Michigan Catholic diocese says gay, ‘transgender’ individuals should be denied sacraments

LGBT individuals should not receive baptism, communion until they have “repented,” guidance says.

Updated: December 11, 2021 - 4:53pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A major midwestern Catholic diocese is facing facing renewed criticism for sharing guidance that proscribes gay and "transgender" individuals should not have access to the Catholic Church’s sacraments unless and until they have "repented" from their choices related to those identities.

The guidance, first promulgated in July, was thrust back into the spotlight this week when it was criticized by prominent progressive Jesuit priest Father James Martin. 

"A person who is publicly living in a same‐sex sexual relationship (or in any sexual relationship outside of a marriage between one man and one woman) may not be Baptized, Confirmed, or received into full communion in the Church, unless the person has repented and withdrawn from the relationship,” according to the guidance, which also suggests excluding people who publicly identify as a different gender than their biological sex or have attempted "gender transitioning."

Martin, known for his unconventional approach to LGBTQ issues within the Catholic Church, said on Twitter that the guidance constituted "stigmatizing language" that could lead to "real-life effects ... on LGBTQ people."

"It's not a sin to be transgender," he wrote. "It's not a sin to be LGBTQ."