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Report: MN bishop says pro-gay marriage teen can be confirmed when he publicly repudiates position

Catholic World News - November 16, 2012

The parents of a teenage boy in the Diocese of Crookston (Minnesota) told the Fargo Forum that their parish priest has denied the Sacrament of Confirmation to their son, Lennon Cihak, because of his Facebook post in support of same-sex marriage.

Father Gary LaMoine of Assumption Church in Barnesville denied the family’s charge but would not elaborate.

“They’re my parishioners, and so when the press comes after me from different points of view and asks me all types of questions about their situation, I hesitate very much because I owe them, I owe that family confidentiality,” he said.

“He said ‘I cannot, cannot confirm him,’” Lennon’s mother said. “Father would not confirm him, and they won’t confirm him unless he changes his views.”

The parents also told the newspaper that they are no longer permitted to receive Holy Communion at the parish.

“The mother did say that Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston informed her that if Lennon stood before the church and denounced his support of same-sex marriage claims, he could be confirmed,” the Fargo Forum added.

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  • Posted by: cobol39218881 - Nov. 19, 2012 9:15 AM ET USA

    I am so glad to be Catholic today. Our Bishops are taking stands today that make me proud of our faith and our stand for goodness and purity. I don't care what the " canonical meaning of a 'public retraction'" is, when we are Confirmed as Christians, we make a 'PUBLIC' declaration of our faith, all of it. If his push for 'same sex marriage' is PUBLIC, he obviously doesn't believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church, he can't be Catholic.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Nov. 18, 2012 7:30 PM ET USA

    Hooray. About time we stood for the truths within tthe Church and not allow a bunch of so called Catholics to get away with their nonsense regardless of age. If he is old enough to be confirmed he knows what is truth. His support for gay marriage is also probably supported by the parents.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 17, 2012 1:36 PM ET USA

    Am I just senile, or has John Lennon been canonized while I hazed out? If this young man has been denied the sacrament of Confirmation and the parents told not to approach Communion, it was probably a service to them. As I see it, Little Lennon could repudiate his support of gay marriage over Facebook.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Nov. 16, 2012 10:48 PM ET USA

    This is a hopeful sign that the clergy are getting prepared to stand up for Truth even if it makes for a smaller Church.

  • Posted by: msgrtom - Nov. 16, 2012 10:23 PM ET USA

    I think the clergy there do not understand the canonical meaning of a 'public retraction': canonically it means that it can be proven by a document or two witnesses. PERIOD. Forcing the kid to retract before the whole congregation to be confirmed is a sadistic act of child abuse.

  • Posted by: filioque - Nov. 16, 2012 9:32 PM ET USA

    Why do people who don't believe what the Church teaches want to partake of her Sacraments? Thank heaven the pastor and the Bishop are standing firm. Let's pray they succeed in explaining things to the boy and his family.

  • Posted by: doceo4186 - Nov. 16, 2012 7:42 PM ET USA

    From the Fargo Forum: The mother did say that Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston informed her that if Lennon stood before the church and denounced his support of same-sex marriage claims, he could be confirmed. It was an option the family wasn’t willing to pursue. “That’s lying,” Lennon said Wednesday. “And that’s not right, to me, at least.” And it is LYING to be confirmed in a church when you disagree with her teaching and then publicly announce it.

  • Posted by: fwhermann3492 - Nov. 16, 2012 9:17 AM ET USA

    The media is going to jump all over this and portray the boy as a victim, but Fr. LaMoine did the right thing. I hope his bishop stands behind him. To be confirmed Catholic means that one believes all the Catholic Church teaches. This young man may believe some of what the church teaches, but he obviously does not believe all that it teaches.

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