Catholics Ordered to Skip Communion if They Back Gay Marriage

Edward Peters, a Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican, and the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron (pictured), are telling Catholics who support same-sex marriage that they are not welcome to take communion, the Detroit Free Press reports:

VigneronIn a post on his blog last week, Peters said that Catholic teachings make it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, "Catholics who promote 'same-sex marriage' act contrary to" Catholic law "and should not approach for holy Communion," he wrote. "They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them … being rebuked and/or being sanctioned."

Peters didn't specify a Catholic politician or public figure in his post. But he told the Free Press that a person's "public efforts to change society's definition of marriage … amount to committing objectively wrong actions."

Archbishop Vigneron agrees:

And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, said Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would "logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury."

UPDATE: Jeremy Hooper notes that Ed Peters is the father of Thomas Peters, Communications Director for the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

Comments

  1. HadenoughBS says

    It appears the Catholic Church continues to promote Christ’s teachings by withholding communion from SSM supporters – NOT! I understand this church practices an ancient religion but does it have to continually dwell in ancient times? Oh, well, I lost all trust in organized religions decades ago.

  2. Brian G says

    Logically then, this would extend to any Catholic who has or is currently committing adultery, having pre-marital sex, masturbates, or using any form of birth control in the marital bed (other than the Catholic approved, but rarely successful, Rhythm method)

  3. Maguitac says

    Keep on shooting yourselves in the foot you dumb twits. As if you can afford turning people away!

    No group of people had ever shown more blatant lack of compassion than those Christians. Better rename your organization something more appropriately reflective of its new leaders.

  4. albertam says

    who the hell is he to dedicate who should take holy communion, it doesn’t say that only the holy then thou should be allowed to receive, man these girls in robe piss me off that they hide behind such rules regulations of the bible, they must have skip the chapter where all are welcome in god’s house.

  5. Kieran says

    What about all the Catholics who believe married couples have a right to divorce? Are they also being “ordered” to skip communion? My guess is they aren’t. Jesus warned us about the hypocrisy of religious leaders. Hypocrites and a brood of vipers the Lord called them.

  6. Acronym Jim says

    Is this subtle political intimidation? If so, the church should remember why they lost all of their British holdings. But at least the pope of the time didn’t lose his head.

  7. Frank says

    So now this Peters person- a lay person is giving out religious edicts? While I left the catholic church 10 years ago- I used to admire that for better or worse- they were only supposed to listen to the BS that came from the very top of the food chain- the pope; not some “advisor”. Oh well- I thought maybe when they got rid of the Nazi Pope things would get better. It’s clear they’d rather have a smaller and smaller club as each year passes and people evolve.

  8. woody says

    Vigneron and Peters, who is the father of little Tommy Peters btw, are way off on this. Catholic moral theology is clear that one is not sinning by holding a belief that is not in line with church teaching or by voting for a candidate that doesn’t vote in accordance with church teaching. Those are not “proximate acts” so the actor is not sinning and is ok to receive communion. The rationale we were given in the seminary–and this was very recently–is that a doctor who performs an abortion is sinning but the receptionist in the next room isn’t as her duties are too far removed from the action of the doctor.
    Anyway, that’s the current rational as it is taught in catholic moral theology classes to seminarians. Vigneron has probably banned that discussion at sacred heart in detroit.

  9. John Conolley says

    These people remind me of imams issuing fatwas. Is there any chance every Catholic who supports same-sex marriage will drop out of the church immediately?

  10. simon says

    Good. Quite a few influential politicians like the governors of New York, Washington and Maryland are all Catholics. They all promoted SSM. The Church is committing suicide by painting itself into a corner.

  11. says

    This has always been the position under Canon Law…..in fact practicing homosexuals are excommunicated ( which is what he is saying )…..that has always been the position.
    Only now they are getting braver and saying it out loud.
    So all you “can’t we get along” Mass going Catholics now know where you stand; you are all excommunicated and commit even greater sins if you do take communion in defiance of the Law.
    Let spotted leaves fall as they fall without ceremony or portent.

