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Priest Denies Eucharist to Married Gay Couple and They Report Him to the Police

It remains to be seen if Spanish justice accepts the complaint, as Civil Law must be harmonized with Ecclesiastical Law.

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(ZENIT News / Seville, 19.06.2024).- Two homosexual men, married according to Spanish Civil Law, reported a priest of the Archdiocese of Seville to the police, for refusing to give them Communion and a Blessing last May 25, during the Celebration of the Eucharist.

The LGBTI Andalusian Federation, Andalusia Diversity, published on its social networks that “parish priest Francisco José López Martínez refused to give both Communion for being married to each other, during the Mass celebrated with the Sacramental Brotherhood of the True Cross. Moreover, it added that “the refusal of the parish priest to bless the homosexual couple is a clearly discriminatory and unjust gesture.”

Father López Martínez was ordained in June 2020 and is the parish priest of the Divine Saviour church of the “Two Sisters” town and has received the accusation before the National Police.

The Andalusia Diversity press release pointed out that the two homosexual men “know all the parish priests of the area and have always had a good relationship [with them], this being the first time that they face a rejection of this sort.” It is predictable that they approached one with defined positions to prepare the complaint as “a case of possible discrimination in the Church based on sexual orientation.”

Canon 912 of the Code of Canon Law establishes that “every baptized person, to whom the Law does not prohibit it, can and must be admitted to Holy Communion. And canon 915 states that “the excommunicated  and those that are interdicted after the imposition or declaration of sentencing, and those that obstinately persist in a manifest grave sin, must not be admitted to Holy Communion.”

On December 18, 2023, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith published a Declaration on blessings, indicating to priests that they can bless people in irregular situations, such as homosexual couples. A note on this Declaration dated January 4, stressed some requirements, such as “very brief” blessings,” done in a “few seconds, without Ritual or Blessing,” asking the Lord for “peace, health and other goods” so that they “can live in full fidelity to the Gospel of Christ” and with the help of the Holy Spirit to be released from “all that needs purification.”

The text of the complaint added: “A person’s sexual orientation should not interfere in his relationship with God or in the way of being treated by the religious community. We urge the parish priest to reflect on his actions and to apologize for the pain and marginalization he has caused the couple.”

It remains to be seen if Spanish justice accepts the complaint, as Civil Law must be harmonized with Ecclesiastical Law.

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Rafael Llanes

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