As reported in one local newspaper:
BARNESVILLE, Minn. – If you want to be a Catholic, you have to be 100 percent Catholic.
That’s the lesson one family here learned after their 17-year-old son was denied confirmation after the priest at the Assumption Church here found a pro same-sex marriage post on the teen’s Facebook.
The decision by the Rev. Gary LaMoine to deny the religious rite of passage for Lennon Cihak in mid-October shocked his mother, who said her son has gone to church every week and volunteered around the community in preparation for his confirmation this year.
“You kind of know the Catholic beliefs, but I never thought they would deny somebody confirmation because you weren’t 100 percent. I guess that’s what shocks me,” Shana Cihak said.
The Facebook post in question was a photo of Lennon in front of an altered political sign. Originally reading “Vote Yes” on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, which would have changed the state’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, Lennon scribbled out the “yes” and replaced it with “NO!”
Shana, who said she was confirmed at the same church, was called into a private conversation with the priest soon after the photo was discovered and was told her son wouldn’t be allowed to complete confirmation.
The story went national as a front page article on one of the most widely read progressive political blogs, DailyKos:
The Catholic Church will change its teachings on doctrine that is clearly wrong, or it will wither away.
The Church cannot attract priests, nor can it attract new sisters to the orders. We visited a dear teacher in her late 70’s recently. Of the 50 sisters in the order, not a single one was younger than mid-fifties. The Church is having the same problem, it cannot attract young priests anymore.
Same for the refusal to accept all people, even LGBT. Although an agnostic myself, I find it impossible to believe that God, whatever form he or she takes, would not consider all of us his or her children. Jesus spoke of love and acceptance, he did not teach hatred and rejection. You are a fine young man, and you have the respect of millions right now for you willingness to stand up for what is good, moral, and right, especially in the face of such blind doctrinal ignorance and hatred.
Furthermore, it is time for the Church to admit that the whole priestly celibacy doctrine was something foisted on it by the fourth century by a Church hierarchy who had realized the second coming was not happening immediately, and who were more interested in cementing their worldly wealth and power than in implementing the clear doctrines Jesus taught that men and women were equal in the coming Kingdom he promised.
Consider going to the Facebook page set up to support this young man, and show him some love and support. Which he should be getting from his church, of course, but at the moment is not.