BARNESVILLE, Minn. – If you want to be a Catholic, you have to be 100 percent Catholic.
That’s the lesson one family here learned after their 17-year-old son was denied confirmation after the priest at the Assumption Church here found a pro same-sex marriage post on the teen’s Facebook.
The decision by the Rev. Gary LaMoine to deny the religious rite of passage for Lennon Cihak in mid-October shocked his mother, who said her son has gone to church every week and volunteered around the community in preparation for his confirmation this year.
“You kind of know the Catholic beliefs, but I never thought they would deny somebody confirmation because you weren’t 100 percent. I guess that’s what shocks me,” Shana Cihak said.
The Facebook post in question was a photo of Lennon in front of an altered political sign. Originally reading “Vote Yes” on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, which would have changed the state’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, Lennon scribbled out the “yes” and replaced it with “NO!”
Shana, who said she was confirmed at the same church, was called into a private conversation with the priest soon after the photo was discovered and was told her son wouldn’t be allowed to complete confirmation.
A man who answered the door at the rectory adjacent the church at 307 Front St. N. here just after 9 p.m. on Wednesday said he had no comment. Shana said La-Moine lives at the rectory by himself.
Lennon said fellow students in his confirmation class “liked” the photo on Facebook, but they were still allowed to be confirmed.
I just thought it was wrong to single him out,” Shana said.