Catholic position on sashes
May 16, 2005 4:18 AM   Subscribe

Protesting church policy by wearing rainbow-colored sashes resulted in more than 100 people being denied communion in a Catholic church in St. Paul.
posted by leftcoastbob (61 comments total)
 
Exclusionary practices are sooo Christ-like. NOT.
posted by nofundy at 4:31 AM on May 16, 2005


Parishioner Larry Pavlicek was not sympathetic. As a divorced man, he said he has to live with the church's teaching that he cannot remarry and cannot have sex outside of marriage.

"If you're going to be a Catholic, either live with it or call yourself something different," he said. "They're trying to change something that has been taught by the church for 2,000 years."


Right. I'm a miserable bastard, therefore everyone else must be, too. Seems like the church taught that burning heretics at the stake was permissable for its first 1,000 years or so, too.
posted by psmealey at 4:37 AM on May 16, 2005


The Sash My Father Wore

Sure l'm an Ulster Orangeman, from Erin's isle I came,
To see my British brethren all of honour and of fame,
And to tell them of my forefathers who fought in days of yore,
That I might have the right to wear, the sash my father wore!

cho: It is old but it is beautiful, and its colors they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.
My father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore
And on the Twelfth I love to wear the sash my father wore

For those brave men who crossed the Boyne have not fought or died in vain
Our Unity, Religion, Laws, and Freedom to maintain,
If the call should come we'll follow the drum, and cross that river once
more
That tomorrow's Ulsterman may wear the sash my father wore!

And when some day, across the sea to Antrim's shore you come,
We'll welcome you in royal style, to the sound of flute and drum
And Ulster's hills shall echo still, from Rathlin to Dromore
As we sing again the loyal strain of the sash my father wore!

posted by sgt.serenity at 4:50 AM on May 16, 2005


Let he who is without sin deny the first Eucharist....
posted by alumshubby at 5:35 AM on May 16, 2005


When I was signed up to be indoctrinated into the catholic church as a small child it was made very clear that it wasn't a democracy and I have no reason to believe that has changed since.
posted by biffa at 5:56 AM on May 16, 2005


What biffa said. If you disagree with the church teachings, you're not catholic. You don't get to decide what's acceptable in the church and they're pretty upfront about that.

This is just more self-centered showboating-- change to accomodate me! I want to use your label, but to my specifications.

I think the catholic church is awful. I express this by not calling myself catholic.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:06 AM on May 16, 2005


Exclusionary practices are sooo Christ-like. NOT.

Jesus may have ate with the sinners, but that doesn't mean he changed his philosophy to accomodate them.

The priest didn't make them leave the Church. He didn't make them take off their sashes. He didn't ridicule and mock their beliefs from the pulpit. All he did was deny them communion because the Archbishop felt these people were no longer in communion with the Church. Seems logical to me. Also pretty Christ like.

Also, I don't believe this is the first time people wearing the rainbow sashes have been denied communion. I thought I read about the very same thing last year (although a different place).
posted by sbutler at 6:12 AM on May 16, 2005


If you disagree with the Catholic church but still want to practice some parts of its rituals, pull a Martin Luther.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:16 AM on May 16, 2005


Um, Sgt. if he's an Ulster Orangeman, then why would he be wearing his sash to a Catholic church?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:22 AM on May 16, 2005


It don't remember reading about Christ denying any rituals of a particular institution, and so don't get what's so "Christ-like" here - seems to me he wasn't so much into ritual (although he could clear on fine points - still . . . ) as he was the big picture, the love thing. I remember him throwing money changers out of the temple. I'd have to go back and read the Gospels again in re to denying rituals - hasn't been that long ago, but I haven't memorized every verse or nuthin'.
posted by raysmj at 6:28 AM on May 16, 2005


Um, Sgt. if he's an Ulster Orangeman, then why would he be wearing his sash to a Catholic church?

Maybe a cultural thing, but as soon as I saw the subject - 'Catholic position on Sashes', that was the first thing I thought of too.