  12. Richard says

    Even if Catholic church was theologically correct in opposing same sex marriage (which they are not!), support of a civil procedure with protections for religious institutions cannot elevate itself to the level that this dumb ass thinks. This sort of behavior is the sort of thing that those watching for Pope Francis for early signs of inserting sanity back into the church find discouraging but predictable. If there is a God, may it strike these evil people down…

  13. Tom in Long Beach says

    Its O.K. to unbundle your beliefs. It is also O.K. to find a new church! Left Catholic Church decades ago. Churches are like travel agents for God. You can always book direct!

  14. Thomas says

    Woody is right. This is completely off base from actual Catholic teaching about when it is appropriate to deny communion (it’s a very, very narrow circumstance that is almost never met). Moreover, supporting marriage equality in the civil sphere is simply NOT A SIN.

  15. CPT_Doom says

    Oh, yeah, this is going to go over really well with the few remaining reasonable Catholics in the pews. After all, you aren’t supposed to be taking communion if you are using birth control, and I don’t know a single person who follows that rule – while parish priests pretend not to notice Catholic families are getting smaller and smaller. Hell my father was allegedly excommunicated when he got a vasectomy, and they still took his donations until he left the church after their BS during the MA marriage fight (when he referred to the bishops as “homophobic, pedophile sons-of-bitches,” I was so proud of him that day).

    Of course, to the Church marriage is a man and a woman who actually marry in the Church for life. All other forms of marriage, including remarriage after divorce, marriage in a civil ceremony only and marriages in churches not recognized as valid by the Church (including both Mormons and Baptists) are sins. Somehow I’m assuming Catholics who respect the First Amendment are not going to be required to forgo communion, right?

  16. mikro says

    Being a child who was indoctrinated into the Roman Catholic religion I see the Archbishop is pulling out one of the two major weapons the Church uses. He’s unleashed shame next weapon to be used will be guilt
    It’s all they have

  17. says

    I meant that even supporters of doctrine contrary to the Church who persist in their opposition are also excommunicated. he is not making this up.

    The Church is just as vicious as it was to the Albigensians……….I’m glad to live in a later era at least we just get excommunicated not burned.

    Now Pope Francis were you welcoming people back to the Church at the weekend and did your message get through to the USA ?

  18. BJ Jackson Lincoln says

    Wow!My Mom’s third husband could not take communion until he was divorced by the church. She could not until she became Catholic which pissed me off.
    Wait til she hears this. She came to our committment but refuses to acknowledge our legal marriage.
    This church has a lot of rules. Is it really worth it? So glad I’m Pagan

  19. Jake says

    “Logically then, this would extend to any Catholic who has or is currently committing adultery, having pre-marital sex, masturbates, or using any form of birth control in the marital bed (other than the Catholic approved, but rarely successful, Rhythm method).”

    Of course, it does. That is what the Church teaches: anyone who is currently engaging in something the Church defines as unrepentant sin, which would definitely includes the aforementioned behaviors.

  20. Booker says

    When the Church enters the public square to advocate for or against an issue of civil law, that makes it my business, and gives me the right and the obligation to engage and oppose them as I would any other organization doing that.

    But what a church I don’t follow does internally with respect to their doctrines and how they enforce them on their membership is of no interest to me, and none of my business.

  21. princely54 says

    So, is this the ONLY rule of the church? Aren’t there any other rules they command one not to break?? Do they tell adulterers not to show up? Those who covet? What else?? WHY this focus on gays? So pathetic.

  22. Alex Parrish says

    The R.C. Church continues to make itself ever-more-irrelevant to the civilized world. Good. The faster they do this the sooner they will simply disappear.Good riddance.

