Presented by Jasculca Terman

Springfield bishop: 'Blasphemous' same-sex advocates wearing rainbow sashes won't be allowed at Mass

SPRINGFIELD-The head of Springfield's Roman Catholic diocese moved Tuesday to scuttle a silent protest by same-sex marriage advocates planned at the capital city's largest Catholic church, calling their plans to pray the rosary for marriage equality "blasphemous." Advocates for the Senate Bill 10 plan to attend a 5:15 p.m. Tuesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as part of what organizers describe as a "loud Catholic Presence for marriage equality" that will wrap up a daylong rally in support of the stalled legislation. But Bishop Thomas Paprocki, head of the Springfield Catholic diocese, said anyone wearing rainbow sashes won't be permitted inside the church. "It is blasphemy to show disrespect or irreverence to God or to something holy," Paprocki said in a statement released late Tuesday morning. "Since Jesus clearly taught that marriage as created by God is a sacred institution between a man and a woman (see Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9), praying for same-sex marriage should be seen as blasphemous and as such will not be permitted in the cathedral. People wearing a rainbow sash or who otherwise identify themselves as affiliated with the Rainbow Sash Movement will not be admitted into the cathedral and anyone who gets up to pray for same-sex marriage in the cathedral will be asked to leave," Paprocki said. "Of course, our cathedral and parish churches are always open to everyone who wishes to repent their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness," he said.