Friday, February 07, 2014

Lesbian denied Communion

I'm not sure how I got on the mailing list of "Faithful America" but today I got an e-mail from them asking me to sign a petition, to a Catholic Bishop of all people, complaining about a lesbian being denied communion as follows:

"Carol Parker and her mother were long-time congregants at St. Columban Catholic Church, so when her mother died, it was only natural that her funeral would be held there. Carol never guessed that she’d be denied communion at her mother’s funeral Mass simply because she's a lesbian." 

Are you insane? Carol's not much of a Catholic if she hasn't figured that out. In order to receive communion you must receive absolution during the sacrament of Penance or Confession.

A key part of Penance is the Act of Contrition in which the promise is made to "amend my life." The Catholic Church considers homosexual acts (but not homosexual orientation) a mortal sin so unless Carol promised to cease lesbian acts, and it doesn't sound like she made any such promise, the priest cannot, according to canon law, grant absolution. If she wasn't granted absolution, she can't receive communion.

I support gay rights and gay marriage but this is wrong. The Catholic Church, along with any other religion, is entitled to set its own rules. This is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. This is the sort of thing that gives fuel to the Religious Right's claim that gay rights and religious freedom are incompatible.

If you don't like the Catholic Church's rules, don't be a Catholic.

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