Michigan Catholic Diocese Orders Priests to Deny Communion to Trans-Identified Individuals until They Repent

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for ChristianHeadlines.com | Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Michigan Catholic Diocese Orders Priests to Deny Communion to Trans-Identified Individuals until They Repent

Michigan Catholic Diocese Orders Priests to Deny Communion to Trans-Identified Individuals until They Repent

A Michigan-based Catholic diocese has instructed its priests to deny Catholic sacraments such as baptism and communion to trans-identified or nonbinary individuals unless they repent for rejecting their biological sex.

In late July, the Catholic Diocese of Marquette issued a 15-page instructional report titled “Created in the Image and Likeness of God: An Instruction on Some Aspects of the Pastoral Care of Persons with Same-Sex Attraction and Gender Dysphoria.”

While it is not an exhaustive explanation of the subject, the report takes the following topics into account: “the art of pastoral accompaniment, the meaning and purpose of human sexuality,

general approaches to the accompaniment of persons with same‐sex attraction and persons with gender dysphoria, and guidance for select pastoral circumstances.”

The policy asserts that people with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria should be treated with “dignity and respect” because they are made in the image of God, but also urges same-sex attracted and gender dysphoric people not to look to their sexual attractions or gender identity as their source of identity.

“Our fundamental identity is as a beloved son or daughter of God,” the report states. “Thus, it is best to avoid identifying persons merely using labels such as ‘gay’ or ‘transgender.’ It speaks more to our fundamental identity and dignity as persons to speak of persons with same‐sex attraction or persons with gender dysphoria.”

The policy also stresses the importance of pastoral accompaniment, a practice in which priests meet people as they are and walk with them towards Christ “in a manner that is consistent with the Church’s teaches.”

“To accompany others, it is insufficient merely to state the Church’s teaching. In addition, we must strive to meet people and lead them, step‐by‐step, as we all walk toward the fullness of truth,” the report says.

In addition to not receiving the sacraments, the order prohibits trans-identified individuals from receiving the anointing of the sick, which, in some instances, is meant to offer spiritual or physical healing to very ill individuals.

As reported by The Christian Post, the guidance was also issued in a press release by the diocese last Thursday.

“The Church teaches that persons experiencing feelings of same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria is not sinful, but freely acting upon them is,” the statement reads.

“Experiencing feelings and desires that are not in accord with the true meaning and purpose of sexuality is not sinful,” the statement continued. “To commit a sin, we must know that something is wrong and freely choose to do it.”

Bishop John Doerfler of the Diocese of Marquette, who issued the report, described it a “privilege” to have worked with same-sex attracted people throughout his years of ministry. He added that he continues to be inspired by their “faith and desire to live chastely.”

According to the Washington Post, the diocese’s policy will likely affect non-Catholic adults who want to get baptized in the Catholic Church, trans-identified teens preparing for confirmation and children of Catholic migrants who were unable to be baptized as infants because of frequent migration, among other reasons.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/wideonet

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.