Newark Archbishop Tells Pro-Gay Catholics They Should Refrain from Taking Communion, Urges Voters to Defend Marriage

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is releasing a "sweeping pastoral statement" against same-sex marriage and abortion today, North Jersey reports, and it includes some instructions to Catholics who disagree with church teachings and advice on how to cast their vote in the November election:

Myers…he said they should examine the “full spectrum” of each candidate, including how they stand on abortion and “a proper backing of marriage.”

He also said in the statement, a copy of which was provided to The Record before its release, that Catholics who disagree with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on marriage should “refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” He said he issued the statement because of what he described as a lack of clarity on the subject by other bishops.

Myers' statement compares same-sex marriage to incest:

“Even those who propose radically altering the definition of marriage would not advocate allowing two brothers or sisters or an uncle and his nephew to marry (say, for the tax benefits, or for hospital visiting privileges),” he wrote.

Myers says the timing of the letter has nothing to do with the election:

Myers said he intended to release the statement in March but it was delayed as he recovered from surgery for a detached retina.

He said he doesn’t believe polls that show a majority of Catholics support same-sex marriage. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 53 percent of American Catholics favor same-sex marriage, and the number rises to 72 percent among those between the ages of 18 and 34. But Myers acknowledged that a large number of Catholics seem to be at odds with church teaching, and that he wanted to reach out to them with his statement.

“No one has said things clearly to them for years,” he said.


  1. mikenola says

    once again an ostensibly celibate man in a dress is telling people how to run their marriages and sex lives. That is a concept I never understood, marriage (or sexual) advice from a self defined celibate. That’s like taking advice on being vegan from a lion.

    I do however agree, to a point, with his statement that people who disagree with his church should not take communion.

    I take it further, they should find another church, one that does not hate gays.

  2. Craig says

    Yeah, I agree. They shouldn’t take communion. Just as a way to show how many support us. They’re gonna have a lot of wafers left over – maybe they could use them to feed the poor, something they used to do before they started concentrating on denying hating gay people.

  3. says

    The rules to deny someone communion are quite specific, it was not a directive from the church but a request from a misguided archbishop. He won’t be but he should be recalled for breaking faith with the catechism

  4. Mike says

    To add to what MIKENOLA said, the second these churches start telling their sheep how to vote is the second they should lose their tax exempt status. Our forefathers came to this country, in part, to get out from under the thumb of the Church of England, not to get under the forefinger of the Vatican.

    These morons need to be paying *far* more attention to their pedo priests (and bringing them to justice) than they do to what is going on in my bedroom.

    Also, I don’t buy this bullpucky about gay marriage being between direct family members for “hospital visitation” (or other such nonsense) — for starters, they’re direct family, so they are already allowed to visit their family members in the hospital…

  5. Jack M says

    Perhaps the Archbishop needs a refresher course in basic Christian beliefs. In my Catholic parish, gay people are welcomed and accepted. Things will change, whether the Church likes it or not.

  6. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “They shouldn’t take communion. Just as a way to show how many support us”

    That is a great idea, Craig. They should get in the communion line and when the priest goes to give them the wafer, they should wave him off, saying, “None for me, thanks”.

  7. Dc says

    If I could find such an organization, I would actively commit my time to revoking the tax-exempt status of all non-profit and charitable organizations nationally. Taxing the enormous real estate holdings of the church at the current market rate would effectively end the national debt. BTW, I have an advanced degree in non-profit management.

    Does anyone know of such an organization?

  8. My2cents says

    Bishop, the internet is forever, and the many transgressions, grievous sins of the Roman Catholic Church have been and will continue to be itemized, analyzed and described in detail–forever! The church as you know it is finished and will not survive the 21st century. In the meantime, do tell us what you think. Americans just love being told by disgraced authorities how to behave- always good for a laugh.

  9. Wynn Wagner says

    You should use the term ROMAN Catholic when doing articles about these unchristian hate-mongers. There are independent Catholic Churches, some older than the Roman papal variety.

    The non-Roman denominations (e.g., Old Catholic Church, Liberal Catholic Church, etc.) are **not** anti-gay or anti-women.

