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AlienatedAmy wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was raised in the Catholic faith and my family, being military, attended the Catholic military services. I was at the top in my CCD class and the top in my Confirmation class and had actually contemplated becoming a nun when I was younger.

For my Confirmation name, I chose St. Simon even though I was a girl. My teachers and the priests did not see any issues with it because I admired St. Simon and I knew many nuns took on male saint names.

When the bishop came to confirm us, he told me flat out I needed to change my chosen name to a feminine one. He also berated me and told me as a female I was lesser than my fellow male classmates and that I needed to obey whatever any male told me.

At the last minute, I was forced to change my Confirmation name to St. Cecilia. The bishop told me, for my insolence, and as an example to others that women must obey men in all matters, that after my Confirmation, I would no longer be allowed to receive Communion.

This whole experience alienated my entire family from the Catholic Church for a long long time. I have attended Catholic services from time to time, but have never participated in Communion since.

I'm now in my 30's and wonder if what the bishop said to me was right and if I'm still not allowed to receive Communion.

Amy

  { Can a Catholic be barred from receiving Communion for attitude issues or insolence to a bishop? }

Bob replied:

Dear Amy,

That Bishop was wrong in every sense and was essentially abusive and un-Christian . . . not a fitting example of a good shepherd. I'm very sorry this happened to you.

It reminds me of Jesus' admonition of the Pharisees and scribes who laid heavy burdens on men's shoulders without offering any help to lift these burdens from them. (Matthew 23:4)

You should seek out a good parish with a good priest and have a heart to heart conversation with him. You would be welcome back to Communion barring any other major issues not disclosed in your e-mail.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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