I reckon the only time you would get Big Ian to step into a catholic church would be with an Orange sash round his neck.... he'd probably have to be dead too
posted by twistedonion at 6:29 AM on May 16, 2005


What's discouraging about the story (among other things) is that the group has been wearing the sashes at Pentecost since 2001, and this is the first time they've been refused communion.

And given the international influence of the Catholic Church, I do think that Catholics and non-Catholics alike might be expected to take a serious interest in their policies and hope for some reform.
posted by Pattie at 6:30 AM on May 16, 2005


Cathaholic: Person who wants to be different than a Catholic, but is too addicted to quit the church.
posted by elderling at 6:31 AM on May 16, 2005


Mayor Curley writes "If you disagree with the church teachings, you're not catholic."

I have yet to meet a Catholic that believes, accepts and lives in accordance with all of the churches teachings. I don't think anyone cares particularly, it's all for show anyway. Not that it isn't important to people. They seem genuinely scared. The church knows how to put on a show.
If the church was only supported by those who live completely by church teachings they would lose most of their congregation, IMHO. They have the get-out clause of last minute redemption anyway.

I would agree with your statement, and raise you - anybody who does not live in a Christ-like way (no possesions, looking after the needy, forgiving all that trespass etc.) should not call themselves christian as they clearly do not follow J's teachings. They are not even trying.

nofundy writes " Exclusionary practices are sooo Christ-like. NOT."

So, by my polarising logic the church itself cannot be a Christian organisation.

I would add that the Catholic people I know who analyse their faith the most are also at odds with official dogma, but arguably more Christ-like.

sbutler writes "All he did was deny them communion because the Archbishop felt these people were no longer in communion with the Church."

Whatever the Archbishop thought he was doing, he certainly gave these people more press coverage by communion denial than he would by accepting them. I suppose this kind of thing might appeal to those who like the strictness, whilst being abhorant to the more accepting people.
posted by asok at 6:34 AM on May 16, 2005


seems to me he wasn't so much into ritual

And Christ broke the bread, saying "Do this in remembrance of me..."

Elderling, I'm going to use that word in a sentence today.
posted by NickDouglas at 6:38 AM on May 16, 2005


All he did was deny them communion because the Archbishop felt these people were no longer in communion with the Church. Seems logical to me. Also pretty Christ like.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone... [Who said that?]

Nope, sorry, but you're very wrong. The ministry of Jesus Christ was to reach out to all those rejected by society and the established church.

It's important to separate the dogma of religiosity in an established church from the actual deeds and words of Jesus. Real Christianity (translated "Christ-like") is often very different from "playing church" religionists. For example, many of the "rules" of the Roman Catholic church come not from Jesus, or even Old or New Testament but from Greco-Roman culture. (role of women)

As Kris Kristofferson said, if He came back down we'd just nail him up again. (Jesus Was A Capricorn)
posted by nofundy at 6:43 AM on May 16, 2005


Name just ONE Roman Catholic, in all of history, who was totally "in communion" and deserving of the eucharist, according to the logic used to deny these folks the same. You see, the whole point of the life and death of Jesus Christ is that NONE of us are "in communion" and deserving of the eucharist.
posted by nofundy at 6:50 AM on May 16, 2005


Nope, sorry, but you're very wrong. The ministry of Jesus Christ was to reach out to all those rejected by society and the established church.

Actually, that was more the ministry of Paul. Jesus preached to Jews in Judea. Peter ministered to Jews beyond Judea and differed with Paul who ministered to anyone who would listen.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:52 AM on May 16, 2005


Once again, Mayor Curley is on the money. Catholicism is crazy, irrational, whacked-out and often hateful bullshit. If you recognise this, deal with it by not being a Catholic.

Or maybe you could pass some time by joining the local Nazi Party in order to protest about the things they do you don't agree with? Me, I think I'll maybe join the Tories and then whine about their mean stance on the NHS and immigration. That'd be sensible.
posted by Decani at 6:55 AM on May 16, 2005


If you disagree with the church teachings, you're not catholic. You don't get to decide what's acceptable in the church and they're pretty upfront about that.

But then how will we sleep pretty well tonight with our smart, pretty fiances?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:57 AM on May 16, 2005


I'm grateful my mom was a fallen Catholic (horribly bitter, alcoholic Irish father) since the sky-god stuff was never inflicted upon me or my sister.
posted by bardic at 7:09 AM on May 16, 2005


But then how will we sleep pretty well tonight with our smart, pretty fiances?

