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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 16, 2012, 04:55 PM

A Catholic Church and Barnesville family are in a war of words over confirmation denial

Barnseville, MN (WDAY TV) -- An update to the story out of Barnesville, where the Catholic Church and a family there, are in a war of words.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Barnseville, MN (WDAY TV) -- An update to the story out of Barnesville, where the Catholic Church and a family there, are in a war of words.

In his first public statement since the story broke, Father Gary LaMoine says Lennon C-Hawk "chose" to not be confirmed.

Lennon and his family have argued the church banned Lennon from his recent confirmation, because of his "vote no" stance on the Minnesota Marriage Vote.

In a letter sent to the Assumption Parish in Barnesville, Father LaMoine lays out the position from the Diocese regarding Lennon and Confirmation.

The bottom line, the Catholic Church's Teaching on Marriage clashed with Lennon's beliefs. And there was no way he was headed for confirmation, without recanting his position.

In his letter to the Assumption parish, Father LaMoine wrote how dismayed he is this has become something other than an internal Church matter. He said he and the Bishop have been harassed by the media. Regarding Lennon, Father LaMoine says Lennon verbally chose to withdraw from confirmation after being confronted about his Facebook post on gay marriage. The church says Lennon defaced a pro-marriage sign. And, the letter says, was rejecting a central teaching of the Church. While the Church in Barnesville and the Diocese say Lennon chose to withdraw, the letter says this: "even if he had not withdrawn from confirmation, there would be no choice but to remove Lennon, given his rejection of marriage as we understand it. Calling it a breach of faith.

Father LaMoine says he had face to face and telephone conversations with Lennon and his family. The Bishop out of Crookston was aware of the issue.

The church says the family has an unwillingness to accept the teaching of the church on marriage. We contacted the Bishop in Crookston once again today. He had no comment.

One "he-said, she said" remaining:

The parents say they have been told they cannot take communion. The church says they can.

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