Missouri woman Carol Parker was told she would not be allowed to receive the Catholic rite of communion at her mother’s funeral after the parish priest noticed her mother’s obituary mentioned her long term partner Josie Martin.
Parker’s mother passed away 26 December and Father Benjamin Kneib of
Columban Catholic Church in Chillicothe, Missouri noticed the obituary
for her 30 December funeral and so called Parker to tell her that she
would not be allowed communion during the funeral – or in future.
‘It was a shock to hear him say that,’ Parker told the St Joseph News Press, ‘I never expected that, especially at my mother’s funeral.’
Parker said it was heartening that most of the people at the funeral
refused the communion in solidarity with them but they have since found a
more welcoming church.
Kneib told the couple they were still welcome at the church but he would not be giving them communion.
‘That was our faith community,’ Parker said, ‘It really took away a lot of things for us. He would still like to see us there, but I don’t feel like I’m welcome if I can’t take part in the main focus of the Mass.’
The couple, who have been together for 20 years, had been members of
Columban Catholic Church for over 12 years but Kneib was only
ordained in May and is new to Columban Catholic Church.