Pell, Archbishop of Melbourne
||Refused Holy Sacraments
by the Archbishop of Melbourne
Criticisms Erupt in Media
of Clergyman’s “Un-Christian Denial”
Holy sacraments on Pentacost
Sunday were refused by George Pell, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne,
to 50 worshippers wearing rainbow sashes the Archbishop took to mean that
they were homosexually-inclined.
The 50 activists, over whom
a storm now brews in the Australian press, are seen by many Catholics as
attempting to advance their cause in an improper locale.
The activists argue, however,
that the locale, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, is particularly proper and that
gay identity and not just gay sexual contact had been shown to be the Archbishop’s
true bone of contention.
Catholic apologists often
say that homosexuals as individuals are welcomed into the church and that
it is only homoSEXual sex that invalidates a Catholic’s standing.
In this case, it seems clear to the activists, homosexual identity has
been the real factor, since no sexual contact was in any way involved.
Opinion columns in a variety
of newspapers are reflecting widespread disagreements. “What a pity
that Archbishop Pell did not apply these same high moral standards to several
of his own priests in the past,” says one writer.
Another writer sees a double
standard at work in Archbishop Pell’s sacramental denials. “On the
one hand he urges understanding, compassion and assistance for young people
affected by the drug problem….on the other hand he shows no such compassion
for young gay and lesbian Catholics. It is clear to everyone who
works with young people that the trigger for a large proportion of suicides
is being gay.”
David McKenna wrote to The
Age in Melbourne “Doubtless also the problem is accentuated among
young Catholics by the attitude of the official church as represented by
Other writers expressed confusion.
One wondered why it was possible to offer condemned murderers the “holy
sacraments” prior to their stepping on the scaffold while denying such
an afterlife-saving mechanism to Roman Catholic homosexuals at the alter.
|McKenna says that he’d never
personally heard Dr. Pell address the dilemma of gay and lesbian youth,
in terms of compassion or make any attempt to understand their needs.
“Instead,” he writes, “we
have the harsh and unyielding condemnation that echoed through St. Patrick’s
Cathedral on Sunday morning and which, sadly, was applauded by a large
number of the Christians present.”
coat of arms for
Archbishop of Melbourne