‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands, March 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Hundreds of homosexual activists flocked to Mass at St. John’s Cathedral in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) on Sunday to challenge the bishop for his support of a priest in Reusel who denied Communion to an openly practicing homosexual.
The protesters joined the Mass wearing pink triangles, and some came dressed in pink wigs and gowns. Most of the throng walked out, shouting and singing, during the homily, which was given by Fr. Geertjan van Rossem.
“Homosexuals are welcome in the church. But we ask practising homosexuals not to take part in communion out of respect for the sacrament,” he said, according to DutchNews.nl.
Anticipating the protest, the diocese announced that Communion would not be distributed. In his homily, Fr. van Rossem explained that he was “compelled by conscience” to not offer Communion because it would be a “grave sacrilege” that the Holy Eucharist would become an object of protest and demonstration. Instead, he urged the congregation to make a spiritual communion.
The protest was organized by local politicians and various homosexualist organizations in the country after a smaller protest had been carried off at Sunday Mass in Reusel the week before. They were protesting the decision of the pastor, Fr. Luc Buyens, to withhold Communion from Gijs Vermeulen, who had flaunted his homosexuality leading up to his participation in the town’s annual pre-Lenten carnival as its prince.
The homosexualists directed their protest at the Cathedral because the Bishop of Den Bosch, Antoon Hurkmans, had supported Fr. Buyens, and had advised him not to distribute Communion to anyone at Sunday’s Mass just over a week ago.
The activists are vowing to continue attending Masses in protest.
Kees van der Staaij, a member of the country’s Reformed Political Party (known as SGP), called the protests “criminal acts” and has asked the Public Prosecutors’ Office to carry out a law that forbids disturbing a church service.