An Indiana man who attended a gay pride event has been refused permission by a Catholic church to sing at his grandmother’s funeral.
Connor Hakes, above, received a letter from Father Bob J Lengerich of St Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Indiana, saying that
Hakes’ attendance at a gay rally a few years before could bring “scandal” to the church.
Hakes shared the letter he received from Lengerich, above, on his Facebook page.
It said, in part:
I am sorry for the circumstances but I cannot allow you to serve at St Mary’s parish during Mass or any other official liturgy, including your grandmother’s funeral, until our present situation is resolved.
Your grandmother was such a beloved figure in our community … her funeral will not be a private, family service, but rather a celebration of her life and faith for our entire community, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
I have the responsibility to address issues that could scandalise our congregation and neighbours.
The letter added that people who support “abortion rights and are openly participating in unchaste same-sex relationships” cannot perform in a position within the church.
Anytime someone sins and then acts in the name of God, it causes scandal. The Catholic Church upholds the dignity of those with same-sex attraction. At the same time, it does not permit same-sex relationships or openly advocating for them because it causes scandal.
To add insult to injury, the priest also seemed to “grant permission” for Connor to honour his grandmother:
As long as it is outside of the Mass and outside of the Church.
After posting the letter online, Connor added his grandparents would be “disgusted by their parish” and that they “loved everyone” regardless of sexual orientation.
Hundreds of people have commented on the post since it went up last week.
Although the majority have offered support to Connor, some have defended the priest’s decision.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn