The White Wash of Church Hypocrisy

The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) has questioned the effectiveness of various Arch/diocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach Ministries as lacking in good theology, and moral reasoning. The saying goes that if you repeat a lie long enough it sounds like the truth.

One can reasonably wonder is it faith that promotes their attendance or good liturgical theater.

For many LGBT Catholics who attend those  Sunday Masses it is doubly true.  The Clergy that support such groups in the Church are by and large closeted priests. Clergy with the courage to come out of the closet usually end up by leaving the priesthood because of the vile hypocrisy that is promoted in the name of the Gospels.

We find it hard to believe that the Holy Spirit, God, Our Blessed Lady, or Jesus Christ would support such unquestioned homophobia.

The RSM believes to engage with faith is to engage with doubt. We believe that doubt can be the grace that nourishes the development of a more all-inclusive faith. Such a faith will not fall at the first barrier of difficulty or suffering. When hypocrisy is the  guiding agent we can find no common ground. When reasonableness is replaced by  homophobia of the Catholic Catechism, how is it even possible to have a mature discussion in such an environment.

These so called Outreach Ministries continue to call for dialogue, but lack the understanding of what true dialogue is all about. A key component of such process is listening, an activity that the both Vatican and US Conference of Catholic Bishops are clueless about. In the hierarchs minds there can be no dialogue unless their outcome can can be agreed to prior to dialogue beginning. So the whole matter of discussion of rampant homophobia in the Church is off the table.

Bill O’Connor
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Catholic Bishops Attack Women’s Human Dignity

The U.S. bishops and several other Catholic and pro-life groups are asking Congress to nullify two new Washington, D.C. laws that would negatively affect women’s health. They say laws could choke their ability to operate according to their religious beliefs. This according to Catholic News Service.

The legislation amounts to “unprecedented assaults upon our organizations,” the coalition of groups stated in a letter to all members of Congress. “Both laws violate the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association protected by the First Amendment and other federal law.”

The signatories asked Congress to overturn the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act of 2014 and the Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014. Both unanimously passed the city council and were recently signed into law by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Roman Catholics) believes this to be another example of an attack on women’s health rights. We condemn the Roman Catholic Bishops for trying to politicize these two laws for both believers and non believers. In other words in the name of religious freedom the Bishops are trying tell women that they have no medical control over their bodies, and that the Bishops know far more about their needs than they do.

The rational goes along the lines that could force them to make decisions regarding personnel or student life that would contradict such [Catholic Church] teaching.” For example, the university they say could have to officially recognize student groups that are fundamentally opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of homosexual behavior. In other words the bishops believe that they are above the law when it comes to the promotion of discrimination.

The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act prohibits employers from hiring or firing employees based on their “reproductive health” decisions, such as abortion, sterilization, artificial contraception or in vitro fertilization. It is time for the Bishops to enter into serious dialogue with women and LGBT people both inside and outside the Church..

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement said it is not the states place to impose specific religious beliefs that would be a matter of religious freedom. Discrimination is not a legal right because you have a religious belief that justifies it.

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Dignity, New Ways Ministry, Forunate Families Questions of Integrity

Letter to the Editor

The “2012 Tracking Report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations” lists foundations by the total amounts granted in support of LGBTQ Issues. The same report lists the Arcus Foundation as the second highest giver and the Gill Foundation as the third highest supporter of LGBTQ issues.


The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) has opted not to apply for this type of grant money because we feel outside organizations who are not Catholic are trying to affect the internal decision making of the Catholic Church. In our opinion, this is a slippery sloop and we should not fool ourselves about that.


We also recognize that Dignity, New Ways Ministry, and Fortunate Families all have been recipients of this money. Our vision of working for change in the Church is different we come from a faith based perspective, and believe the discussion needs to brought openly and honestly into the pews of our Church.


After speaking with the current president of Dignity and a Board member of Fortunate Families I became aware that Dignity’s local chapters where not aware of the reception of these funds, and that Fortunate Families Board members would really rather not talk about it.


THE ARCUS FOUNDATION founded in 2000 by Jon Stryker, focuses on gay rights and “conservation of the great apes.” Since 2010 it has given about $1.5 million to self-identified Catholic groups such as Dignity’s Equally Blessed Coalition.


THE GILL FOUNDATION: awarded $100,000 to Catholics United Education Fund in 2012 – That single grant covered most of Catholic United Education Fund’s annual budget of $111,819, as Catholic News Agency’s Kevin Jones found by examining the organization’s tax return.


In 2004, the Gill Foundation gave Dignity USA a grant of $10,000, following a $7,500 grant to Dignity in 2003.


THE E. RHODES AND LEONA B. CARPENTER FUND: In 2012 made grants to three organizations that, according to its tax return were Dignity USA, a recipient of $20,000; Fortunate Families, which received $25,000; and New Ways Ministry, given a grant of $30,000. 


We are concerned that the reception of such funds have strings attached, which are not based on Catholic Social Teaching. Furthermore, it is the RSM’s opinion that these funds have been funneled to these organizations in a manner that challenges a culture ethics. Just because our Bishops might engage in such unethical behavior as they have done throughout the sexual abuse of children scandal we should not engage in the same deceptive practices.


Our hope is not to curse the darkness, rather to light a candle.


Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement




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Chicago Gay Catholics Join US

The Rainbow Sash Movement will be sending a delegation to welcome our new Archbishop, Bishop Blase Cupich currently of Spokane, Washington. If you live in Chicago or the surrounding area and are interested in joining our delegation please contact us at Please indicate in the subject line of your email “RSVP for Holy Name Cathedral on November 18, 2014.” We will provide the Rainbow Sashes that will be worn.



