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

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Pentecost Sunday 1998

To the People of God
To the Leaders of the Church

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On Pentecost Sunday, May 31st, a group of people will attend Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia, wearing the "Rainbow Sash" across their left shoulders.
In wearing "the Rainbow Sash" we proclaim that we are Gay and Lesbian people who embrace and celebrate our sexuality as a Sacred Gift.
In wearing it we call the Church :
  • To honour the experience and wisdom of Lesbian and Gay people.
  • To enter into open dialogue with us.
  • To work with us for justice and understanding.
Together let us seek a new appreciation of human sexuality in all of its diversity and beauty.
As well as Lesbian and Gay people, there will be others wearing the sash. These people - our friends and family - have chosen to become "Lesbian and Gay for a Day" for the sake of solidarity and justice, identifying with us in both our oppression and our hope. Together we will stand silently and with dignity, offering our witness and our challenge.

This is what we ask of the Church :

I.  We ask you to publicly welcome openly Gay and Lesbian Catholics to Communion.
II. We ask you to encourage all Lesbian and Gay clergy, religious and laity to "Come Out" i.e. to openly acknowledge their sexual orientation, so our young people may have mentors and role models, and so that the rich gifts of all of God's people may be honestly celebrated. Will you guarantee that the ministries, careers and reputations of those who "Come Out" in the Church will be protected?
III. We ask you to set up diocesan ministries to Lesbian and Gay people and their families, along with education and support programs in  schools and parishes, so that intolerance, prejudice and hatred may be overcome by the Love of God.
IV. We ask you to call together Lesbian and Gay people, theologians and bishops and set up "Structures of Listening" in dioceses and in the Universal Church. Will you let our voices be heard and our wisdom and experience be honoured? Will you seek, with us, a new appreciation of human sexuality in all of its diversity and beauty?
It is time for a change of heart in the Church. It is time for the silenced ones to speak. It is time for a listening ear, an open heart, a daring spirit.
We therefore call for an Ecumenical Council of the Church in which the whole People of God may seek a new understanding of human sexuality in all of its diversity and beauty. Let this Council involve people of every gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle, age, race and status. Let the leaders of the Church listen to, and with, all the members of the Body of Christ - especially those most marginalised. Together let us build a community filled with honest love and genuine justice.
Join us in our call. Stand up for Lesbian and Gay people.  Call for a new understanding of human sexuality. We invite you to wear the Rainbow Sash in solidarity with us, or a Rainbow Ribbon to show your support.
And on this Day of Pentecost may the Holy Spirit fill us with Her fiery Love and Her Passion for Justice.

In Joy and Hope,
  Michael B Kelly
(For the Convenors of the Rainbow Sash Movement - Australia.)


Pentecost Sunday 1999, after attending Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne

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