They're a 'couple'.
"Partners" denied Holy Communion at Mother's funeral: A little bit of history repeating.
Remember the Father Marcel Guarnizo affair a couple of years ago? Fr. Guarnizo denied Communion to a lesbian and her partner because they were a couple - possibly living in sin. I think one of them was a Buddhist as well as something of an activist - I'm not sure. Anyway - they were told not to present for Communion, they did and were refused. Story here.
Just the other day a gay-Catholic left a comment criticizing me for an admonition I wrote as regards SSA Catholics who live together, I had said how it is important for them not to identify or present themselves as a couple. My critic told me that my statement was nothing more than 'word policing' - that the word has no real meaning, noting: "besides Marriage itself, the deposit of faith has no category of "couplehood" period." Ah! So let's see how that works.
The gay couple were refused Communion over one word used in an obituary.
A couple who lives outside of Chillicothe say their priest denied them communion when he discovered they were in a same-sex relationship. Carol Parker and her partner of nearly 20 years, Josephine Martin, say they were good standing members of Saint Columban Catholic Church in Chillicothe for 12 years.
They say that all changed when Parker had her mother’s funeral at the church following her death on December 26th. The obituary noted Parker’s mother was survived by a son, a daughter and her daughter’s partner.
“If that one word had not been in there, he would be fine,” said Martin.
Parker said she had been a member since 2001 and served as a lector, a cantor and also sang in the choir. - Story
After the funeral the priest sent a letter to Ms. Parker explaining the teaching of the Church. It said nothing about 'couplehood' or partnership - yet the use of that one word 'partner' was enough for the priest who explained: “having a same-sex attraction is not sinful in and of itself … it is only when a person moves from attraction to willfully acting upon it that the situation becomes a sinful matter.”
From the looks of these women I would imagine they are probably not sexually active. Ordinarily two women or two men, close friends, sharing a house is perfectly fine. No sin or scandal in that. Yet when the obituary describes the survivors in what can be interpreted as a same sex relationship or marriage, then that public declaration becomes a problem. As the minister of the Eucharist, the priest calls the shots.
Likewise, as in the Guarnizo situation, it appears one of the women may dissent on Catholic moral teaching. Commenting on the priest's actions, she said:
... she hopes that the priest might “open his eyes and fully receive the LGBT community into the church.”
What an unfortunate series of events, huh? Yet words have meaning - and consequences.
The awful truth.
When Pope Francis said 'who am I to judge' he first noted that he hadn't seen any gay-identity-card-carrying people in the Vatican - in other words, no one was coming up to him and saying "I'm gay. I'm out. I want to change/undermine the rules." He wasn't identifying people by their sexual inclinations. He went on to explain, "If a gay person seeks God ... who am I to judge." However, truth be told, if a gay couple comes out and declares they are gay, living as a married couple, then it appears there really is something to judge.
“I didn't realize this was a sad occasion.”