Connor Hakes, a 23-year-old from Indiana, was not allowed to sing at his grandmother’s funeral because the pastor who did the service previously saw a photo of Hakes attending a gay Pride Parade.
Pastor Bob J. Lengerich of St. Mary Of The Assumption Catholic Church sent Connor a letter explaining that he would not be allowed to sing at the funeral.
“I can no longer sing at my Grandma’s funeral, because I attended a gay pride rally and a picture was posted publicly (years ago),” Hakes, wrote in his Facebook post.
“Anytime someone sins and then acts in the name of God, it causes scandal. This is the main reason why you cannot (at this time) offer your gifts in service at St. Mary’s,” the letter states.
“The Catholic Church upholds the dignity of those with same-sex attraction. At the same time, it does not permit same-sex relationships or openly advocating for them because it causes scandal.”
I attended the school that is right next door, and when I was old enough, I started to lead singing in the church. I did this for 4 years, until I went off to study Voice Performance at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music,”
“Religion played an important part in my upbringing and is a huge part of my family. I would definitely say I have Faith. But, to be completely honest, this entire incident has shaken it a bit. ”
“I am planning to have a private meeting with the Bishop soon,”
The church released a statement:
“Having become aware of the painful situation at Saint Mary’s Parish in Decatur, the diocese is working on fostering healing and reconciliation between the pastor and the Hakes family. We encourage all to move forward with genuine Christian love and mercy and with respect and prayer for one another.”