Wow. I hit a nerve and I wasn't even aiming for you. I'm so sorry-- that must have stung a lot for you to bring it up here in such a tenuous fashion. But let's go back into the Metatalk thread instead of hashing it out here, shall we?
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:17 AM on May 16, 2005


NickDouglas: Thanks for cherry-picking which words of mine you wanted to use. Appreciated.
posted by raysmj at 7:19 AM on May 16, 2005


The "so much as" and "as he was" parts were rather essential, mr. snarkypants.
posted by raysmj at 7:21 AM on May 16, 2005


If they were wearing sashes to protest the Church's position on the divinity of Jesus, or on the concept of transubstantiation, or on something so central to the faith that it is not open for debate, then I could understand this more.

I have a real problem with the "it's not a democracy, so there's no room for debate" concept that has been frequently repeated of late. Should a Catholic who thinks it is better to advocate condom use to prevent AIDS or unwanted pregnancy in marriage than to strictly adhere to the Church's teaching about birth control be denied communion? Who thinks women should be given a more equal role in the Church? Who thinks married priests could help to alleviate shortages and sexual abuse? None of these threaten the heart of Catholicism.

I understand that power in the Church is centralized and I understand the need for the Church to stay true to itself on core teachings, but the idea that open debate should be stifled or that communion is reserved only for those who own a full subscription to the Catholic Church's teachings is dangerous and oppressive.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:26 AM on May 16, 2005


If you really oppose the Catholic church's barbarism, screw the sashes. You should be refusing communion before you're denied it. Why people want to put lipstick on the pig that is the modern RC church is beyond me. It's a regressive, reactionary, hypocritical, corrupt institution.

I certainly hope those sash-wearers are planning to withhold their weekly "offerings" in the future. THAT is the only "protest" that would mean a thing to the church. Otherwise, they only gain strength with the constituencies they now care about by showing the protesters the back of their hands, and we know where those hands have been.


RCM
posted by realcountrymusic at 7:31 AM on May 16, 2005


Should a Catholic who thinks it is better to advocate condom use ... than to strictly adhere to the Church's teaching about birth control be denied communion?

They should deny themselves communion by not attending church. If the pews and collection plates are empty for long enough, God will miraculously send a message to the Vaitican that their stance needs to be modified.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:31 AM on May 16, 2005


There's a lot of bullshit being slung about. I was raised Catholic and there were many things that were official church stances that the average church member didn't abide by. Birth control is one of them and I'm not talking about birth control before getting married either. The only officially approved birth control when I was growing up was the rhythm method. Thankfully most people ignored the official method in favour of condoms, the pill, vasectomies or tubal ligation. The people who did practice the rhythm method were pretty easy to identify. Just look for the family with 5 kids who's birthdates were spread across a decade or two.

If the church wants to start withholding communion based on a refusal to uphold the doctrines of the church at least have some balls about it. Refuse communion to married couples that miraculously stop at 2 children. They won't do this because naturally it would just about sever the purse strings that keeps the Catholic Church in riches.
posted by substrate at 7:32 AM on May 16, 2005


Wow. I hit a nerve and I wasn't even aiming for you. I'm so sorry-- that must have stung a lot for you to bring it up here in such a tenuous fashion. But let's go back into the Metatalk thread instead of hashing it out here, shall we?

Putting sticks up your bum is against church policy too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:34 AM on May 16, 2005


have a real problem with the "it's not a democracy, so there's no room for debate" concept that has been frequently repeated of late.

You see, that's the thing about what is essentially a monarchy, it doesn't matter what you have a problem with unless you are Benny XVI. Welcome to Protestantism, that is, the world where the people get to protest what they see is wrong with the Church and try to reform it. The early Protestants didn't want to leave the Church either, but they found it impossible to stay/were kicked out.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:41 AM on May 16, 2005


Exclusionary practices are sooo Christ-like. NOT.

For once, I'm 100% with nofundy.

