Two homosexual men in Nova Scotia who undertook a wedding ceremony have chosen to leave the Catholic Church rather than give up their homosexual relationship. Daniel Poirier and Jack Murphy, of Meteghan Centre, have complained to the media that they were "driven" from the Church by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Halifax.
The two men and the media have characterized their conflict with the teaching of the Catholic Church as a personal attack by the archbishop over their same-sex union. [Editor's note: Clearly, neither man understands the Catholic Faith.]
The archbishop acted when the two men published a "wedding" photo of themselves in the Halifax Chronicle Herald. Poirier, who had been the parish choir director, and Murphy were informed by the archdiocese that until they repented and conformed their lives to the Church's teaching on chastity, they could not receive Holy Communion or assume any leadership position in the Church.
The men claimed in the press that they had been told there "would have been no problem" "if they had kept it quiet" but that Archbishop Prendergast "took exception" to the publicity. [Editor's note: If the archbishop had not learned about it through the newspaper, both men would have continued to live in sin by receiving the Eucharist while they were "married."]
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Archdiocese said, "those who make public announcements that they are living in a manner completely contrary to the teaching of the Church cannot expect to receive Holy Communion unless there is a change in their situation."
The reception of the Eucharist is the sign of a believer's full adherence to the Church's moral and spiritual doctrines. Basic Catholic teaching holds that until the decision is made to live according to the Church's moral teachings they must abstain from reception of Communion.
The letter from the Archdiocese read, "This disciplinary measure is to remind you of the objective seriousness of your present state and to invite you to renounce it and to return to living according to Christ's injunction to ‘sin no more'."
Murphy told the CBC that for ten years, while he was living in the US with another man, he abstained from receiving Communion saying he thought that to do so would be in conflict with his Church. Eventually, however, he said, "I got to believe it wasn't," Murphy said. "For me, the Eucharist is the centre of my faith." [Editor's note: Mr. Murphy's rationalization does not supersede Church teaching.]
Although the Church does not require that a person in an irregular condition remove himself from the Church, the two men have started attending a Protestant church in nearby Yarmouth.