In announcing its intention to establish a Sydney wing, the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) has issued a renewed warning to Sydney’s lesbian and gay community not to become complacent over the activities of Archbishop George Pell.

The RSM has also announ-ced its intention to encourage new Sydney members to seek Communion at St Mary’s Cathedral as part of its annual demonstration on Pentecost Sunday (19 May).

The rights group has already gained notoriety in Melbourne for routinely being refused Communion while wearing the rainbow sash in church. Archbishop Pell also turned members of the group away during his Melbourne services.

RSM vice-president Michael Kelly said Sydney’s gay and lesbian community should not be fooled by Archbishop Pell’s perceived soft approach to gay issues since his appointment as Sydney’s Catholic archbishop in May of last year.

He’s not going out and denouncing the Mardi Gras like Fred Nile, but very shrewdly he’s getting on with the quiet business of remaking the Church. This man is very energetic and very tireless in achieving what he wants to achieve. That’s exactly why he’s been appointed, Kelly told the Star .

Members of the RSM will hold a meeting this Sunday with a view to establishing Sydney’s first local wing of the organisation.

Now that Sydney is faced with [Archbishop] George Pell, the whole approach of Sydneysiders has to change. We have to understand that under Pell the Church will more aggressively seek ways of influencing political and ethical debates in NSW, Kelly said.

The RSM’s first Sydney meeting is open to anyone interested in knowing more about the movement and takes place at the ACON building on Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, at 2:30pm this Sunday 17 March.

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