Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director, 617-669-7810
Jeff Stone, Director of Media Relations, 212-662-9818
October 6, 2010--Equally Blessed stands with Minnesota Catholics who are taking their support for equality into Mass by wearing a rainbow ribbon or pin. About two dozen people who wore these symbols to a Mass recently celebrated by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt were denied Communion by the Archbishop.
“These Catholics took a courageous step to demonstrate their support for gay and lesbian people in their state, who are feeling disheartened by the recent actions of the bishops,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, a spokesperson for Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholics working for justice and full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics in the church and society. “The rainbows they wore speak of God’s covenant with all people, and sent a message of hope to gay Catholics and family members at that Mass. The Archbishop refused them Communion based on his own interpretation of Church teaching. He acted in a way that is totally opposed to Jesus’ message of welcome to all.”
The bishops of Minnesota recently mailed 400,000 DVDs about the Church’s teaching on marriage to Catholics across the state. The message in the DVDs urges recipients to vote for candidates articulating views opposed to marriage equality.
“Catholics in the pews are increasingly becoming more vocal in their support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and issues,” said Francis DeBernardo, another spokesperson for Equally Blessed. “Instead of imposing punitive measures, bishops should be responding by listening to the lived faith of the people of God.”
Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 112 years working on behalf of LGBT people and their families: Call to Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.