MN. Church Denies Entire Family Communion Over Son’s Gay Marriage Support


The Assumption Church, a Catholic congregation in Barnesville, Minnesota, does not mess around when it comes to fighting followers who support marriage equality.

The church’s priest, Rev. Gary LaMoine, told the family of 17-year old Lennon Cihak that he cannot participate in his scheduled confirmation because Cihak shared his opposition to the recently defeated amendment that would define marriage as one man and one woman.

Not only that, LaMoine is now denying Communion to the entire family, including Cihak’s parents, who have attended the church for decades.

From The Forum Of Fargo-Moorhead:

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… Lennon scribbled out the “yes” and replaced it with “NO”

Lennon said fellow students in his confirmation class “liked” the photo on Facebook, but they were still allowed to be confirmed.

“I just thought it was wrong to single him out,” [mother] Shana said.

Her husband, Doug Cihak, agreed.

“(LaMoine) was talking about ‘God doesn’t believe in this.’ Well, God created Lennon,” said Doug, adding that he was baptized and raised in the same church.

But now the family is not allowed to participate in Communion there, Doug said, and he’s worried as to how far the sanctions will go, expressing concern about being able to be buried alongside his parents.

Mrs. Cihak says she’ll never return to the church, but Mr. Cihak is more forgiving, calling LaMoine a “messenger of the church.” And even more forgiving, young Lennon told the The Forum he doesn’t want this story to besmirch the entire church, “I don’t want the Catholic
religion to be put down. It’s just the way the priest has
things running. He’s so strict. He won’t loosen up about things.”


  1. says

    if they still choose a religious/Christian outlet in life, they should check out a metropolitan or united church.

    they’ll welcome ’em in with open arms, open minds, and open hearts.

    kinda like that Christ fella, that that old book talked about.

  2. Bob says

    Dear Lennon and his Dad–
    It’s the present pope, not just one priest.
    Dear Lennon’s Dad–
    You ought to be picketing and enrolling others. Your family has been at that church longer than the present priest has.
    Dear Fools reading this who still attend your catholic churches in silence–
    You are whores

  3. Ryan says

    The priest is way overstepping his authority. Members of the church are allowed to disagree with most church doctrine and still receive communion.

    All that said, it’s kind of amazing how much the Catholic Church wants to make itself irrelevant in today’s world. It’s as if they want to have so few members that they cease to exist.

  4. Caliban says

    The Church is just begging for a backlash over the extent they’re not just trying to control their parishioners’ religious beliefs but their politics. Catholics lost a LOT of trust in the Church hierarchy over the way they handled the pedophile priests scandals and this isn’t going to win them back. Once again they’re saying “Do what we TELL you to do!” when they have plenty of glaring examples of why trusting the church doesn’t work out so well.

  5. Rita says

    It is good to hear some priests take the teaching of Christ’s Church seriously. I am tired of those who claim to be “catholic” but refuse to follow Her teaching. The good news..there are plenty of organizations who will welcome the entire family.

  6. Icebloo says

    This is getting out of hand.

    We need to push for a new law to tax these religions who are getting involved in politics. They pay NO taxes on their fortunes while the rest of the country is struggling to pay bills.

    If you drive around any US state you will notice the only new, expensive buildings being built are banks and churches !

    Because Americans are so weak and terrified of calling out churches on their bad behavior their extremism is getting out of control.

    It’s time to STOP giving money and support to religions and it’s time to lobby your elected officials for a new law to tax religions. It’s time they paid their share of taxes & contributed to society.

  7. e.c. says

    Ok, the kid is 17 which means he didn’t even get to vote against the amendment but he’s being denied his confirmation for simply expressing support? Wow, talk about the thought police. And punishing the whole family for it!?!? I’m not a Catholic so can anyone explain how he can even do that?

  8. Bingo says

    The priest, like many of his ilk, knows little of Catholic teaching. Like many bishops, he thinks people have to believe as they are told. That’s just not the case. Catholics are entitled to form their own opinions on ethical questions, as long as they respectfully consider the teaching of the Church authorities.

    It’s only on questions of doctrine — things can only be known by faith — that the Church speaks with unquestioned authority, like the Immaculate Conception.

    But there is no one to call these people who abuse their authority to account. Once upon a time Mario Cuomo did so in a speech at Notre Dame on the subject of abortion. But nowadays no one does — they are that irrelevant.

    Sad for those that are still trapped in their web.

  9. says

    @ BOB :
    I totally agree; this is all coming from the top.
    Ratzinger aka Benedict has been pushing for strict conformity whether by nuns or priests or lay people.Even this week he has moved to reintroduce Latin…..not that there’s anything wrong with Latin. But it shows his traditionalist thinking on all issues.
    @ RYAN : all practicing homos are automatically excommunicated and should not be receiving any sacraments….it’s the Canon Law, look it up.
    The problem with Ratzinger is that he cannot let go his disciplinary Nazi Hitler Youth upbringing…..he is in denial.
    But the same traits of “conform or get out”
    are now part of his core administration.
    Homosexuals with their rights agenda is the ultimate line of confrontation; there can be no accommodation of those who are “intrinsically defective” ( Ratzinger’s words).
    @RYAN : All practicing homos are automatically excommunicated and should not be receiving the sacraments……this is the Canon Law…..look it up.

