An American priest trying to avoid “scandal” has attracted just that after telling a man he would not be allowed to sing at his grandmother’s funeral because of his association with the LGBTIAQ+ community.
In an impassioned Facebook post, Indiana man Connor Hakes says he received a formal letter from his grandmother’s church, explaining that he would not be allowed to have an active role in the ceremony.
“I can no longer sing at my Grandma's funeral, because I attended a gay pride rally and a picture was posted publicly (years ago),” Hakes writes.
“Both my Grandma and Grandpa would be disgusted by their parish. Their compassion and empathy was abundant, no matter who you were. They saw beyond race, religion, sexuality, and social class. They loved everyone. That is what is means to be a Christian. That is what it means to be Catholic.”
In the letter, the priest maintains that, “the Catholic Church upholds the dignity of those with same-sex attraction. At the same time, it does not permit same-sex relationships or openly advocating for them because it causes scandal.”
Getting divorced and remarried and openly supporting abortion rights are also listed as “sins” that would attract scandal.
The priest goes on to say Hakes would be allowed to “honour your grandmother with a special tribute in song as long as it is outside of the mass and outside of the church”.
The letter does conclude however, by saying that the church is open to further discussion and that “we want you here”.
Hakes’ Facebook post has garnered close to a thousand shares and even more comments and likes.
SBS Sexuality has contacted both Connor Hakes and the church involved for comment but has not received a reply at the time of publication.