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Married Gay Couple Denied Communion Speak Out: VIDEO

Here's an update to the story involving Tom Wojtowick and Paul Huff, the married gay Catholic couple whose church has sid that, in order for the two to receive Holy Communion again, they must divorce.

The men spoke to the Great Falls Tribune about the discriminatory decision:

Couple"We're getting old," Huff said. "There is no other avenue for us in the Catholic Church to protect ourselves financially — our Social Security benefits or our home, which is in both our names. If something happened to one of us, we need some protection."

However Catholic officials failed to see substantial significance in such a distinction.

During subsequent discussions with Spiering and several officials from the Catholic Diocese of Great Falls – Billings, Wojtowick and Huff were told that to restore their full lives within the church they must first fulfill three requirements: obtain a civil divorce, discontinue living together and to write a public statement acknowledging marriage as being solely between and man and a women, and admitting they had made a mistake. "I basically said, if this is the way it is then I'm done," Huff said.

The head of the local diocese, Bishop Michael Warfel, visited the church, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, last weekend. While a large number of people spoke out in support of Wojtowick and Huff, the overall situation remains unchanged.

KULR-8 reports on the bishop's visit:

He spoke for about 10 minutes and heard from a full house from young to old, mainly in support of Paul and Tom rejoining the church. “Gays and lesbians in this country have fought for every civil right; it's time they fought along with us for their faith,” said one speaker.

"Probably the issue of era, it's not just an issue for Lewistown, not just Montana,” said Bishop Michael Warfel. Yet, his presence brought no solutions. “For their situation Paul and Tom they are still not allowed to have communion, is that correct? That is the status quo right now,” said Bishop Michael Warfel.

According to the Billings Gazette, the couple have consulted with lawyers who believe that St. Leo the Great Catholic Church may have violated canon law.

Huff hasn’t returned to St. Leo’s. Wojtowick attends half the Mass, leaving before Communion is offered. Wojtowick believes the couple has a case, saying the actions taken against them are unlawful according to church law.

He has consulted with canon lawyers who agree. But he and Huff are waiting to see what final action Warfel will take in the case before they decide what to do.

However, Rev. Jean Collins at the Episcopal church in Lewistown has invited the men to attend her church where they are welcome to receive Communion.

Watch a KULR-8 interview with Wojtowick and Huff, AFTER THE JUMP...

Photo: The Billings Gazette

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Catholic Church Music Director Fired For Same-Sex Nuptials Speaks Out: VIDEO

Manzi-moore2

After getting married to his partner, Minnesotan church music director Jamie Manzi-Moore [top right] was forced to resign from his congregation in St. Victoria, MN. He's on his honeymoon, and hasn't commented on the firing — until now.

Speaking with CBS Minnesota, Manzi-Moore is unequivocal that "Archbishop Nienstedt was the person requesting [his] resignation."

Archbishop NienstedtThe Archbishop has claimed that the church reached out to him for advice, but Manzi-Moore tells another story. He says that after coming out to his community, his church's Father White reached out to the Archbishop, telling him the church wanted to keep Manzi-Moore on staff, regardless of his sexuality. Manzi-Moore says Archbishop Nienstedt never responded to this request.

While Manzi-Moore says he felt "heartbroken" when he heard the news of his firing from the church, and he does not have another job lined up, he was not exactly surprised by the news — his comments sound more resigned than angry:

I have known ever since going to work for the Catholic Church that this could be a possibility at some point in time [...] It might take me a while to quote unquote, ‘come back.’ But I was born and raised Catholic and I love the Catholic faith.

Watch a CBS Minnesota report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

It bears repeating that Archbishop Nienstedt has a history of anti-gay remarks and recently refused to leave his post despite allegations of sexual misconduct and covering up the sexual abuse of children. 

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Gay Minnesotan Church Employee Forced to Resign for Getting Married

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Jamie Moore, music director for St. Victoria Catholic Church in Victoria, MN (pictured) was forced to resign from his post. 

Over the weekend, Moore married his male partner, and as a response, the archdiocese told the church it would be best if Moore resigns. Via CBS Minnesota, Archbishop John Nienstedt said that he was contacted by the church for advice on the situation. Said Nienstadt in a statement:

The … conduct of church employees can inspire and motivate people, but it can also scandalize and undermine their faith. Church employees must … recognize and accept the responsibilities that accompany their ministry.

Nienstadt has a history of anti-gay remarks and recently refused to leave his post despite allegations of sexual misconduct and covering up the sexual abuse of children. 

Moore, meanwhile, is on his honeymoon, and has yet to be heard from on this matter. 

Dan Carroll, who has been a church member for 45 years, provided a quote to CBS: "I think he’s a real friendly person. He seems like he gets along with everybody and fits in quite well." And yet, his attitude was more resigned than up-in-arms: “Whatever they [the church] choose for us, that’s what we have to put up with.” 

The church's Father White, who the Archbishop spoke with directly, says he plans to address this issue in a sermon this weekend.


Catholic Church To Married Gay Couple: You Must Divorce In Order To Receive Communion Again

A Catholic church in Montana has told two gay men that they can no longer receive communion simply because of their gay marriage and, in order to do so again, they must file for divorce.  

The two men, Paul Huff, 66, and Tom Wojtowick, 73, have been together for over 30 years and were married in Seattle in 2013. They've attended Saint Leo The Great Catholic Church in the town of Lewistown since 2003 and have also been members of the church's choir. The've also now been denied participation in that church group.