  10. Joel says

    “I don’t want the Catholic religion to be put down. It’s just the way the priest has things running. He’s so strict. He won’t loosen up about things.”

    Sorry, it is the Catholic religion. So be glad you are out of it. No good can come of being in that church.

  11. Tanoka says

    Good for Lennon, I say. Now he can figure out himself without the intrusion of the church.

    The more extreme the RCC gets, the less will people follow them without questions.

  12. Diogenes Arktos says

    I am thrilled at Lennon’s reworking of the sign. (BTW – is there a St Lennon?) It reminds me of the reworking of the “Nixon now” button to say “Nixon no”. I am floored, however, that the whole family was made to suffer for the child’s “ill-formed conscience”. (No “well-formed conscience” is permitted to disagree with church teaching. period.)

    @Bingo: Even if church teaching agrees with you (which I highly doubt) the church practice at least under J2P2 and Benny has been quite different – if not since Trent.

  13. andrew says

    FYI: “Rev” Gary and all Catholic priests believe or pretend to believe that after they say a few words over a piece of bread, the piece of bread becomes the creator of the billion gallaxies universe. Is there anything more bat s*it crazy than that. Even Mormons and Scientologists must shake their heads in disbelief.

  14. Michael in Toronto says

    LENNON: it’s people like you — people who stick their necks out for others — who make this sad little world a much better place. I salute you!

  15. anon says

    The church needs to clarify if they support Jewish and Muslim marriage, or even Protestant marriage.

    Not sure on what basis they are denying communion. Normally you just need to go to confession if you’ve committed any of the sins that proscribes taking communion. Mistaken beliefs aren’t supposed to qualify.

  16. Soy Ateo says

    Maybe the church needs a different priest.

    Maybe the family needs a different church.

    Maybe the kid needs a different religion.

    Maybe none of us need any religion at all.

  17. Priests In Hell Wantin' Ice Water says

    @Jack M: “Because banishing members of the parish is a great way to build up membership in the Catholic Church.”

    Exactly. Just like they’re ‘protecting marriage’ by preventing people from getting married.

    Up is down. Down is up. Real is imagined. Imagined is real.

  18. DannyEastVillage says

    what is so often said about fag-bashers, i.e., that their violence is a cover for their own closeted gay identity holds true for the obsessively driven Roman clergy. Their obsession with this issue is a measure of their own terror that they’ll become known for what they are.

    Too late.

  19. cando64 says

    How do any of these priests dare to assume they know the mind of God – the arrogance! Tell me, who will be more likely to burn: the child who shows love and acceptance for all or the clergy/church who shows nothing but judgment? Judge not lest ye be judged (Matthew 7:1).

  20. Bill says

    As to Rita’s statement that “It is good to hear some priests take the teaching of Christ’s Church seriously,” it is possible to support the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex marriage and be opposed to the measure. For one thing, it was intended to change the state constitution, and some people (including me, although I don’t agree with the Catholic Church either) believe that constitutions should be as short as possible – if something can be handled by an ordinary law, it should be handled by an ordinary law. Constitutions typically tell you what branches of government there are, the responsibilities of each branch, and additionally put constraints on what government can do or grant civil rights. A statement of who can marry whom should not be in a constitution, just as a parking ordinance shouldn’t.

    While a 17 year old is too young to vote, I’d have some real issues with an organization that tried to coerce people into voting a particular way – doing that should be a criminal offense.

  21. phil says

    From the parish bulletin:

    “Congratulations to those who completed their celebration of the Sacrament of Initiation with
    Bishop Hoeppner confirming them this Sunday, November 11, 2012…. Please join us in the Hall for a light reception held in honor of the newly confirmed. Everyone is welcome to attend!”

    Everyone, that is, except for Lennon and his whole family.

  22. Walter Fletcher says

    Okay my first impession, the church is called “Assumption”. What are they trying to assume that people should just be sheep and follow the flock without question? A whole family being denied for the son’s opinions should open the eyes to the fact that should not be the church for them. Religion should not be used for hatred.

  23. Diogenes Arktos says

    @DannyEastVillage: There have been plenty of other examples of this on TR, including a bishop who tells a mother to disown her son before she has the proper belief to return to communion.

  24. Jerry6 says

    Considering that no written evidence of anything that Jesus might have said, or did, that dates during the period that he supposedly lived, or reasonably thereafter, by someone who might have heard him and remembered it verbatem has been found, WHY are there so many people ready and willing to let “THE VATICAN” tell them how to live their lives and what they are to believe? As has been said – “Tis a puzzelment”.

  25. johnzo says

    Congrats to the 17 year old kid – who is wiser in his heart than a stupid 60 year old “adult child” who lives without love himself. I’m not an atheist but evil priests like this do nothing but promote pain and misery. The only form of sex that is truly unnatural is the abstinence practiced by these coward eunuchs.

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