Some people are confused about this! Here’s what’s going on.
Cardinal Francis Arinze is a beloved prince of the Church, respected very highly around the world. He’s well-known to be an intelligent, articulate, even humorous defender of orthodoxy.
Which is why people were a bit surprised to see him wearing this mitre at Mass recently:
This is a screenshot from a video of Mass that he celebrated at the EWTN headquarters in Alabama yesterday (you can see the full video at the end of this article).
If you’re not seeing what’s confusing people, it’s the fact his mitre (bishop’s hat) has a rainbow on it. And we all know the rainbow has become a widely used and recognized symbol of the LGBT movement around the world.
It’s an unfortunate reality that clergy will sometimes wear vestments with political symbols like the LGBT rainbow to support certain causes, even if they are contrary to Church teaching. Is that what Cardinal Arinze is doing here?
Here’s the Truth
No, Cardinal Arinze has not abandoned orthodoxy on sexuality and embraced the LGBT movement. There’s actually a very reasonable explanation for his mitre.
In response to questions about the mitre in the video’s comments, the EWTN YouTube account wrote: “Cardinal Arinze is a very orthodox cardinal. It only represents the African culture since he is originally from Nigeria. Africans often wear beautiful and colorful things, which is part of their joyful culture.”
Indeed, in this article from 2009, you can see him wearing the very same mitre.
In other words, the mitre has been a long-standing part of his collection of vestments and does not at all represent an endorsement of the LGBT movement.
Further, readers should note that the rainbow has only recently been taken up as a symbol of sexual deviancy; in fact, it was first a symbol of God’s promise to Noah in the book of Genesis going back thousands of years.
So maybe the Church needs to reclaim the rainbow as a holy symbol?