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Chicago’s Catholic LGBT Community Challenges new Archbishop to Dialogue

For Immediate Release

The Rainbow Sash Movement Invites Chicago’s new Archbishop to meet the political and religious leadership both Ecumenical and Intrafaith of LGBT Community In Chicago

The Rainbow Sash Movement welcomes the appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington as the next Archbishop of Chicago. The relationship between the Chicago’s LGBT Community and the Chicago Archdiocese can best be described as hostile over the years.

We recognize we have differences. The question uppermost on our minds is should we allow those differences to stop us from acting as good neighbors? Is it so bad to talk to each other in a respectful way?

On November 17 we will send a delegation to Holy Name Cathedral for the installation of the new Archbishop, the choice is simple for the new Archbishop welcome us or do not.. Is it possible for us to find Common Ground?.

Those in attendance will wear Rainbow Sashes a sign of self identification that we are LGBT Catholics. In past years we have been denied the Holy Eucharist at Holy Name Cathedral, we believe because of either misunderstanding or personal bias.

We believe that self Identification should never be confused with either negative or positive behavior of either sex or celibacy; our purpose is not to promote either, it is rather to worship God. .

Most recently Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has supported the decision of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizing committee, on September 3, 2014  to include NBC’s LBGT employee’s group “Out at NBC” in the parade.

“He explained that he supports the decision to allow an LGBT group to march in the parade under its own banner for the first time this year because he has been told the group will not be advocating homosexual actions, but simply professing a gay identity, which does not violate Catholic teaching.” We agree with Cardinal Dolan. Is it possible for the Archdiocese of Chicago and Chicago’s LGBT Community to have a relationship that is respectful of our differences?

The answer will be found in whether the doors of Holy Name Cathedral are open or closed to our delegation. Bishop Cupich will you seek a new beginning with us, or will your return to the climate of hostility and anger ?.

RSM News Team

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Cardinal George replacement has been named

It looks like that Cardinal Francis George’s replacement has been made by Pope Francis according to  the Associated Press.  Unlike George his replacement Bishop Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington is known for being a centrist and a moderate.


The 65-year-old Cupich has been in Spokane since September 2010, following a dozen years as bishop of Rapid City, S.D. If he is indeed named to lead the Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, he will be an archbishop when he arrives, as was George when he came back to his hometown in 1997.


He is known for being outspoken on society’s need to care more for the poor but also had a leading role in the battle against same-sex marriage. The Associated Press and the National Catholic Reporter said the choice to succeed George is Blase Cupich, bishop of Spokane.


Unlike George,  Cupich is considered more pragmatic than focused on dogma. According to Michael Budde, chair of the Catholic Studies Department at DePaul University.

“He may well be one of those churchmen who is progressive around the liberal side of economic and social justice issues, but on other people’s scores he may look traditional or conservative,” said Budde.


In an August 2012 letter to parishioners in advance of Washington’s vote on a same-sex marriage law, Cupich wrote that while he was encouraging Catholics to vote against legalizing gay marriage, he acknowledged that those on both sides of the issue had deeply held views and should be treated respectfully.


“In stating our position,” Cupich wrote, “the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility towards homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity.”Certainly this is a different tone than George’s remarks that the Gay Movement is morphing into the KKK.


Cupich, said Budde, adopted a zero tolerance policy for priest abuse early on and was brought to Spokane in part to deal with the scandal there that eventually prompted the diocese to file for bankruptcy.


What does this mean for Chicago’s LGBT Community? Well it means that Pope Francis has sent us a Bishop who might be willing to listen. His pastoral credentials are more impressive than George’s when he arrived in Chicago. He also appears to be a Bishop who understand what being a pastor means something the George was clueless about.


On the issue of Gay Rights, to include Gay Marriage the tone will change but not the substance. Cardinal George’s raw homophobia will be replaced with a man who communicates that homophobia in a nicer way if that is possible.


He will promote the Church’s Teaching that LGBT people are morally disordered because of who they are and will oppose any softening the Church’s position on Gay Rights.


I would caution LGBT Catholics to take a wait and see attitude. Remember the proof is always in the pudding.


Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement



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Fortunate Families???

The present situation within the Church’s ministry to the homosexual person is in a shambles. I think all serious and reasonable people within the Church believe it is time for a much needed maturation on the issue.

Right now the only thing the Church offers LGBT Catholic’s is so called Ministries which either offer change therapy, something that is actively promoted by Courage. Or the promiscuous living out of one’s sexuality which appears to be the alternative to celibacy.

Than we have Catholic groups who proclaim their love of LGBT people such as Fortunate Families, but refuse to allow Gay Parents to serve on their board. Their rational for this surprising position is they lack resources to incorporate LGBT families. But their board has no problem meeting in Catholic facilities where they proclaim the homophobic Teaching of the Church, and then meet in other facilities and proclaim just the opposite.

The Rainbow Sash Movement is not so sure this speaking out of both sides of your mouth is helpful in creating a worthwhile and authentic ministry to LGBT People. The message gets confusing causing only pain for LGBT Catholics and confusion when they hear that Catholic Church welcomes gays to it. I do not doubt Fortunate Families good intentions, but one only has to view the level of Catholic LGBT Catholics being fired from their posts in Catholic educational and charitable organizations within the Church to understand how dangerous such a message is.

We believe any ministry that claims to promote Catholic values must understand that in the present day Church those values are easily set aside in the name of discrimination.

Bill O’Connor
Rainbow Sash Movement

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