|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
Together let us seek a new
appreciation of human sexuality in all of its diversity and beauty.
To honour the experience and
wisdom of Lesbian and Gay people.
To enter into open dialogue
To work with us for justice
|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
This is what we ask of the
|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.)