Catholic bishop to gay marriage supporters: Keep communing - New York News

Catholic bishop to gay marriage supporters: Keep communing

Posted: Updated:
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton says Catholics that support same-sex marraige shouldn't stop going to communion. Bishop Thomas Gumbleton says Catholics that support same-sex marraige shouldn't stop going to communion.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The Detroit archbishop's recent comments about communion and support for same sex marriage is still sparking debate among Catholics.  Now a local priest is speaking out publicly against the archbishop's approach.

"Don't stop going to communion.  You're okay," said Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit Thomas Gumbleton.

Long a progressive voice in Detroit's Catholic community, Gumbleton is breaking with Archbishop Allen Vigneron days after Vigneron declared that supporters of same-sex marriage should refrain from receiving Holy Communion, comparing it to perjury.

"If you look at it from a pastoral point of view where you're trying to reach out to people, trying to draw them in, then the last thing you want to do is impose a penalty or make them feel like they have to impose a penalty upon themselves," Gumbleton said.

The bishop says the church's approach should be pastoral not punitive.  Just this week, he counseled a couple with a gay son.

"Husband, wife, raised seven children, Catholics all their lives, they're in their eighties now, and the mother says to me, you know I can't go to communion anymore," said Gumbleton.  "They're hurt and she's crying because we can't go communion and that means so much to them."

Gumbleton says it's a matter of conscience, which is deeply personal.

"Not everybody's going to come to the same conclusion at the same time, so we have to keep on working with people and trusting people that they're trying to do the right thing," he remarked.

Gumbleton read from a pastoral letter penned years ago at a bishop's conference called "Always Our Children."

"Judging the sinfulness of any particular act is a matter ultimately between God and the individual person."

He also says that an individual person must choose whether or not to receive communion.

"Their conscience is the ultimate voice they have to follow," Gumbleton explained.  "A person coming up to communion has a right to make their own decision about am I in a state of grace?... Am I ready to receive?  Well, that's for the person to decide not for the minister or not for any bishop."

Twice this week, I've asked for an interview with the archbishop or another priest who can articulate his views.  I was given a statement that reads, in part, "The archbishop's focal point here is not 'gay marriage'.  It is a Catholic's reception of Holy Communion.  If a Catholic publicly opposes the church on a serious matter of the church's teaching... that would contradict the public affirmation they would make of the church's beliefs by receiving communion."

The archdiocese told me they respectfully decline further comment on this issue at this time.  

In addition to reaching out to the archdiocese, I also attempted to contact several metro Detroit priests asking if they could speak out in support of the archbishop.  They were either unavailable or did not grant an interview.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:30:48 GMT
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:20:19 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:48:14 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices