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 The Rainbow Sash Movement - An International Action for Gay rights and Spiritual freedom!

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Rainbow Sash Movement
St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne

Dear Friends,
            When we wear the Rainbow Sash this Pentecost, Melbourne will be without an Archbishop. Let us take this unusual moment seriously. Let us use it to reclaim the Church for love, justice and liberation.

Over the past four years the Rainbow Sash has emerged as a strong and dynamic symbol of gay witness and challenge, both in the Church and in society at large. Its influence is also growing. In November last year the Sash was worn in the United States for the first time, and it immediately gained national attention. This Pentecost gay and lesbian Catholics will wear the Sash in at least 4 major US cities. Here in Australia we are also moving ahead with plans to establish a Sydney branch of our movement, as George Pell's hard line conservatism highlights and re-enforces the discrimination gay people face from Church structures and teachings.

            In Melbourne the Church and the media will be watching to see how our movement will fare without Archbishop Pell at the altar. Will we receive a warmer welcome? Can we sustain our momentum without his energetic opposition? How will the current Catholic leaders handle us? Was Pell the problem or are there deeper issues here?

            This is a crucial moment for our movement here in Melbourne. The stand we take, the witness we give and the challenge we offer go deeper and are far more profound than the attitudes of one authoritarian Archbishop. It is the whole Church, and the entire hierarchy that we call to conversion of heart.

            Many people may be waiting for the Vatican to appoint our new Archbishop. We are not waiting. We are calling Catholic women and men to reclaim our church for justice.

            We call on parish councils, religious orders, parish priests, school principals, teachers, theologians, pastoral workers and all Catholics to make public statements and initiate policies that welcome and affirm gay and lesbian people. It is time for all who believe in justice to speak out! It is time to insist that Church leaders, both present and future, listen to gay people, ask forgiveness for the injustice we have suffered, honour our wisdom and our gifts, and affirm our place amongst God's people.

            Join us! Stand with us in solidarity and wear the Rainbow Sash with dignity and pride. Let us show the Church that, while bishops may come and go, the struggle for justice continues.

                     We thank you for your support!  Committee of the Rainbow Sash Movement.

  The Rainbow Sash's Call:

 - We call all people of good will, whether gay or straight, to join us. We invite you with your lover, spouse, family and friends.

 - We invite you to wear the Rainbow Sash and attend Mass (with quiet dignity in word, attitude and action. This is our sacred space too, and we claim it in peace and with respect.)

 - Those who identify as Catholics are encouraged to wear the Sash and reverently seek Communion. ALL are invited to stand in their places in silent solidarity at this time.


     Let Us Reclaim the Church for Justice!!!