Jack and Dan are Dignity listmembers of long
standing - congratulations for standing your ground, Jack and Dan, and thanks
for the wedding photo and permission to include it here.
Catholic Archbishop Denies Gay Couple Communion;
Drove Them Away From Church
Espera GayWired News December 7, 2006
A Roman Catholic couple in Canada say they’re being driven
from the church over the Halifax, Nova Scotia archbishop’s opposition to their
The Canadian Press reports that after Daniel Poirier and Jack Murphy got
married in May, the two 69-year-olds placed an announcement and photograph in a
When the notice appeared, the couple’s priest at Stella Maris in Meteghan
told them that Archbishop Terrence Prendergast—head of the Halifax archdiocese
and administrator of the Yarmouth diocese which includes Meteghan—had directed
they no longer could receive communion or assume any leadership position in the
That meant Poirier no longer could serve as a
director of the choir at Stella Maris.
“It really was a blow,” Poirier said told the CP. “When we went to church
there, it was like going into a warehouse; it was cold, because when everybody
got up to receive communion, we had to sit down.
“One day we went and the priest talked about love and sharing and charity and
all that, and I said to Jack, ‘No, I can’t take this anymore.’ So we walked out.
“I was almost in tears and my heart was broken.”
CBC News reports that men have since joined the Deacon United Church
in Yarmouth, but once a month they go back to Stella Maris.
Rev. Leslie Robinson told the CP that his church has benefited from having
two new members with a different Christian background.
entre-nous, Jack adds:
This all began when Danny sent
a letter to the Halifax Chronicle (Voice of the People) to state that we
will be having a sad spiritual Christmas this
year as we have been
refused communion by Archbishop Prendergast and that we can no longer
assume leadership positions in our parish church i.e. Danny directing
the choir. The Chronicle Herald called and asked if they could do
a story about us. It was printed in Wednesday's paper on the front
page. Thursday Global TV, CTV, and CBC TV all asked to come to video
tape us for their 6:00 news. We also were on CBC radio in French
and in English. Danny's first language is French and I am progressing in
our Acadian French. We have been having lots of support from the people
in our parish. They accepted us for the 7 years Danny and I have
been together. Our parish priest's policy is to never deny
communion to ANYONE who comes to receive at the altar. BUT he told
us he is required to not give us communion under orders from Prendergast.
One female and heterosexual Eucharistic minister has told us she will
give us communion should we come to her in front of the altar.
However, our 65 year old pastor recently learned that he has leukemia
and we do not want to add stress to his responsibilities. So we
will not receive communion in Meteghan. We will attend Saturday
Mass about once a month and sit up front by the centre aisle to remind
persons of the Archbishop's injustice to us. In the meanwhile we
have joined and attend the Sunday service at Beacon United Church in
Yarmouth. Their pastor Rev. Leslie Robinson, a heterosexual with
wife and two grown children, believes in an inclusive church and we find
we are very much welcomed in this church.
is enriching for us,” he said to the CP. “We can kind of challenge each other
and bounce ideas off each other that come across initially as being different.
“It just helps to sharpen the discussion, which is
But the men maintain they’re Roman Catholic and still
attend a service at Stella Maris once in a while.
“By being there once in a while, it’s reminding the
people of how we’ve been treated,” Murphy said to CBC News. “This is an
CBC News reports that the couple received a
letter from Prendergast officially declaring they would be allowed to take
communion only if they led a celibate life.
Prendergast is out of the country and a spokeswoman for
the Halifax archdiocese told CBC News that church officials do not comment on
© 2006 GayWired; All Rights
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