Lennon Cihak, 17, denied Catholic confirmation after coming out in support of gay marriage

Categories: GLBT, Religion
lennon cihak.jpeg
Image by Tatiana Craine
Lennon and his family need to find a new church after he was rejected for supporting the Vote No cause.
Last month, Lennon Cihak, a 17-year-old living in Barnesville, Minnesota, posted a picture of himself holding an altered 'Vote Yes' sign on his Facebook page.

SEE ALSO:
-- Catholic school teacher forced to resign after disagreeing with church's gay marriage stance
-- MN for Marriage's concession: "God has defined marriage as between one man and one woman"


Lennon markered out the 'Vote Yes' text and replaced it with 'Vote No!' He also changed the sign's slogan to read, 'Equal Marriage Rights!' Shortly thereafter, Lennon's mother, Shana Cihak, was called into a meeting with Rev. Gary LaMoine, the priest at Assumption Church, the Catholic church the Cihak family attends. LaMoine informed the family that Lennon would no longer be able to complete his confirmation because of his gay marriage stance.

From the Fargo Forum:
The decision by the Rev. Gary LaMoine to deny the religious rite of passage for Lennon Cihak in mid-October shocked his mother, who said her son has gone to church every week and volunteered around the community in preparation for his confirmation this year.

"You kind of know the Catholic beliefs, but I never thought they would deny somebody confirmation because you weren't 100 percent. I guess that's what shocks me," Shana Cihak said...

But now the family is not allowed to participate in Communion there, Doug [Cihak, Lennon's father] said, and he's worried as to how far the sanctions will go, expressing concern about being able to be buried alongside his parents.

Still, Doug insists he's not mad at LaMoine, calling him just a "messenger" of the church. The same could not be said for his wife, who said she doesn't plan on returning to the church ever again, her son nodding in agreement.

"You should be able to go to a church for support, help," Lennon said. "He pushed me away."
Lennon, whose Twitter presence outs him as a political moderate (see image at top of this post), told the Forum that he remains committed to his Catholic faith despite his rejection from Assumption Church.

"I don't want the church to be put down. I don't want the Catholic religion to be put down," he said. "It's just the way the priest has things running. He's so strict. He won't loosen up about things."


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31 comments
mommy10710
mommy10710

I think there is more to this story. With my limited understanding of canon law this cannot happen. I would call the bishop who supervises the Barnesville pastor to clarify this issue. Then I would hope that you would  reprint the bishops response to obtain an accurate depiction of the catholic position according to canon law ( their legal system by which all priests must obey and is equal but trumped by the civil laws of our state county and nation.  . 

 

Mike Musty Sr. 

MikeW
MikeW

There has been a lot of back-and-forth since this initial posting.  The parish is claiming that the denial is not true while the family is sticking to its story.  The Fargo Forum (and its papers in the Forum Communications chain) is reporting this now.

http://www.eotfocus.com/event/article/id/22602/

John Saxhaug
John Saxhaug

i suspect most teennagers didnt submit a petition to their local church looking for confirmation. usually this this has been accomplished by their parents or parental authority. so your argument don't join is liking a telling a two year old to forgoe potty training.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

I bet Jesus is so proud this bigot idiot is screwing with a child because he wants to throw a tantrum about politics.  Just a quick lesson in logic for all the idiots who might support this idiot priest; do you think the good guys are the ones messing with children because of poltics?    Still I guess this is an improvement on the usual Catholic priest fucks with kids stories.  Why would anyone take advice on how to live their life from that international pedophile ring?

Noah Hanson
Noah Hanson

Ahh religion, who cares, and who would want to be involved anyways?

Richard
Richard

As a former seminarian, I can tell you that that priest can not deny a sacrament simply because one dissents.

If one dissents publicly from a teaching of the Church, one can be denied a sacrament.  He did not disagree with the Church on the teaching that being gay is "intrinsically evil".  There is no official teaching on gay marriage, though it could be implied; implicit though not explicit.  And he did not mention the Church in his dissent.

Just change parishes.  Your pastor is a fool  

pdc4k
pdc4k

Is it not possible to be against same-sex marriage but also be against using the State Constitution in this manner? Many principled conservatives (Catholics among them) voted against the amendment even though they don't want "Adam and Steve" to get married. They just recognize the misuse of the constitution when they see it. So how would the Rev. feel about that?

Becca Hudson
Becca Hudson

Should Jews be allowed to eat bacon? The Catholic church has the right to believe what they want. Don't like it? Don't join.