Last year, some conservative groups in St. Paul kneeled in church aisles to block sash-wearers from receiving communion.

This in particular is a slap in the face to everything good in Christianity, and the aisle-kneelers should be ashamed of themselves.
posted by jonmc at 7:41 AM on May 16, 2005


The sash wearers should now refuse to give tithe. Send 10% of their income to good charities rather than the church.
posted by Tenuki at 7:55 AM on May 16, 2005


this is a great post because metafilter cares deeply about religion.
posted by quonsar at 8:10 AM on May 16, 2005


If you disagree with the church teachings, you're not catholic. You don't get to decide what's acceptable in the church and they're pretty upfront about that.

I used to think this, but an editor for a major catholic magazine pointed out that the history of the catholic church is full of reformers who were shunned by the church and embraced much later. Even the Luthern Leaders tried to change the Catholic Church before they broke off (For example, the Ausberg Confessions).

Though under JP II, and Ratzinger it's only getting harder to dissent.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 AM on May 16, 2005


Putting sticks up your bum is against church policy too.

I'm almost positive that isn't true. When I was 11, my friend Danny said that Father McCullough put a stick or something up his bum. This was apparently to check for demons or something. And we know that the priest wouldn't do something like that if it was against policy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:19 AM on May 16, 2005


So why does the priest punish this group of rainbow colored sash wearers, and not punish the (probably) hundreds of parishoners using contraceptives? Because it is about actively demonstrating that it is okay in the Catholic Church to openly hate gay people. This is not about following church policy. This is just one more powerful organization supporting the hate mongering of the religious right.
posted by trii at 8:20 AM on May 16, 2005


Monolithic Institution takes one more step towards irrelevancy and death. News at Eleven.

(that's right, just keep marginalizing them, one by one.)
posted by exlotuseater at 8:30 AM on May 16, 2005


So why does the priest punish this group of rainbow colored sash wearers, and not punish the (probably) hundreds of parishioners using contraceptives?

Maybe because it's harder to tell who's using contraceptives. Maybe if the contraceptive wearers would pin a condom to their chest, then the church could spot them.

Incidentally, again, if church doctrine was set by a democratic process rather than an authoritarian hierarchy, then the (at least) half of America's Catholics who also consider themselves Liberal would have to be addressed rather than ignored.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:40 AM on May 16, 2005


Can wearers of yarmulkes receive communion?

Can females in pants receive communion?

Can those who practice contraception receive communion?

Can those who support the death penalty receive communion?

Looks like this "cafeteria Catholic" train runs both ways!

WooHoo! Jonmc and I finally found common ground (must have been the Kris quote :-))
posted by nofundy at 8:43 AM on May 16, 2005


WooHoo! Jonmc and I finally found common ground

*looks out offices window, sees four scary guys on horses galloping down West Side Highway*
posted by jonmc at 8:56 AM on May 16, 2005


I go to St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis. Yesterday, before the service started, the priest announced that after much soul searching, he decided that he could not go along with denying communion to sash wearers. The entire congregation leapt to their feet and gave Father George a long and loud standing ovation. Many, including myself, were in tears over the pride we feel in our church for taking brave stands. St. Joan's is known for being VERY progressive in social justice and many other liberal causes including inclusivity and valuing the contributions of all their parishioners, including the GLBT community. There are many in our church and I think they would all say that St Joan's is an unually warm and welcoming place. The church motto, is "We welcome you wherever you are on your journey". For any who live in Minneapolis or are just visiting, I urge you to come and check it out for yourself. It's a really cool place. They have a website too.
posted by marsha56 at 10:24 AM on May 16, 2005


Yeah, count me in as someone who feels that if you disagree with Church enough that you have to make a public statement out of it, then it's time to leave the Church. Maybe that's the Protestant in me talking, but it really isn't a democracy. If you're a part of church that teaches papal infallibility, then I don't see any way around that. Either get onboard with the Church's teachings or get out or at least keep your mouth shut. I don't say that out of spite, but common sense. Churches exist because people believe in common things being true. If you don't share in those beliefs, why stay? There are plenty of other churches today that would openly welcome gay, lesbian, and trans-gendered persons, fully accepting them and their lifestyle. Those churches just won't be Roman Catholic churches.
posted by marcusb at 10:41 AM on May 16, 2005


Yeah, count me in as someone who feels that if you disagree with Church enough that you have to make a public statement out of it, then it's time to leave the Church.

