Parishioners meet with bishop over gay couple

I fail to see why the issue has risen after more or less 11 years.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Roman Catholic bishop says a central Montana parish is about evenly divided over a new priest’s decision to prohibit a gay couple from receiving Communion unless they divorce, live separately and write a statement affirming that a marriage is between a man and a woman.

Bishop Michael Warfel of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings met Saturday with about 300 parishioners of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Lewistown, where he also led a Mass. About half the parishioners supported the Rev. Samuel Spiering’s decision, while the other half were very angry, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

“There obviously is polarization, and certainly what I want to do is try to effect some healing,” Warfel said Saturday. “At the same time, as a Catholic bishop, I uphold our Catholic teachings.”

Tom Wojtowick, 66, and Paul Huff, 73, are longtime Catholics and have attended St. Leo the Great since 2003. Both sang in the choir, and Wojtowick is an organist.

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