Lennon Cihak has "to change his mind" about gay marriage to be confirmed, priest says
The Rev. Gary LaMoine believes there's no room for debate about gay marriage in the Catholic Church.
Image by Tatiana Craine
After coming out in support of gay marriage on Facebook last month, Lennon Cihak's priest told the 17-year-old he wouldn't be allowed to complete his confirmation.
Late last week, the Rev. Gary LaMoine of Barnesville's Assumption Catholic Church shed a bit more light on that decision, telling the Fargo Forum that Lennon "could be confirmed, but he'd have to change his mind about some things, and I don't know if Lennon is going to do that."
Rev. LaMoine also explained the thought process behind denying confirmation to Lennon and another gay marriage-supporting teenager in a letter distributed to Assumption's congregation last Friday. Here's an excerpt:
After posting a picture of himself holding this sign on Facebook, Lennon Cihak was denied confirmation by Assumption Catholic Church's priest.
[A] couple of candidates chose not to enter into full communion with the Catholic community because of their disagreement with the teaching of the Church concerning marriage...
I apologize to the parish for the actions of this family. I have personally spent much time talking to them face to face about their unwillingness to accept the teaching of the Church on marriage but to no avail...
Why would Rev. LaMoine "apologize to the parish for the actions of this family"? Asked that question by the Forum, LaMoine said the controversy has caused "a lot of embarrassment for the church," adding that the Cihaks "have really pushed this." (Assumption is part of the Crookston Diocese, which made headlines earlier this year when a Moorhead Catholic school teacher was forced to resign after expressing tepid support for gay marriage .)
In his letter, Rev. LaMoine describes Lennon's departure from Assumption as a choice he made of his own free will after LaMoine asked him why he was "rejecting a central teaching of the church." The priest said Cihak's Facebook post was brought to his attention by a church staffer who checked out his profile.
"We're curious about what people are writing about the situation," Rev. LaMoine told the Forum. "That's natural that we'd be curious."
Lennon, who earlier said he remained committed to his Catholic faith despite his rejection from his family's church, reiterated his solidarity with the GLBT rights cause on Friday:
As of yesterday afternoon, an "I Support Lennon Cihak" Facebook page created last Thursday had over 2,200 likes.
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