Same-sex Facebook post cancels confirmation

A family and their parish in Minnesota are in conflict after a teenage son missed out on the sacrament of confirmation because of his Facebook post in support of same-sex marriage.

Lennon Cihak, 17, was on track to be confirmed at Assumption Church, Barnesville — until parish priest Father Gray LaMoine saw the teenager’s photo in a same-sex Facebook post.

The photo showed Lennon beside a defaced sign intended to support a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Lennon had written “NO!” over the “Vote YES” message.

The proposed amendment was defeated in the November 6 ballot.

Lennon’s mother, Shana, said she was called into a private conversation with Father LaMoine soon after the same-sex Facebook post was discovered and was told her son wouldn’t be allowed to be confirmed.

“You kind of know the Catholic beliefs, but I never thought they would deny somebody confirmation because you weren’t 100 per cent. I guess that’s what shocks me,” she said.

Her husband, Doug Cihak, agreed. “[Father LaMoine] was talking about ‘God doesn’t believe in this’. Well, God created Lennon,” he said.

Still, Doug Cihak insisted he was not mad at Father LaMoine, calling him just a “messenger” of the Church. The same could not be said for his wife, who told a reporter she didn’t plan on returning to the church ever again. Her son nodded in agreement.

At the same time, Lennon said his faith had not faltered. “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.”

In a letter to parishioners, Father LaMoine said Lennon chose to withdraw from confirmation after being confronted about his Facebook post, which rejected a central teaching of the Church.

Furthermore, the priest said, “even if he had not withdrawn from confirmation, there would be no choice but to remove Lennon, given his rejection of marriage as we understand it”.



Park Rapids Enterprise


Image: San Francisco Chronicle

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