The Following Statement Was Released Today by Joe Murray the US Convener of the Rainbow Sash Movement in Response to Cardinal Francis George's Recent Action

February 11, 2006

CHICAGO, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rainbow Sash Movement, a National Catholic Gay/Lesbian Organization, is responding to the announcement that Holy Name Cathedral and the Sacred Liturgy will be used as a back drop to support Cardinal Francis George of Chicago tomorrow, Sunday, February 12, 2006. The Cathedral Church is our place of unity, the Cardinal, by allowing the use of the Cathedral Church as a sign of support of him and against victims of clergy sexual abuse, is striking at the heart of our unity as a Church in the Archdiocese of Chicago. We call on the Cardinal to rethink this position.

Cardinal Francis George told reporters that, "If I had known then what I know now, we would have found some way to take him out." This statement is well meaning but deeply flawed, a moral baby step. It may comfort the Cardinal to say such things to the media; however, such statements only imply a gooey guise of being pastoral to the victims of clergy sexual abuse, in other words a bandage not a solution.

These are Cardinal Francis George's words as reported in the Washington Times on April 22, 2005 in the article "Prelates push to defrock priests; 'Notorious,' 'serial' abusers targeted; cardinals admit 'shame.'" "If one held a vote now, I am sure that the majority of cardinals would support zero tolerance," he said. "Personally, I am in favor of rehabilitation, perhaps allowing a ministry far away from children. The important thing is to protect children." It is our hope the Cardinal will now support zero tolerance.

We understand these must be difficult times for the Cardinal, but this is not about the Cardinal, rather it is about victims of clergy sexual abuse, Christ, and his Church. We call on the Cardinal to use the Cathedral Church of Holy Name, and the Sacred Liturgy as point of unity and not disunity of the Church. We understand how difficult these times must be for him and his priests. We support the Cardinal and our priests, but we also support the victims of clergy sexual abuse. We will not pit one against the other.

The Archdiocese has a wealth of talent available to it in its lay population. We ask the Cardinal to welcome and use those lay people, their talents and time to bring about reform in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Now is time for us to come together as a family, to talk about reform in an open and honest way.

To find out more about the Rainbow Sash Movement please visit our web site at


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