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Grand Rapids-area pastor denies Holy Communion to gay judge

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Posted at 9:21 PM, Nov 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-29 21:21:03-05

LANSING, Mich. — The Roman Catholic Church in western Michigan is defending a priest’s decision to deny Holy Communion to a judge in a same-sex marriage.

Judge Sara Smolenski says the Rev. Scott Nolan privately informed her on Nov. 23, about a week after receiving Communion from him at St. Stephen Church in East Grand Rapids. She says she hadn’t been regularly attending the church for months.

Nolan says the teachings of the Catholic faith aren’t flexible. The church recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman.

In a statement, the Grand Rapids Diocese says: “No community of faith can sustain the public contradiction of its beliefs by its own members.”

Smolenski has been a lifelong member of the St. Stephen parish. She says she wonders “why now and why me?”

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