“Married” Same-Sex Couple Leave Catholic Church When Archbishop Properly Instructs

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.

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  • Guest

    So often, things begin in misunderstandings.
    But then once things have been clarified, it is often easier to hold onto the misunderstandings and perpetuate them.

    How many in the 40’s and 50’s “were driven from the Church” because they divorced and remarried? And in reality, it is simply because they did not understand the Church’s teachings about marriage. So, most likely, a priest was in the position to try to clarify things. Instead of repentance (and believe me, I’m the first one to recognize that I have a lot of blind spots!), they choose to perpetuate the “misunderstandings”, leaving the Church, running and screaming “I’ve been excommunicated! I have been thrown out of the Church!” when in reality, this is not so?

    First, we should pray for all those souls that are persistent in their “misunderstandings.” Then we should pray for ourselves – that God will send us those that can clarify things for us. THEN, we should pray that we recognize Truth instead of the easier way – and accept and embrace God’s loving authority and love.

  • Guest

    Apparently these men cannot read (the Catechism or any other teaching) since it is certainly not a lack of public teaching by the bishops, united and separately, that show forth the Church’s teaching on chastity, marriage, and the objective disorder of homosexual actions. It is laughable that they would accuse the Archbishop of in effect “picking on them” personally.

  • Guest

    Of ‘divorced’, they are still full Catholics. However, re-marriage precludes the Sacraments, unless the marriage is can be publicly construed as very strictly ‘Platonic’. Unable to receive absolution or Communion, is one really Catholic?

    With due acknowledgement of bishops’ documents (which in my younger days were rarely forcefully promulgated or made available) and the CCC (which is a very recent tome) too many pastors have muddied the waters (with theologian and catechetist encouragement and assistance)

    • about pre-marriage in actions and preparation (‘chastity’ seemed almost a bad word, or at least idealistic in some sick way; pre-marital sex came on as if we are pagans),
    • marriage (‘. . . until death . . . What God has joined together’),
    • family (a la contraception and that little ones are blessings) and
    • divorce (blizzards of pastoral blather).

    It is one Sacrament the clerics have really hazed-over, muddied and smeared, badly.

    All that said . . . where were these guys’ pastor(s) through all the ‘thick-and-thin’ here?

    I remain your obedient servant, but God’s first,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell @mail.catholicexchange.com or …yahoo.com)

  • Guest

    Yes, I should have been clearer.
    Divorced and remarried does preclude the Sacraments.
    You ask,
    “Unable to receive absolution or Communion, is one really Catholic?”

    I would say YES, to the extent that right-living be restored, and a simple confession brings you back to full-communion. There is no need for re-baptism, for RCIA, or for any other means or mechanism to be back in full-communion.

    I would say NO, to the extent that clearly one does not fully embrace the Bride of Christ, and therefore does not fully embrace the Bridegroom. Much is lost. But we cannot live without hope.

  • Guest

    My experience with lapsed Catholics of every stripe is of ego, not hope.

    I can pray for them, but anticipate that God has hands full with most of them.

    I remain your obedient servant, but God’s first,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell @mail.catholicexchange.com or …yahoo.com)