A Wyoming bishop has told a lesbian couple they cannot receive Communion after they were in the local newspaper on Ash Wednesday— complete with picture of them with ashes on their heads— saying they support legalizing gay marriage.
Their parish priest says he was ordered by Bishop David Ricken to inform them of the denial of Communion. Of course, this wasn’t their first-run with the pastor.
The parish priest said that after the couple put their engagement and marriage announcements in the local paper, he ran reminders of the church’s teachings in the parish bulletin as a warning.
After the Ash Wednesday story, the priest sent this letter: “It is with a heavy heart, in obedience to the instruction of Bishop David Ricken, that I must inform you that, because of your union and your public advocacy of same-sex unions, that you are unable to receive Communion.”
Now, if a couple of pew-sitting Catholics go public in the newspaper with their heterodox beliefs and public exposure of their sinful lifestyle and can be denied Communion, why is it that even more famous Catholics—say, politicians—who affect many more lives by their decisions do not create enough of a scandal to cause the same penalty to be applied? If it was the fact of their lesbianism that resulted in the penalty, then why wasn’t it applied sooner? If it was their public advocacy, then why isn’t the penalty equally applied to other public advocates of same-sex relationships?