Archived Story

Gay marriage supporter denied confirmation

Published 11:22am Friday, November 16, 2012

A teenager who posted his support for same-sex marriage online has been denied a Catholic rite of passage at his northwestern Minnesota church, his family said.

Shana Cihak said her 17-year-old son, Lennon, wasn’t allowed to be confirmed at Assumption Church in Barnesville last month after posting a Facebook picture of himself with a political sign he altered to oppose the marriage amendment on Minnesota’s ballot. Voters on Nov. 6 rejected the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Assumption Rev. Gary LaMoine told The Associated Press Thursday that the teen was not denied confirmation but declined to explain, calling it an “internal and pastoral” matter.

“Some people chose to run out into the public and put it out in the media,” LaMoine told the AP, adding that he was consulting with the Catholic Diocese of Crookston about the issue.

Shana Cihak tells The Forum she was called into a private conversation with the priest after the Facebook photo was posted and was told her son wouldn’t be allowed to complete confirmation. Lennon has gone to church every week and volunteered around the community in preparation for his confirmation this year, Shana Cihak said.

Lennon said other 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,” his mother said.

Her husband, Doug Cihak, said the family is not allowed to participate in Communion at Assumption. He insisted that he’s not mad at LaMoine, explaining that the priest is just a “messenger” of the church.

Lennon said the experience hasn’t altered his faith.

“I don’t want the church to be put down. I don’t want the Catholic religion to be put down,” he said. “It’s just the way the priest has things running. He’s so strict. He won’t loosen up about things.”

Shana Cihak said she was confirmed at the same church, but doesn’t plan to return to Assumption.

  • Marlin Genz

    Gay marriage supporter denied confirmation, Oh yes and look who sold there soul along with Lennon Cihak.

  • camobabe

    Great to see that there are still some priests who uphold the teachings of the Church. The young man’s atttude that the priest won’t violate Church law for him is unfortunately typical of many people that they are so special that rules should be suspended on their behalf.

    • BrendanJanssen

      Camilla, how is Lennon violating church law?? He himself is not gay and is NOT asking for gay marriage. He is standing up for the right for OTHERS to make their own decisions. Last I checked, it is not against church doctrines to stand up for others’ rights. Personally, I myself will never have a gay marriage because that is not who I am, or ever will be. However, I will always fight for other people to have the option of making their own decisions. If the consequence is truly (but I don’t think it is) eternity in hell, then it was their choice and they will take it up with God when their time comes. It is not my, nor anyone elses, place to decide things like this for other people.

      Lennon was supporting the rights of others to make decisions for themselves. He was not coming out as gay and declaring that he wants a gay marriage. That is what makes denying confirmation to him wrong. But, if it’s the churchs’ stance, there is not much that can be done.

  • Richard Olson

    Lennon Cihak has lost nothing. He has shown him self to be a bigger person than the Catholic church.

    Confirmation is nothing short of a hazing ritual to gain entrance to fantasy land through a criminal organization that denies science, tortured non-believers, extracted money to buy indulges and to this day hides and dissembles for pedophiles.

    Exactly what church law or policy is it that forbids an American citizen his/her right of free speech? An answer that says “he can say what he want’s, but must own the consequences” is extortion. In this case the catholic church is setting itself above our constitution, and acting like a school yard bully with the blessing of a gang of old men. Men who can’t get married but are full of advise about marriage for others. Men who can’t have sex but are full of advise about sex for others.

    • Ron Mexico

      I would expect nothing less from such an embarrassment of an organization. Ostracize someone who understands that bigotry is wrong, makes sense.

      Im sure if he stood up against pedophilia he would have the backing of the church since they like to protect them so much.

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