  10. anon says

    He didn’t go as far as saying stopping donating money to the church, which is like reverse excommunication. No, he wouldn’t say that. The press should ask him about that.

  11. Diogenes Arktos says

    “[A] large number of Catholics seem to be at odds with church teaching, and that he wanted to reach out to them with his statement.”

    I’m sorry, but “f*ck you” does not qualify as reaching out to people who are at odds with church teaching.

  12. john patrick says

    “‘No one has said things clearly to them for years,’ he said.”

    Not so. Roman Catholic bishops have been opposing every single law that would protect the civil rights of LGBT people for at least the last 38 years. They have made it perfect clear, from popes on down, that despite their claims of love, they think LGBT people do not deserve any legal protections.

    Now this archbishop says that those catholics who do not accept the teachings of him and his fellow bishops should not take communion. He says that his teachings are the teachings of the church. Yet he and his fellow bishops are a tiny fraction of the total number of catholics in the world. They are as much the church as he and his cohorts are.

    And though he may choose not to believe the polls that say he is becoming more and more in the minority as his fellow catholics come to realize the rightness of marriage equality, he is indeed in the minority. He and his cohorts are losing control. They can no longer coerce the intelligent, educated catholics in their dioceses into braying and following like sheep whenever they issue bigoted, ignorant statements.

  13. Rob says

    You know there’s a reason these hypocrites insist on being called father and on caling the congregation a flock (as in simple minded sheep in need of leadership). I bet they long for the god ole days of the inqisition when they could actually terrify people with what they said. Now they are just racing down the road to irrelevancy

  14. Rob says

    You know there’s a reason these hypocrites insist on being called father and on caling the congregation a flock (as in simple minded sheep in need of leadership). I bet they long for the god ole days of the inqisition when they could actually terrify people with what they said. Now they are just racing down the road to irrelevancy

  15. Oz in OK says

    Ah, so the pogrom against our Christian allies begins in earnest… I would expect to see more announcements like this targeting progressive/supportive Catholics in the weeks to come before the election.

  16. Tom in long beach says

    While I am a member of a Gay friendly Christian Church, I strongly feel people should always think for themselves. I was raised Roman Catholic and used to have a sort of fondness for them. Their involvement in Prop 8 ended that. I really feel they really stuck their nose where it did not belong in a secular society that believes all people are created equal. To teach your flock is one thing, but to try and take people’s rights away by helping run a nasty lying campaign is another. Another huge issue is that they are not only anti choice, but anti birth control. My mother felt guilty for using birth control after already having three children. Their teachings cause needless suffering in poor and developing nations. All those told not to take communion should really $top $upporting the ignorance.

  17. Caliban says

    Wow. What an utter piece of sh*t. “Either hate gay people or you can’t partake in the sacraments of our religion.”

    Does he think this will change anyone’s mind? I seriously doubt it. Catholics have had 3 decades of shocking evidence about what the church hierarchy has been up to, how far they put maintaining their wealth and reputation above their parishioners. They’ve seen what’s behind the curtain and this mumbo-jumbo doesn’t work anymore for most of them.

  18. says

    Again no mention of the teachings of Christ, but FOLLOW ORDERS of the Roman Catholic Church.

    There is nothing Christ like about the modern catholic church at all. Jesus wouldn’t recognize what has become of his teachings.

  19. says

    why does he not just come out and say what is in the Canon Law ?

    If you persist, unrepentant, in your defying of Church teaching, by being and practicing being gay, you are automatically excommunicated.
    That is excluded from communion and the sacraments.
    So any of you gays out there who want to continue to feel that the church wants you or loves you or that you can change things from the inside, I have news for you :
    You are all excommunicated.
    If you persist in taking communion in defiance of the church you are compounding your mortal sins.

    Of course in real life these Bishops are moral cowards, frightened of losing tenure, frightened of their positions within the hierarchy and altogether Pathetic.

