Father Gary LaMoine from Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville, Minn. sent a letter to the members of the Assumption Parish. KFGO has obtained this letter and here it is in it's entirety.
From: Fr. Gary LaMoine
To: Members of Assumption Parish, Barnesville
Reason: Recent celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation
Date: November 15, 2012
On Sunday, November 11th, the parish rejoiced in the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation with 20 men and woman of the parish. I congratulate all who entered the Church as full members and hope that their open commitment to live out their lives as Catholic Christians will bring them much personal joy and peace. It was a beautiful celebration and a great day.
The celebration of the sacrament was, however, surrounded by some controversy. A couple of candidates chose not to enter
into full communion with the Catholic community because of their disagreement with the teaching of the Church concerning marriage. I use the word chose very deliberately since they verbally withdrew from candidacy in conversation with one or more of the teaching staff.
One of the candidates withdrew after defacing a pro-marriage sign and placing the same on his Facebook website. When I challenged the young man as to why he was doing this when he knew he was rejecting a central teaching of the Church, he affirmed his rejection of the teaching for personal reasons and said that he no longer wanted to be confirmed. This is in direct contradiction to what has been subsequently proclaimed by the candidate and his family. He and his family are saying that he was denied the sacrament. This is not true; the young man withdrew from the ceremony. Nevertheless, even if he had not withdrawn from the confirmation ceremony, I would have had no choice but to remove him from consideration given his rejection of marriage as we understand it. Rejection of the Church’s teaching on marriage is a very serious breach of faith. We believe that the teaching on marriage (that marriage is between one man and one woman for the purpose of creating new life), is a matter of divine revelation; it comes directly to us from God. Rejection of the teaching on marriage is, for example, similar to the rejection of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity or the rejection of the doctrine of Christ as being both human and divine. Marriage, divinely received, is a central belief. Intending to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation, while rejecting a central belief, is an absolute contradiction. One cannot embrace the faith of the Church in Confirmation while rejecting it at the same time.
It is to my dismay that what should have been kept an internal Church matter has now become a public controversy. To place this controversy into the public forum was the decision of the young man and his family; it was not my intention or the intention of Bishop Hoeppner who was informed about the situation shortly after the young man withdrew from candidacy. The Bishop and I now find ourselves harassed by the media, coming to my door at 9:30 PM last Wednesday for a newspaper interview and being called to give comment on a KFGO radio program. All this activity originated from the young man and his family. Agreeing to disagree and leaving it at that is not acceptable to the young man and his family. What this family hopes to gain is beyond my present comprehension.
I apologize to the parish for the actions of this family. I have personally spent much time talking to them face to face about their unwillingness to accept the teaching of the Church on marriage but to no avail. I can only say that I am willing to continuing the conversation, but not in the public forum. This I will not do.