Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis decided this year to change his policy toward the sash-wearers, one that has been more lenient the past four years.
In a letter to Brian McNeill, organizer of the Rainbow Sash Alliance USA, the archbishop explained that he allowed the sashes in the past “because you assured me that the wearing of the sash was not a denial of Church teaching,” reported the National Catholic Register.
“It has become apparent to me that the wearing of the sash is more and more perceived as a protest against Church teaching,” he said.
The group is an affiliate of the international Rainbow Sash Movement, begun in Australia in 1998, that uses colored sashes as a way of protesting the Church’s stance on gays.
“The Church’s criterion is the same for reception of the Eucharist worldwide,” said archdiocesan spokesman Dennis McGrath. “You have to be a Catholic in a state of grace. Either you accept Church teaching or you don’t.”