  23. Jordan says

    Right, it’s wrong to support marriage equality, but okay to have premarital sex, have abortion, eat bacon, have a divorce, use drugs and take the lords name in vain.

    Also, nobody has the right to deny others communion or sacrament. It’s between them and God. And it is totally possible to support gay marriage and not have your morals at stake. I believe, in God’s eyes, love and kindness is what it’s all about and not somebody’s sexuality or their biology.

    Good grief.

  24. andrew says

    In a time when fewer than 1/3 of Catholics in the U.S. regularly go to church, this just seems like another of the Catholic Church’s self inflicted wounds. That’s a good thing.

  25. Ray says

    The church is not harmed by stating the belief of the church, just the people that want to do as they wish and want the church to change to their chosen lifestyle. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah are teachings in all christian bibles, so joining a denomination that claims the bible but ignores its teachings says more about the denomination than some bible thumpers want to discuss. As for divorce, it is not illegal in the church if two people choose to separate a civil union. It is remarriage that is the sin in the Catholic Church. If there is an annulment then the church recognizes the separation. In these days of societal confusion, it should be easy to prove that the marriage never really existed because folks have stopped teaching the responsibilities of marriage, and only teach either the sex, or the business end of combining incomes. Raising children is now a state responsibility, and fathers and mothers are assumed not to be required parts of a whole family as long as you have a single parent, usually a mom, earning money outside of the home. If one person is enough, why are the school dropout rates so high and the prisons so full? Married couples are exhausted and sometimes forgo romance. Yes, it takes two genders to make a child, and this patchwork feminist child rearing is failing children miserably. One man one woman was not invented by any church, but by hundreds of thousands of years of family planning and child rearing, after tested all other family styles in every situation around the world. Folks can still exercise free choice, and have a church as they want them; just not the Catholic Church. Get over it and drink the wine at the table that you are in communion with.

  26. TonyJazz says

    The Catholic Church once again says ‘go away’ to people who accept the natural variations of humanity.

    Are they in competition with the Mormons for being the nastiest so-called christian church?

  27. mvecera says

    So recirculated pedophile priests can still distribute holy communion, but parents that love and support their gay children cannot?

    You cannot approach for communion, but you can still attend and put cash in the basket and mail-in your tithe?

    As a sacrament like any other, can same-sex supporters still go to confession? Why?

    The deal as I was taught (16 years of Catholic school talking here) is that you receive absolution of your sins in confession, and then, free-of-sin, you could, you should, receive holy communion. Since supporting marriage equality under ANY interpretation of the 10 commandments is not a sin – what human could deny another holy communion?

    Communion is not contingent on church law, Vatican II or articles of reformation. It is also NOT a requirement. Communion comes from Jesus himself. Only a blasphemer would separate Christ from his followers.

    This man is evil. Anyone that spreads fear, hate and intolerance in the name of God is an instrument and victim of Satan.

    I am a proud gay man, created by God, in his image and I never stop trying to love Jesus Christ the way that I know he loves me. My partner and I bring more love, joy and goodness into this world than the discontent, hate and bigotry that this hypocrite has to offer.

  28. mvecera says

    So recirculated pedophile priests can still distribute holy communion, but parents that love and support their gay children cannot?

    You cannot approach for communion, but you can still attend and put cash in the basket and mail-in your tithe?

    As a sacrament like any other, can same-sex supporters still go to confession? Why?

    The deal as I was taught (16 years of Catholic school talking here) is that you receive absolution of your sins in confession, and then, free-of-sin, you could, you should, receive holy communion. Since supporting marriage equality under ANY interpretation of the 10 commandments is not a sin – what human could deny another holy communion?

    Communion is not contingent on church law, Vatican II or articles of reformation. It is also NOT a requirement. Communion comes from Jesus himself. Only a blasphemer would separate Christ from his followers.

    This man is evil. Anyone that spreads fear, hate and intolerance in the name of God is an instrument and victim of Satan.

