Vigneron's position on communion concerns some Catholics

Vigneron's position on gay marriage supporters and communion concerns some Catholics

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Lifelong Catholic Helena Solano said she is "distraught". Lifelong Catholic Helena Solano said she is "distraught".
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Should those in the Catholic Church who support gay marriage receive Holy Communion?  Remarks by the Archbishop of Detroit have upset some local Catholics.

"I burst into tears.  This is my church, and regardless of who you are, you're a member of that church.  You're a member of that body, and we are all the body of Christ," said Helena Solano.

She sobbed as she read Monday morning's Detroit Free Press headline --  "Detroit-area Catholic leaders urge gay marriage supporters to skip communion".

A lifelong Catholic involved in every aspect of it, she just returned from a Catholic retreat only to question her church, even sending Archbishop Allen Vigneron a letter.

"I have brought many people into the Catholic Church, and right now because of this, I am ashamed of the Catholic Church.  I am ashamed of what Archbishop Vigneron said," remarked Solano.  "I'm distraught about this actually.  This will be a defining moment for me in my Catholicism."

She is not the only one concerned.  Catholics we spoke with in southwest Detroit are wondering if they are welcome in their own church.

"We all have loved ones and family and friends who are gay and lesbian, and frankly as a practicing Catholic, it deeply offends me that the church would take that position," said David Koelsch.

"I don't support gay marriage, not at all," said Jose Riojas.  "How can you say no you can't have communion?"

Vigneron was not available for comment, but a spokesperson sent this explanation:

"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, any serious matter -- for example, whether it be a rejection of the divinity of Christ, racist beliefs,
support for abortion or support for redefining marriage -- that would contradict the public affirmation they would make of the church's beliefs by
receiving communion.  As the Archbishop states, the pastors of the church are ready to assist Catholics to help them understand and avoid this
conflict."

"They seem to be going out of their way to drive people away," said Phillip Bailey.  "Detroit has been one of the centers of progressivism in the Catholic Church, and this is a tremendous setback for that.  I'm sure many Detroit Catholics will be praying for the archbishop to have a change of heart."

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