Two weeks after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex “marriage,” a Catholic priest withheld communion from Tim Ardillo, a gay man, during his mother’s funeral in southern Louisiana. Communion was denied Ardillo not, as insinuated by the media, because he was gay, but because he had "married outside of the church," having married another man in violation of Catholic teaching.
In the brouhaha that followed, Ardillo received apologies from the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Archbishop of New Orleans. Although the content of the apologies was not disclosed, a diocesan spokesperson, channeling Pope Francis, opined, “We don’t deny people communion. . . . Who are we to judge whether they believe (the church’s teachings on the communion) or not?” (Emphasis added.)
The executive coordinator of the Canon Law Society of America also weighed in, suggesting that the only valid reasons to withhold communion are “if the person is known to be of a different faith or has been excommunicated or formally left the church.”
Well, given that the catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion,” another valid reason is if it is known by the pastor that a person is in a state of unrepented sin—like a homosexual who comes to church with his same-sex partner. A priest who administers the sacrament under those circumstances would be derelict in his duty as a shepherd of the flock.
Nevertheless, the story of a gay man denied communion at his mother’s funeral has, as I put it in “How Should Churches Receive Same-Sex Couples?,” “an emotional tug sure to convince many Christians wondering ‘What Would Jesus Do’ that anything less than full, unconditional acceptance of non-celibate homosexuals into the church is un-Christlike.”
More to come
As the push for full inclusion of gays expands, church leaders will have to wrestle with being socially acceptable through cultural accommodation or risking social censure and financial ruin by remaining biblically faithful.
And the push will expand. For what has become plain in recent years is that the endgame of the gay movement is not, nor ever has been, marriage—but rather, as gay legal expert Arthur S. Leonard disclosed, the “societal acceptance and support for the reality of lesbian and gay family structures as something to be valued and reinforced, in the same way that society values and reinforces heterosexually-based family structures.”
And make no mistake; the refusal to actively support such structures will result in chastisement. The last several years have witnessed entities, ranging from military chaplains and company CEOs to wedding service providers and faith-based organizations, disciplined with the rods of legal fines, civil suits, loss of employment, bankruptcy, and public opprobrium.
Now that gay “marriage” enjoys the imprimatur of the state and homosexuality enjoys high regard in popular opinion (a University of Chicago study found that a minority of Americans feel that same-sex relations are “always wrong”), the only thing standing athwart the homosexualist agenda is the church, which is finding itself increasingly in the crosshairs of controversy. One of the latest involves... Continue reading here.