No communion, funeral rites for same-sex Catholic couples, Illin -

No communion, funeral rites for same-sex Catholic couples, Illinois bishop decrees

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A priest prepares a holy communion during a Mass dedicated to Mother Teresa (Credit: AP Photo / Boris Grdanoski) A priest prepares a holy communion during a Mass dedicated to Mother Teresa (Credit: AP Photo / Boris Grdanoski)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. ( – Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, has issued a decree denying funeral rites and Holy Communion to those in same-sex marriages.

Bishop Paprocki’s decree states “no member of the clergy, or any other person while acting as an employee or representative of the Diocese, is to assist at or participate in the solemnization or blessing of same-sex marriages.”  He also states that no Catholic facility or property, including schools, health and charitable institutions is to be used for the blessing or solemnization of same-sex marriages.

Also in the decree, Bishop Paprocki states people in a same-sex marriage will not be given Holy Communion.

“Pastors aware of such situations should address these concerns privately with the persons in such circumstances, calling them to conversion and advising them not to present themselves for Holy Communion until they have been restored to communion with the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation,” reads a portion of the decree.

If someone is near death, they can receive Holy Communion “in the form of Viaticum if he or she expresses repentance for his or her sins.”

Bishop Paprocki, in the decree, also stated a child with same-sex parents may be baptized if “there is well-founded hope that he or she will be brought up in the Catholic faith.” The child can also receive First Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confirmation. A person who is in a same-sex marriage is not allowed to serve as a sponsor for someone receiving the Sacraments of Baptism or Confirmation.

In addition, people “living publically in a same-sex marriage” are not allowed to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) or receive the Sacrament of Confirmation “unless he or she has withdrawn from the objectively immoral relationship,” according to the decree.

The third section of Bishop Paprocki’s decree states that unless they have given signs of repentance prior to their death, “deceased persons who had lived openly in a same-sex marriage” will not be allowed ecclesiastical funeral rites.

People living in a same-sex marriage are also not allowed to serve in a public liturgical ministry, including participating as a reader or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.

Children who are living with people in a same-sex marriage will not be denied admission to Catholic schools and catechetical and formational programs on those grounds alone.

“However, parents and those who legally take the place of parents are to be advised that their child(ren) will be instructed according to the Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality in their fullness and they must agree to abide by the Family School Agreement,” according to the decree.

At the bottom of the decree, Bishop Paprocki states the "pastoral ministry must always be respectful, compassionate and sensitive to all our brothers and sisters in faith."

Click here to read the decree in its entirety. 

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