    I am a proud gay man, created by God, in his image and I never stop trying to love Jesus Christ the way that I know he loves me. My partner and I bring more love, joy and goodness into this world than the discontent, hate and bigotry that this hypocrite has to offer.

  29. Inis says

    Andy — far be it from me to defend the Catholic Church, but reading the details of who said what I think it is clear that the 2 individuals do not think marriage equality supporters should take communion. But that is short of what your headline says, that Catholics are “ordered” to skip communion.

  30. Inis says

    Andy — far be it from me to defend the Catholic Church, but reading the details of who said what I think it is clear that the 2 individuals do not think marriage equality supporters should take communion. But that is short of what your headline says, that Catholics are “ordered” to skip communion.

  31. Bill says

    I’d say we should eliminate the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt status as they are clearly trying to coerce our elected representatives into voting the way that church wants.

    It is possible for a devout Catholic to believe that marriage is “between a man and a woman” on religious grounds, but to also believe that our secular government has an obligation under the 14th Amendment to treat all citizens equally, and that same sex marriage should be allowed for that reason.

    While you can pass a law that states that civil unions have all the rights that a marriage does, that does not prevent a business from providing discounts or other perks to a married couple and not those in civil unions.

  32. Bill says

    I’d say we should eliminate the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt status as they are clearly trying to coerce our elected representatives into voting the way that church wants.

    It is possible for a devout Catholic to believe that marriage is “between a man and a woman” on religious grounds, but to also believe that our secular government has an obligation under the 14th Amendment to treat all citizens equally, and that same sex marriage should be allowed for that reason.

    While you can pass a law that states that civil unions have all the rights that a marriage does, that does not prevent a business from providing discounts or other perks to a married couple and not those in civil unions.

  33. Bryan says

    The Catholic hierarchy continues to prove its total irrelevancy to contemporary society. Then again, all throughout history, this form of religion has been about promoting fear, discrimination, hatred, and the threat of excommunication, which is nothing else but a weapon to beat the disobedient into submission. Other faiths do the same thing in much the same way. What all this has to do with believing in a loving god, I am have no idea.

  34. Bryan says

    The Catholic hierarchy continues to prove its total irrelevancy to contemporary society. Then again, all throughout history, this form of religion has been about promoting fear, discrimination, hatred, and the threat of excommunication, which is nothing else but a weapon to beat the disobedient into submission. Other faiths do the same thing in much the same way. What all this has to do with believing in a loving god, I am have no idea.

  35. Bryan says

    The Catholic hierarchy continues to prove its total irrelevancy to contemporary society. Then again, all throughout history, this form of religion has been about promoting fear, discrimination, hatred, and the threat of excommunication, which is nothing else but a weapon to beat the disobedient into submission. Other faiths do the same thing in much the same way. What all this has to do with the belief in a loving god, I have no idea.

  36. Thanks anyway, but no says

    Seriously? The last Catholic event I went to no one went up for communion. The priest was left standing there holding up a wafer with no takers.

    They couldn’t give the stuff away!

  37. Thanks anyway, but no says

    Seriously? The last Catholic event I went to no one went up for communion. The priest was left standing there holding up a wafer with no takers.

    They couldn’t give the stuff away!

  38. dearcomrade says

    Because nothing says you believe in the sanctity of marriage more than getting on your knees, taking a swig of wine and putting the body of a man in your mouth.

  39. dearcomrade says

    Because nothing says you believe in the sanctity of marriage more than getting on your knees, taking a swig of wine and putting the body of a man in your mouth.

  40. dearcomrade says

    Because nothing says you believe in the sanctity of marriage more than getting on your knees, taking a swig of wine and putting the body of a man in your mouth.

