A Catholic priest has refused to give communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral, after discovering she had a female partner.

According to Fox Kansas City, Carol Parker says she was told she was no longer welcome in the church by priest Benjamin Kneib of Saint Columban Catholic Church in Missouri, when he discovered her mother’s obituary note made reference to Carol’s female partner.

Parker has been with her partner Josephine Martin for over 20 years, and had attended the church for 12 years, even singing in the church choir.

Parker said that the priest’s “heartless” actions denied her of her chance to say goodbye to her mother.

She said: “He had called me the day of the rosary and said he wouldn’t be able to give us communion because of our same-sex relationship.

“It was very important to me, my last opportunity to worship here at the church with her. To be singing in the choir and be lectors, and everything, it’s all God. [Kneib] just took it away in a second. I just really don’t understand where his heart is.”

Parker and Martin say they will never be setting foot inside the church again, and have since found a different church an hour away that accepts them.

Parker said: “My faith is strong enough that I wasn’t going to let this deter me to go to church”.