Yep.
posted by Specklet at 11:19 AM on May 16, 2005


Won't someone tell those poor misguided Catholics taking communion that they are doomed?

But seriously, I think Catholicism should be whatever the majority decides, through their action or inaction. If Benedict XVI can be swayed by the rainbow, then there is hope for a better future.
posted by theorique at 12:00 PM on May 16, 2005


Decolores marsha56!
posted by nofundy at 12:23 PM on May 16, 2005


The Catholic Church is a ridiculous organization. I was one of the many subjected to it at an early age -and was glad to get out of there- but for 'political' reasons I had to go to a relative's son's communion on Sunday and was in a church for the first time in years. Watching these kids that are 8 years being coerced into a bigoted organization makes me feel sick. I agree wholeheartedly with the earlier statement that if you don't feel you belong because you are being excluded and feel so strongly that you have to make a statement in there then don't go. However, there is something more important than that. If you have kids and you don't believe, yet, you are still think of putting them through it because grandma will be offended or something then don't. Believe what you like, but if you honestly don't think you agree with the teachings then don't put children through it. If they want it bad enough they can join when they are an adult and understand what it means.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 12:44 PM on May 16, 2005


I have a real problem with the "it's not a democracy, so there's no room for debate" concept that has been frequently repeated of late.

Me too. As a Presbyterian, I don't really understand this at all. To me the church is not just its hierarchy, and its traditions and rituals; it is also its laity and the body that attends worship and supports the financial operation of the church. Is the Roman Catholic church still just the papacy and the dicatates of its upper hierarchy? That seems incredible to me.

The people wearing the sashes are every bit part of the "church" that the priests are. Maybe someone a bit more schooled in RC tradition can enlighten me. Do Catholics not see it this way?

posted by psmealey at 12:55 PM on May 16, 2005


What happened to that thing about letting God do the judging? You know, the whole mote, beam and casting stones thingamajig.

The cherrypicking this 'n' that from the bible is ridiculous. The Catholic powers-that-be are the worst cherrypickers of all.
posted by deborah at 1:54 PM on May 16, 2005


Me too. As a Presbyterian, I don't really understand this at all. To me the church is not just its hierarchy, and its traditions and rituals; it is also its laity and the body that attends worship and supports the financial operation of the church.

But the church *IS* very much a community of beliefs. Regardless of why the church believes something -- be it hierarchy, tradition, or ritual -- the fact is, the community is defined by what it believes. It's that belief that ultimately fuels the worship, the service, the giving, etc. If the teaching of the church is that openly LBGT persons cannot be involved in certain aspects of ministry, then that's the belief.

If I walked into a synagogue and started pitching a fit because there wasn't any Jesus worship going on, no one would think that the faithful Jews running the synagogue weren't being inclusive enough.

Again, the "democratic" response to this would be for those who dissent to start their own church. It's been a hallmark of American Protestantism. You want to ordain women? Great, there are dozens of denominations that do that. You want to ordain gays and lesbians? Great, there are churches that are cool with that. You want to worship in Latin? Spanish? Greek? Polish? German? Standing up? Sitting down? With music? Without music? Not eating pork? Not eating any meat? Worshipping God as a He? A She?

Grab the yellow pages. Plenty of places to accommodate you. Welcome to America!
posted by marcusb at 1:58 PM on May 16, 2005


nofundy, forgive my ignorance. What does decolores mean ??
posted by marsha56 at 1:59 PM on May 16, 2005


Yesterday, before the service started, the priest announced that after much soul searching, he decided that he could not go along with denying communion to sash wearers. The entire congregation leapt to their feet and gave Father George a long and loud standing ovation. Many, including myself, were in tears over the pride we feel in our church for taking brave stands. St. Joan's is known for being VERY progressive in social justice and many other liberal causes including inclusivity and valuing the contributions of all their parishioners, including the GLBT community.

