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Archbishop denies Communion to gay activist students at Catholic college

Catholic World News - October 06, 2010

Archbishop John Nienstedt denied Holy Communion to some two dozen gay activist students during a September 26 Mass at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. The students from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict were wearing rainbow sashes and buttons in protest of Catholic teaching on homosexual activity.

“You cannot receive Communion if you wear the rainbow sash because it’s a political statement, a sign of protest,” said archdiocesan spokesman Ned McGrath. “Going to the Communion rail is the most sacred part of our faith, the Eucharist.”

Immediately after the gay activists’ confrontation with the archbishop, a priest serving on the St. John’s faculty celebrated Mass for the protestors and gave them Communion. Father Rene McGraw, a philosophy professor, explained: "My understanding of church law is that one is not to deny communion to anyone unless he or she is a public sinner, and that has traditionally been interpreted very narrowly."

St. John’s Abbey, St. John’s University, and the College of St. Benedict are located in the Diocese of Saint Cloud.

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  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Oct. 07, 2010 11:34 PM ET USA

    In a September address last year Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura, said that "To deny these (Holy Communion and funeral rites to politicians who support abortion and same sex marriage) is not a judgment of soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects." In denying the Eucharist to these pro-gay activists Archbishop John Nienstedt did the right thing by making it eminently clear that homosexual behavior and endorsement of it is immoral.

  • Posted by: impossible - Oct. 07, 2010 12:15 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Nienstedt should promptly remove Father McGraw's faculties, and the faculties of the Priest-Sasher and of every priest in his Diocese who promotes or condones homosexual acts.

  • Posted by: impossible - Oct. 06, 2010 11:45 PM ET USA

    Congratulations to this faithful courageous Archbishop. Hopefully his example will inspire Bishops, Priests and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist everywhere to deny Holy Communion to the "Catholic" pro-abortion politicians who are in manifest grave sin. Their "sash" is their well known face recognized by all, particularly in their home parishes. Canon 915 is not a mere suggestion. Many would be very recognizable anywhere in America. Their sash is their visage.

  • Posted by: bsp1022 - Oct. 06, 2010 9:07 PM ET USA

    Kudos, Archbishop John Nienstedt and Catholic Culture for revering the Eucharist when so many, even the ordained do not. If more Catholics truly understood the magnitude of this gift, they would demand real leadership from the Bishops on the issue and they would get it. Please write the Archbishop to express your support and support Catholic Culture with prayer and donations at every opportunity. Your voice matters a lot… especially right now...

  • Posted by: sparch - Oct. 06, 2010 4:06 PM ET USA

    As for Fr. McGraw, find him a new assignment in an Anglican Church and be done with him.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Oct. 06, 2010 12:42 PM ET USA

    This man understands what it is to lead an organization out of confusion. My God send us many more like him. And if He wanted to drop off one of those here in San Jose, California, that would be wonderful.

  • Posted by: ltoscan2645 - Oct. 06, 2010 10:46 AM ET USA

    Thank you Archbishop for your leadership, may all other bishops act accordingly. God bless you, enough with making accomodations with the dictatorship of relativism.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Oct. 06, 2010 7:19 AM ET USA

    Bravo for the Archbishop for insisting on being a good and holy shepherd to his flock. Homosexual activists simply are not satisfied with living in their sins...they demand approval for their acts against man and God.

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