  41. Michael says

    Does anyone expect anything different from these “old, white men” that have a pretty skewed idea of morality? I wonder if the priests that I know that were having affairs with nuns, and their housekeepers, as well as, the professors at seminaries would hold themselves to the same strict views. My advice: no participation in communion = no money in the basket. No acceptance of divorced, birth control users, etc. = no money in the basket. Maybe they need to live within their means. My seminary training and ordination never included such medieval actions. BTW: Check out the picture with the article in the DFP. Vigneron really looks a man in touch with the 21st century. LOL.

  42. Michael says

    Does anyone expect anything different from these “old, white men” that have a pretty skewed idea of morality? I wonder if the priests that I know that were having affairs with nuns, and their housekeepers, as well as, the professors at seminaries would hold themselves to the same strict views. My advice: no participation in communion = no money in the basket. No acceptance of divorced, birth control users, etc. = no money in the basket. Maybe they need to live within their means. My seminary training and ordination never included such medieval actions. BTW: Check out the picture with the article in the DFP. Vigneron really looks a man in touch with the 21st century. LOL.

  43. DannyEastVillage says

    Well! How nice! Now all they need to do is re-implement the rack so they can force the un-orthodox to confess their improper beliefs and thoughts.

    How does ANYONE who is an adult put up with this?

  44. DannyEastVillage says

    I have the same message for the Roman Church that I have for republicans: keep it up.

    Talk about belonging in the dustbin of history…

  45. Bill says

    The article Towleroad linked to claimed that Bishop Vigneron’s views aren’t shared by a substantial majority of Catholic bishops. But, if he withholds communion from an elected representative who is in favor of same sex marriage, if only because all citizens are supposed to receive equal protection under the law, then the Catholic church deserves to lose its tax-exempt status.

  46. PAUL B. says

    I’m sure going to miss that “body & blood” thang for sunday brunch. I always found it a little too sexy that early in the AM. Back to the old stand-by…eggs-benedick.

  47. Hal Watts says

    Allow me to “THUMP” the Bible at these leaders who are doing their best to be exclusive of others!

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Matt. 23:13

  48. Chevytexas says

    Um, the best point made here is that laypeople do not make Church law and secondly, Detroit’s bishop has no will over me in Texas, not that I don’t have my own equally silly bishops. We don’t believe anyone but sinners come to Communion. If you’re Jesus, you’re just there because the Methodists are having another pancake breakfast.

  49. woody says

    To polar beast’s question: What does this mean for gay priests? Do they deny themselves communion?

    The Catholic church does not say being gay is a sin, so gay priests don’t have to deny themselves communion. The sin, according to the catholic church, is having sex (any sex at all, gay or straight) that cannot produce a child. And if anyone has oral or anal sex or contraceptive sex they can take communion after confession or an act of contrition. The same rules on this apply for both priests and lay people.
    I’m not expressing my point of view on this. I’m just telling you what the rules are for reception of communion.

  50. jimstoic says

    If any church is known for its adherence to scripture, it’s the Roman Catholic Church. The immaculate conception, calling priests “father,” celibacy, nuns, monks–all of that came from the Bible, right?

  51. millerbeach says

    This holds no sway over me…if only to wish I were a member of this jerk’s church so I could tell him to his face how wrong he is. It is insulting when a member of MY church can’t even get the doctrine right…Jesus is about love…that’s all. Love. Not hate, not refusing Eucharist, not passing judgement on others. You know what? I believe Jesus Christ would approve gay marriage. Two people are in love, why stop the love? If Jesus is about love, how could He deny this love? There is no such thing as “love-specific”, He loves all of God’s children, especially the gay ones. Don’t listen to this clown…he does not speak for me, nor MY church.

  52. Fix It Again Tony says

    So if we (the parishioners) are denied Communion, can we deny money to the Church?
    Yeah, the probably wouldn’t want that to happen.

  53. hornlongjohn says

    Just go buy some crackers and wine and mumble a few words at your self. Bad news, you won’t actually be a priest. Good news, you won’t have to improperly touch choir boys

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