Gay man refused communion at mother’s funeral receives apology
Tim Ardillo believes the reason he was not allowed to take communion is because he is gay, however members of the Catholic church have claimed otherwise.
The openly gay Mr Ardillo said that although he still believes in Catholicism, he has drifted away from the church due their stance on homosexuality.
He had originally hoped that his mother’s funeral would be the beginning of a renewed commitment to the church, but after attending the service in Louisiana, no longer sees that as a possibility.
“I don’t have it in me,” he told The New Orleans Advocate, claiming the refusal of communion has cemented his feelings towards the church.
Mr Ardillo was standing next to his mother’s casket with his young son, who was about to receive a blessing from Reverend Mark Beard.
However, the priest then stopped the blessing and refused Mr Ardillo communion, which the latter says caused him undue upset at an already distressing time.
He argues that if the priest had discussed the matter with him beforehand, he would not have attempted to receive communion.
However, Rev. Beard insists that the reason he refused Mr Ardillo was because he had married outside the church, not because he is married to a man.
But Mr Ardillo believes it is because he is married to a man, after the priest went on to remind the congregation of the Bible’s warning against taking communion “in an unworthy manner.”
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Since the denial of communion, he has received numerous apologies from Catholic church, including the the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
In addition, some Catholic leaders have claimed that being gay or being married outside the church should not be sufficient reason for being denied communion.
However, this is not the first time the Roman Catholic Church – which refuses to acknowledge homosexuality as anything other than a sin – has discriminated against the LGBT community.
After Ireland’s recent legalisation of same-sex marriage, US Cardinal Raymond Burke, who serves as the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta within the Vatican, slammed the country while speaking to Catholic group the Newman Society at Oxford University.
He complained: “I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage.”
In April, a group of Catholic leaders in San Francisco wrote to Pope Francis asking him to remove Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone over his views on issues such as same-sex marriage, claiming he had “fostered an atmosphere of division and intolerance”.