A woman and her same-sex partner of 20 years say they were shocked when a priest told them they could not take communion at her mother's funeral in December.
Carol Parker said she and her partner, Josie Martin, have been active members of the Columban Catholic Church in Chillicothe, Mo., for more than 12 years. But when Father Benjamin Kneib read the obituary saying Parker's mother left behind a son, a daughter and her daughter's partner, he picked up the phone to tell her she couldn't take communion.
“It was very important to me, my last opportunity to worship here at the church with her,” Parker told a local news outlet. (Fox 4 News)
“To be singing in the choir and be lectors, and everything, it’s all God. He just took it away in a second,” Martin said. “I just really don’t understand where his heart is.”
Kneib sent Parker a follow-up letter to explain his decision further but did not change his mind, according to a LGBT advocacy group. A press release from the group said the letter read, in part: “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.” (Fox 4 News)
Parker said the incident did not rock her faith because the pope himself endorsed her right to receive Communion when he said last summer, "Who am I to judge?" (Huffpo video)
Parker and Martin said they never returned to Kneibe's congregation and instead found a new church, an hour away, that welcomes them.