to give communion is the second most serious sanction in church life, after excommunication. So it's a very rare and very important sanction that's been imposed on us."
Kelly, who was part of the Sydney group in Sunday's protest, said the group had donned their sashes during the introductory hymn, as a symbol of their desire to "embrace our sexuality as a sacred gift."
They then participated in the service as usual, but when they had approached the altar for communion, Pell had told them, "I can't help you."
The bishop had not offered them a blessing either. If he had done so, it would have been seen as a "token gesture," Kelly said, but nonetheless one that would have said to the group: "We don't completely reject you."
They then returned to their pews, where they stood "in silent protest" while other communicants returned to their places and knelt, as is traditional.
A short while later, Pell read out a prepared statement, he said.
In the statement, a copy of which was provided by the Archdiocese of Sydney Monday, Pell said he deeply regretted that people professing the Catholic faith would mount "an ideological demonstration" during Mass, and particularly at communion time.
Any Catholic who publicly defined himself as "supporting or practicing activities contrary to church teaching in a serious matter is not entitled to receive Holy Communion."
The same would apply to a married person living in adultery, he added.
Pell said church teaching on sexuality was "clear and unequivocal, and derives from natural moral law, which we believe is unchanging ... God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and important consequences follow from this."
Kelly said Monday he found the comment "childish" and "unhelpful," not something worthy of a major church leader.
He charged that the current child-sex abuse scandal in the church in the U.S. and elsewhere was the result of the church hierarchy's refusal to bring matters of sexuality out into the open.
The RSM would continue to campaign to be allowed to participate fully and openly in the life of the church, Kelly said. Homosexuals had been involved in the church for centuries, he added, but their participation had taken place under a "code of silence and invisibility."
Although Kelly said church leaders had ignored nine written appeals for dialogue over the past five years, Pell in his statement said he would "continue to dialogue privately and publicly with those who think differently" about church teaching on marriage and family.
He also said he would pray for the protestors.
"Although human weakness is universal and God's mercy infinite, the path to happiness and heaven for a Catholic does not lie in seeking to re-interpret what is right and wrong," the bishop said.
"Rather, one should commit oneself, in good faith, to the church and its teachings and work towards following these teachings as closely as possible."
E-mail a news tip to Patrick Goodenough.
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Kudos to the priest for not letting them get away with politicizing communion. Kudos to the other parishioners for having enough restraint not to beat the crap out of them during the service either.
Oh really?! This is what the Bible says about taking communion:
I Corinthians 11:25-29 "In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.
This is extremely clear, if you take communion when living in gross immorality (homosexual lifestyle), you come under judgment.
Why? To make them "feel good" about their immoral lifestyle choice? They are under the curse of God. Maybe if this Archbishop really cared about them he would make sure they understood that.
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The first item bolded is clear that "unworthy manner" applies to these guys' attempt to politicize communion. The second is a bit vague, and could apply to any "sinner."
Still, what were these people thinking? Is it okay to politicize any solemn occasion for your pet cause these days? (an other-side example is Fred Phelps picketing homosexual funerals)
homosexuality has to be kept out of the church...
too bad the Bishops didn't do this years ago - for if they had - all this homosexual stuff in the catholic church would not be happening...
Then you are equally as guilty when you knowingly give the Body of Christ to those who receive Communion in the state of mortal sin.
Then you are equally as guilty when you knowingly give the Body of Christ...
The operative word is "knowingly".
In a survey by a priest of 50 Homosexual Priests, Sipe states "that only 4 were celebate, 10% had more than 10 sexual Partners and 22% had 500 Sexual Partners or more".
Are We to presume that it is OK for these Homosexual priests to be on the Alter celebrating Mass with all that is implied.
Our whole idea of right and wrong is upside down.
No one Knows who of these people are celebate and who are not, unless major changes are made, the Church is in for a long Dark period.
How can any Homosexuals be allowed to be Priests much less 50% of the total.
100% of the Catholics I surveyed (myself) think that number is bovine excrement
As to anyone with an agenda (pro-abortion, hit-man,etc.) and wearing a 'sign' of their intention to continue in sin.
Those are estimates, not facts. If Cozzens is basing his estimate on his experience while running St. Mary's Seminary and he did nothing to expel homosexual seminarians, thus violating the 1961 Vatican decree against ordaining homosexuals, then he is part of the problem and should be defrocked himself.
How can any Homosexuals be allowed to be Priests much less 50% of the total.
The Vatican formally stated in 1961 that homosexuals are not to be ordained. Those bishops who have thumbed their nose at the Vatican should be defrocked. Why do you keep capitalizing the word homosexual?
A: Liberal Seminaries
Exactly correct and to receive absolution they must have perfect contrition and promise not to engage in any homosexual activity.
The communion issue shouldn't be complicated. If you are a chaste homosexual, or one who has sought forgiveness and truly repented from past homosexual activity, then you should be given communion. If you are promoting or condoning sin (i.e., homosexual activity), then you shouldn't. These people in Australia are fighting for acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle (rampant homosexual activity). As such, communion should be denied. - But then, the same should hold true for priests. An active unrepentant homosexual priest should not be allowed to carry out his priestly duties, and should not be given communion. The Church needs to 1) root out homosexually active priests (maybe 20-30% of the priesthood?), 2) make it clear to those lay people who are homosexually active or who are supporting those who are that they are sinning, 3) over time, reduce the number of homosexual (chaste) priests to the percentage in the population as a whole (2,3%), or lower, 4) never allow priests to be alone with children, 5) have zero tolerance for child abuse.