Lesbian Judge in Same-sex Marriage is Denied Communion at Michigan Catholic Church

A Michigan Catholic church denied Holy Communion to a state district court judge because she is married to a woman.

Judge Sara Smolenski, the chief judge of the state’s 63rd District Court, told CNN that she was called by the Rev. Scott Nolan, the priest at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Nov. 23. During the call, he requested that she no longer attend communion at the church, saying “’It was good to see you in church on Sunday. Because you and Linda are married in the state of Michigan, I’d like you to respect the church and not come to communion,'” the outlet reported.

Smolenski was baptized at the church. Her parents were married there in the 1940s, and she and her nine siblings attended the church’s school when they were children. Communion is a holy and sacred act in Catholicism.

The judge told CNN that other parishes are more accepting of LGBTQ+ people, but she has been distancing herself from the family church since the priest denied communion to another same-sex couple earlier this year.

“He publicly shunned the couple,” Smolenski said. She married her partner of 30 years in March 2016. She and her wife, Linda Burpee, have given financially to the church, including a $7,000 donation in June 2017 for a renovation.

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SOURCE: The Hill, Marina Pitofsky