The Great Falls Tribune reports on the events leading up to the ban:

Lewiston

According to Huff, four days after the Rev. Samuel Spiering was installed as the new administrator of St. Leo's, the priest left a phone message at their home asking that either Huff or Wojtowick return his call. "He said, 'I heard a rumor that you two got married,'" Huff recalled.

When Huff confirmed that he and Wojtowick had indeed been joined in a civil ceremony 15 months earlier, Spiering asked for both men to meet him at his office the next day. It was at that point that Spiering informed both men that because of their marriage, they could no longer receive the sacraments in the church or be part of any ministry.

Huff and Wojtowick were also told that to regain full privileges within St. Leo's, they must first obtain a divorce, cease living together and write a statement renouncing their prior marriage.

Speaking to to the Billings Gazette, Bishop Michael William Warfel of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings attempted to justify the church's decision.

Bishop_copyThis is not animus against someone who happens to be a homosexual; this issue is the same-sex marriage,” he said. “A lot of people put those two together, and obviously there’s a connection, but it’s not the same thing.”

Warfel called same-sex marriage “the issue of our era,” acknowledging that in the U.S., polls show that support for it has edged higher than those who oppose it. But the fact remains that stands in conflict with Catholic teachings.

“As a Catholic bishop I have a responsibility to uphold our teaching of marriage between one man and one woman,” Warfel said. “And I think there’s very solid scriptural teaching on it and our sacred tradition is very strong on it.”

Huff and Wojtowick have received support from many of the church's congregation. Forty members have reportedly either voiced their disapproval of the church's offensive decision or have quit attending mass there altogether. One parishioner has suggested the title of a song sung at the church be changed from "All are Welcome" to "Some are Welcome." How apt.

Warfel met with parishioners yesterday to talk about the situation and says that he now needs time to take in their comments.


Pope Francis To Exile Anti-Gay Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke - VIDEO

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Pope Francis may be about to remove homophobe Cardinal Raymond Burke from his position as head of the Vatican’s “Supreme Court,” relegating him to a largely ceremonial role as head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, reports conservative news outlet Breitbart.

Burke has been very forthcoming on his feelings regarding the rights and wrongs of discrimination.  In 2010, he announced that while racism is unacceptable, discrimination against LGBT people is “perfectly just and good.”

Waxing lyrical on his pro-discrimination stance, Burke went on to explain to gay people what they have been doing wrong for all these years:

“Sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil, are against nature itself...its simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”

In the past, Burke announced that former presidential candidate John Kerry would not be allowed to receive communion for his pro-abortion stance and excommunicated two women who claimed to have been ordained by a third woman claiming to be a Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

The new role would see Burke removed from the Roman Curia, the body of Vatican-based Cardinals who are close advisers to the Pope.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis suggested that the Catholic Church might consider supporting same-sex civil unions

Watch Burke explain why it's ok to discriminate against gay people, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Monsignor Charles Pope Explains Why Everything Gay Is Just Wrong - VIDEO

CHARLES POPE

Writing for the Archdiocese of Washington, Monsignor Charles Pope has finally and categorically explained exactly what is wrong with gay people.

Earlier this month, Pope called for an end to the New York St. Patrick's Day parade because it has now been hijacked by "those who think anal sex is to be celebrated as an expression of love." 

According to Pope, “an increasingly nationwide effort to make homosexual acts something to celebrate has gained great ground and sowed serious confusion even among those who describe themselves as Christian and Catholic.”

Bible-vs-homosexualityProviding his learned instruction on “what Scripture plainly teaches and why the Church cannot affirm” homosexuality, Pope explains:

“Sexual acts are, by their very nature, ordered to procreation and to the bonding of the mother and father who will raise the children conceived by their sexual intimacy. These ends or purposes have been intrinsically joined by God, and we are not to separate what what God has joined.”

“The man is for the woman, and the woman is for the man. The man is not for the man, nor the woman for the woman. This is plainly set forth in the design of our bodies.”

“What some call intolerance or 'hatred' is, for us who believe, rather, a principled stance wherein we see ourselves as unable to overrule the clear and unambiguous teaching of Holy Scripture”

Don’t worry though, Pope still respects you:

“We do not detest those of same sex-attraction, but we as a Church owe them the same truth we have always proclaimed as coming from God, and out of respect we must hold them to the same standards of chastity by which all must live.”

SignDespite the obvious love for the sinner, you can forget about marriage - it’s just not for you:

“Sadly those of unalterable same-sex attraction have no recourse to marriage. But all of us bear burdens of one sort or another, and not everyone is able to partake in everything life offers. For the sake of holiness, heroic witness is necessary, and many of those with same-sex attraction do live celibately and give admirable witness to the power of grace.”

If you’re still confused, Pope goes on to provide “some selections from Sacred Scripture that clearly teach against homosexual acts,” including the much cited destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And for anyone ridiculous enough to suggest that Jesus never once mentions homosexuality in the bible, Pope reminds us that just because it’s not mentioned doesn’t mean everyone didn’t know it was just wrong: “It was not a disputed matter among the Jews to whom he preached.”

The response on Twitter has been mainly positive although Brian326, who was less than happy with Pope's position, suggested that the cleric should mind his own business.

 Once you’ve been convinced of your sin, Pope also provides a link to Catholic “ex-gay” / abstinence group Courage and even provides some testimonial videos which you can watch - if you can stomach it - AFTER THE JUMP...

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