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Press Release For Immediate Release

Archbishop Nienstedt plays the Judas Card with Catholic Gay College Students Over Gay Marriage

(RSM News - 10/10/2010) -- About 25 college students and community members from the Catholic St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict, were denied communion by Twin Cities Roman Catholic Archbishop John C. Nienstedt at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minn, because they were displaying rainbow buttons and rainbow sashes. Did the Archbishop make any attempt to meet with these students, before deciding to judge them by denying them communion which is sound pastoral practice?

It is time for compassionate listening to take place and the Rainbow Sash Movement is calling on Archbishop Nienstedt to meet with these students, and at least listen to what they have to say. If you cut people off, you give reasonable people no other option to communicate with you than at the communion rail. If any are at fault over this difficult situation it is the Archbishop who has been misbehaving, not the students. He is the one responsible for polarizing the people of God as they celebrate the Sacred Eucharist and making the Church look terrible.

Archbishop Nienstedt needs to engagein compassionate listening. He needs to let go of a dismissive attitude when it comes to dealing with the genuine concerns of any part of the People of God. It is a sad commentary when the Archbishop says by his actions that these students are good enough to be blessed, but they are not good enough to get the Holy Eucharist. Our Church is dying of a thousand cuts can we really afford this type of hierarchal arrogance?

Every baptized Catholic not in the state of mortal sin has the right to receive the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in Holy Communion. Why? Because the effects of the redemption earned by Jesus Christ are communicated through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist; to deny someone the Eucharist denies that person a central means to achieve salvation.

The students like members of the Rainbow Sash Movement before them are Gay Catholics who wear rainbow sashes and rainbow buttons to self identify publicly as believers who want to practice their faith and to be nourished by the sacraments . What do they get instead is judgmental confrontation from the Archbishop at the altar rail while he is holding the Lord Jesus in his hand. The church has a "long-standing practice" of not judging the "state of the soul" of those who present themselves for Communion.

We take our religion by faith. When our Catholic leaders act in way that dismisses our relationship with God they become unworthy of both our trust and respect.

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Contact Person:

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement
312-266-0182
www.rainbowsashmovement.com



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