  20. Stefan says

    You can’t degrade women, discourage birth control, discourage more robust education, and then bemoan abortions. You can’t deny marriage equality and then judge the LGBT community for promiscuity and an “anti-family” lifestyle. At some point the Church is going to have to recognize that people face non-idealized, non-abstract situations in this world that Church teachings are not designed to handle. The sad truth is that if those teachings better reflected the actual Gospel then Archbishop Myers and his ilk would have very little power.

  21. Jonathan says

    I don’t the Catholic Church understands how to read polls,especially the ones that say that more then half of all parishoners are in favour of same sex marriage..They need to get a clue

  22. Diogenes Arktos says

    “He said he issued the statement because of what he described as a lack of clarity on the subject by other bishops.”

    I’m sure Pope Benny and the Archbishop of Washington are delighted by Myers’ critique of their statements.

    @Chris Gable: As a fellow member of TEC, you’re overstating that we will marry gays. What we have is a Blessing of Same-Sex Unions which, if I remember correctly, requires the approval of the diocesan Bishop to be used. This makes it not available nationwide:(

  23. AJ says

    Not all Catholics are Roman Catholics, you know. And not all Catholic churches teach homophobia or misogyny. Mine doesn’t – I’m Catholic, pro-choice, pro-mariage equality, pro-married and female clergy…and so’s my Catholic church. 😀

  24. Mickey McNulta says

    Myers was RC Bishop of Peoria, IL, the diocese where I live before going to Newark. The great majority of Roman Catholics in that diocese could not wait to have him leave. His belligerence, condescension, arrogance, lack of humility, authoritarianism, playing favorites, disrespect for his saintly and kind predecessor, his mania for money, and his devious manner of forcing his will on the diocese made him despised. Also, after his departure, the mess caused by pedophile / sexual molester clergy continued b/c Ryan & crew had been ineffective in identifying, punishing, reporting, and removing from Holy Orders the offenders he knew about. Having said all that, it remains the case, any and all claims to the contrary notwithstanding, that the Roman Catholic sect firmly and canonically condemns any homosexual behavior AND ORIENTATION as being “intrinsically disordered” per its official Catechism. Anyone who persists in homosexual acts without considering them sinful and repenting and ceasing, is IPSO FACTO ex-communicated, automatically, sans any official declaration of any church ordained person or judiciary, and if such person continues to receive Holy Communion, or in Holy Penance does not confess such acts as sin, that person is considered to be compounding his / her sin, and receives Holy Communion to his / her damnation, not salvation, and any Penance absolution received is utterly null and void, and the person remains in a state of mortal sin.

  25. merridee says

    No priests or clergy have the right to demand our obedience to them for the sake of their dogma and doctrines. That they still seek to evade any responsibility for the conduct of their own criminal clergy and silence their child, youth, teen and young adult victims means they’ve abrogated any spiritual authority over us. I have refused to recognize the authority of the Catholic church for 46 years now. They serve power, not their God. Anyone who would say my late brother wasn’t good enough to be loved and to marry because he was gay is messed up big time. It was evident to me and my four younger sisters my brother was gay by the time he was 18 months old.

  26. Buckie says

    He’s just playing to his hispanic, illegal alien, Catholic base in the area.

    Really, if this surprised or upsets people, they’re delusional. Catholicism has always been a scourge, the Pope, an oppressor, and the true believers, sheep deserving whatever they get by being such cowardly and docile followers of an essentially corrupt and sleazy religion.

    But go ahead and support a religion that’s all about paying the church to forgive your “sins”, that shelters child molesters, and constantly subjugates the poor by telling them birth control is a “sin”.

    The only good Catholic is a former Catholic that’s become an atheist.

  27. DannyEastVillage says

    so basically, it comes down to, “if you don’t shun your gay loved ones you can’t be in fellowship with Christ who loved all.”

    I don’t see the logic myself, but no matter: this kind of s**t has been backfiring on these ignorant, self-seeking hypocrites for years now. Not that this clown cares: he has his eye on a Red Hat–and that’s all he cares about: let all of your children (and himself) be damned as long as he gets it.

    I say you’re welcome to all the “honors” your sick institution can confer on you. And the devil take you all.

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