Rainbow banner © Agnieszka Lobodzinska (shutterstock)
Literally, the Pallottines have been showing their colors since Friday at their headquarters in Friedberg near Augsburg, according to their own information. The rainbow flag now flies there, as the order-like Catholic community announced.
Rector Christoph Lentz says the hoisting is a reaction to the recent decision by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that homosexual partnerships cannot be blessed by the Catholic Church. What had to be read from Rome was "unspeakable, intolerable and incomprehensible for people," said Father Lentz.
Printed on the flag is a saying from the first book of the Bible, as it read, "You shall be a blessing." Lentz declared, "We are there to bless, no matter how and no matter whom."People who ask for blessings should receive them," said Lentz, who is also rector of the Pastoral Theological Institute, a Pallottine training school for religious.
"We want an open church"
His community always emphasizes that God is love and that whoever remains in love remains in God and he in him. Lentz continued, "We want an open church in which everyone feels at home."
By their own account, the Pallottines have sent about 2.500 members in 300 communities worldwide; they are named after the Italian priest Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850). Friedberg is home to the Provincialate of the Sacred Heart Province of the Pallottines, which includes Germany and Austria.