That's wonderful. I applaud your priest as well, and I wish that the Catholic Church trickled up from people like him rather than down from people like Ratzinger.

Unfortunately, though, if Ratzinger ever notices your priest and your parish, your priest will probably be removed, transferred and silenced.
posted by chuq at 2:30 PM on May 16, 2005


I must also observe the irony of the RC Church's agents punishing people who are merely disagreeing with and protesting the church's stand on homosexuality by denying them the body of Christ, when Christ himself had not one word to say on the subject.
posted by chuq at 2:35 PM on May 16, 2005


If I walked into a synagogue and started pitching a fit because there wasn't any Jesus worship going on, no one would think that the faithful Jews running the synagogue weren't being inclusive enough.

I don't believe that is anaologous in the least. The church has walked a tightrope between traditional values and modernism throughout its entire history. If it had frozen its dogma and practices in Paul's time, and rejected out of hand any development to come since, it would a congregation of about 1,500 people

What chuq says nails it. The priests in this church are in essence condemning and punishing people, not because they have sinned, but merely because they disagree with them.

But, it's all just pissing into the wind. Those Roman Catholic idolaters are all going to hell anyway /jack chick. ;-)
posted by psmealey at 6:51 PM on May 16, 2005


Unfortunately, though, if Ratzinger ever notices your priest and your parish, your priest will probably be removed, transferred and silenced.

This episode is not the first time that our church has clashed with the higher authorities over this issue.
Sadly Father George is retiring at the end of June. But there is some reason to hope that the archdiocese may appoint a priest to our parish that is faithful to the mission of our church. St Joan's liberal tradition dates back to 1967, starting with Father Harvey Egan.
posted by marsha56 at 8:24 PM on May 16, 2005


For the record, I know plenty of Catholics who deny themselves the Eucharist, for various and personal reasons. So it's not unheard of.

Also, I love what St Joan's is doing. I have a special love for St. Joan of Arc, and I'm glad to see that good is being done in a parish bearing her name.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:47 AM on May 17, 2005


I thought about this some more last night, and just wanted to revisit marcusb's thoughts. To my mind, and maybe my mind only, we choose a religion based on its tenets or underlying principles, and choose to accept its dogma, or so-called mysteries, i.e.: the holy trinity, the immaculate conception, salvation through faith alone, vs. faith + good works, etc. Everything else, from Anselm to Thomas Aquinas on down is interpretation. As presbyterian you have a duty to challenge the authority that says, "teh gay is bad", and though you might come up on the losing end of it, it is still your duty and a living thinking, breathing member of the congregation because to lapse into meek submission to the will of a few fallible men, is in itself a sin.

I had always assumed that this was the case for Catholics, but I was made aware of this fact during the 2004 campaign, when Kerry was being refused communion. This even goes a step beyond that.

It still kind of blows me away that, in the past hundred years or so, of the right of self-determination, self-rule and the rule of laws (and not men), some people (though, thankfully, in this case, not all) are still willing to submit to a the rule of few little old men in Rome.
posted by psmealey at 5:02 AM on May 17, 2005


Damn. Could have done a much better job grammar and stray word checking, but hope that was clear enough.
posted by psmealey at 5:10 AM on May 17, 2005


Of course, as a catholic you're supposedly not lapsing into submission to a fallible man are you, so the case is different for catholics.
posted by biffa at 8:27 AM on May 17, 2005


nofundy, forgive my ignorance. What does decolores mean ??
posted by marsha56 at 4:59 PM EST


Loosely translated : of the colors

Adopted in the church for cursillo, emmaus and tres dias experiences.

From a song of the same name. Often sung by Mexican school children.

Is meant to indicate inclusiveness, especially regarding christian religion.
posted by nofundy at 9:07 AM on May 17, 2005


Thanks nofundy !!
posted by marsha56 at 3:24 PM on May 18, 2005


I never saw the point of the whole gay Catholic thing. Make a freakin' choice. It's not even like you have to leave the Christian religion, there are plenty of churches that support homosexual unions, females who are ordained, birth control, all those things. That's the glory of having choice.

One church is not going to keep everyone happy. There are plenty of Catholics out there who think gays are going to hell, too.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:27 PM on May 18, 2005


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