“Fr. Maikel Prasing, a parish priest in the southern region of Brabant in the Netherlands, has called on churchgoers to sign a petition in favor of a rainbow-colored pedestrian crossing in front of the Catholic basilica of Oudenbosch of which he is the rector.
He made the appeal during Sunday Mass, the so-called ‘Carnival-mass’ celebrated in some parishes in Noord-Brabant and Zuid-Limburg, the historically Catholic provinces of the Netherlands on the Sunday before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
Fr. Prasing explained during his homily that it is important for everyone to feel ‘welcome,’ whether they are homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. He hopes for the pedestrian crossing to be placed right in front of the St. Agnes and Barbara Basilica, an imposing building erected in the 19th century as a (downsized) mingled replica of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran – the Pope’s cathedral – and St. Peter’s in Rome.
The rainbow zebra-crossing – or ‘gaybra’ crossing as they are familiarly called in Dutch – would lead to the Jesuit’s Square across the road and would be a ‘dream entry to the Basilica,’ said Prasing. ‘It would show everybody is welcome and belongs.’
Prasing had been toying with the idea of an LGBT inclusive crossing for some time. ‘I thought this would be the right moment to bring up the suggestion. The Carnival-mass attracts a wide public and besides, it fits in seamlessly with the Mass’ theme: showing off your own best side,’ he said.”