A man in Indiana turned to Facebook when the pastor of his Roman Catholic parish sent him a page and a half-long letter, refusing his request to sing at his grandmother’s funeral, something he’d done in church before.
The reason cited by Rev. Bob J. Lengerich of St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church in Decatur, is that he concluded the grandson is someone who dared “openly defy the tenants [sic] of our faith.”
And according to the parishioner, Connor Hakes, he did this by attending a Pride rally with friends and posted a photo on Facebook.
Hakes also posted photographs showing him with his grandmother, a longstanding member of the congregation.
Hakes told WANE-TV that no one checked with him to see if he really was gay. “This Priest had judged me and really formed an opinion about me without ever communicating with me,” he said.
Lengerich wrote in his letter that he would allow Hakes to honor his grandmother with a tribute song, but only if it is either before or after the funeral Mass, after the ceremony at the cemetery and outside of the church, perhaps at the funeral home or at a luncheon reception. “It’s because we love you that we are concerned for you,” he wrote. The first page of the letter is below:
Watch the report from WANE-TV below.