Eric Sailor
Eric Sailor

Ahh, the CC continues it's decent... but what a great opportunity for all of us to look at the values we wish to nurture within our families! Best wishes to Lennon and his family- brighter days ahead.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

There is an argument to be made that this is indeed the price of membership in a church.  As a matter of fact, this is why I've never been a member of a church, and have no plans to at any time.

Kenneta Fabing
Kenneta Fabing

Whether we agree with the church's teachings or not, by joining a church, we are agreeing to the principles and values taught and supported there. The church (again, whether we agree with it or not), has a right to make a decision as to who they let enter into their congregations. Although cultural and moral pressure may try to influence otherwise, freedom of religion guarantees the church this right, again, whether you like it or not.

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

The thing is, if your church sucks that hard and is that hypocritical, is it really so bad that they aren't allowing them to participate anymore? I say this with a minimal amount of glibness but, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise for the Cihak family? After all, why be part of a church that seems to be against the concept of peace, love, charity, understanding and acceptance that their religion was supposedly founded on in the first place?

Dean P. Cummings
Dean P. Cummings

Umm - he is 17. He couldn't even vote - LOL! Meanwhile there are 27 Catholic legislators who voted against the bill on the Senate floor and can get their Sacraments whenever they want.

Brett Verlyn Scriver
Brett Verlyn Scriver

The church has a right to deny confirmation to someone who disagrees with their views. They don't have a right to force their views on the general public, including people who aren't even Catholic. I also wonder if their decision is based solely on the fact that he disagrees with their views, or if it is because they don't know the origin of the yard sign. It appears he may have stolen it from someone and vandalized it, which would most definitely be sinful and wrong.

Stan Walsh
Stan Walsh

turn your backs on that church and you'll be waaaay happier

Chris Pederson
Chris Pederson

The CC is being consistent in hatred of all things related to sexuality and equality.

Jordan
Jordan

Shouldn't it be Father Gary LaMoine?

Madonna Smith
Madonna Smith

any chance they had of keeping him in the church just went out the window.

jpinmn
jpinmn

 @mommy10710 completely agree. Apparently, from other news stories, this priest has been alienating many members of his parish for years.

 

If he is so worried about people's lives, I wonder what sacraments he denies to people who actually break church rules? (This kid simply sided with marriage equality, he didn't get gay married.)

 

Is he denying last rites to divorced people? What sacraments is he denying women who use birth control? Or is he just singling out one kid who had an opinion and used free speech?

jpinmn
jpinmn

 @Richard check out the new catechism (under JPII.) The Church does not believe that being gay is intrinsically evil any more. They believe gays are created by god, but are called to celibacy, the same as all unmarried people.

Kieron
Kieron

 @pdc4k Apparently the "Rev' is incapable of such distinctions.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @Jordan It's "THE Rev. Gary LaMoine." The honorific is "the Reverend." Father is an informal term.

 

But I would argue that LeMoine doesn't deserve an honorific, just a swift kick in the ass.

martthesling
martthesling

 @mark.gisleson  @Jordan  Please, don't insult the clergy of my faith. He can not become confirmed because he is going against Church doctrine. Also, if he was pro choice he can not be confirmed. 

jpinmn
jpinmn

 @martthesling  what rule did he break? he merely dissented with the Bishop's stance. (He did not get gay married.)

 

Should people who actually break rules, like getting divorced or using birth control be denied sacraments? How is this priest enforcing that? Or is he singling out one kid using his free speech to punish him for ideas?

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @martthesling  @Jordan "Also, if he was pro choice he can not be confirmed."

 

Unless, of course, he lived before the early 19th Century when Rome suddenly felt the need to re-exert its authority over science. Prior to the 1820s or so, Catholic prosecution of abortions was all but nonexistent.

 

The Catholic church is the biggest insult to Catholicism. I wonder how many kids were denied communion for thinking the earth revolves around the sun?

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @martthesling  If only the Catholic Church had such strict rules about what to do about child molesters.   How come only the liberal posistions keep people from being confirmed?   Why not the death penalty or people that support cutting welfare?    Why don't you live by Mathew 19:21 you phony?  Why are you such a fraud Christian?   Don't you think Jesus will be pretty pissed to find out you used his religion as an excuse to be a bigot?   Why don't you try to make adultry illegal if marriage is so important?   That's a commandment.  The word of God.  Not some babbles of a prophet.  Why don't Catholic priests devote their time to making adultry illegal?  I say its because they are phony bigot liars who hide their hate behind the Bible.  

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