ST. PAUL, Minn. — A group of Catholics were denied communion at a Mass at the St. Paul Cathedral on Sunday because they wore rainbow sashes to draw attention to the catholic church’s policy on same-sex marriage.
The protest has been an annual event for a decade, reports Minnesota Public Radio.
Each year organizers ask the archbishop in a letter for permission to participate in the Eucharist while wearing a rainbow sash.
A St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese spokesman said it would be sacrilege to give the eucharist to people who are using communion to make a political statement.
“There’s no question that they’re free to receive communion without the sash. But they’re wearing the sash to advance their own protest,” said archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath.
“And communion time must never be used for a political or protest statement. It’s that simple.”
One parishioner, Brendt Vanderlinden , said church officials politicized the Eucharist when the Catholic Archdiocese sent church members an anti-gay marriage DVD last month.
Vanderlinden said he and his wife wore sashes to show support for their gay son.
Earlier this month, about 25 students from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict say they were turned away from communion because they were wearing rainbow buttons that indication membership in, or solidarity with a gay and lesbian student group.