The Archdiocese of Denver allegedly refused the four women wearing rainbow masks during Communion at All Souls Catholic Church. Recently, they clarified the issue through their spokesperson, Kelly Clark.
Archdiocese of Denver Stance Over the Issue Refusing Four Women During Communion
Kelly Clark, a spokesman for the Denver Archdiocese, told The Denver Post that nobody from All Souls was available to discuss the subject. She also stated that the Archdiocese will not give a statement in response to the claim, yet, she did mention in an email that "the most sacred thing we do as Catholics is celebrated Mass."
According to Clark, the Mass is a time to worship God and not a time to seemingly make a statement or enter Mass to generate a response. It is appropriate for a priest to give a blessing instead of Communion if it appears that the person isn't ready to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. If people believe that they were denied Communion in error, they strongly recommend they discuss the matter with the pastor of their parish, she added.
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Story of the Four Women During Communion in Archdiocese of Denver
A report from Into stated that on Saturday, Feb. 11, the four close friends Sally Odenheimer, 71, Susan Doty, 81, Jill Moore, 64, and Cindy Grubenhoff, 48, went to the Mass held at All Souls Catholic Parish in Englewood. The priest gave a puzzled expression after taking one glimpse at the congregation's rainbow face masks while they were lining up to take the Eucharist.
As mentioned, the four close friends wanted to show their support for local teacher Maggie Barton, who had been dismissed due to her sexual orientation, by wearing face masks. Barton was employed at All Souls Catholic School as a technology teacher until the Archdiocese of Denver got a photo of her kissing her partner. On Jan. 26, a day after Pope Francis condemned punitive actions for homosexuality, she was terminated from her position.
According to Advocate, even though none of them often goes to All Souls, Sally Odenheimer saw an opportunity to show her support for the educator. She organized a group of her friends to wear LGBTQ-affirming clothing and attend Mass at the church, where Barton was dismissed from her position. The women were taken aback when the priest refused to give them Communion. However, they did not make a fuss about it and simply continued with the Mass.
As per Christianity Daily, the Archdiocese of Denver has a different stance on the issue. They claim that Barton's dismissal resulted from her failure to abide by the commitments outlined in her contract with the school. The contract says that all Catholic school teachers are expected to live a Catholic lifestyle and refrain from engaging in behavior opposite to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Barton did not adhere to the commitments outlined in her contract with the school. Despite the provided explanation by the church, Barton continues to be firm in her opinion that she was fired due to discrimination in the LGBT community.
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