Same-sex couple says priest denied them communion due to relationship

Posted on: 7:25 pm, January 30, 2014, by

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — A couple who lives outside of Chillicothe say their priest denied them communion when he discovered they were in a same-sex relationship. Carol Parker and her partner of nearly 20 years, Josephine Martin, say they were good standing members of Saint Columban Catholic Church in Chillicothe for 12 years.

They say that all changed when Parker had her mother’s funeral at the church following her death on December 26th. The obituary noted Parker’s mother was survived by a son, a daughter and her daughter’s partner.

“If that one word had not been in there, he would be fine,” said Martin.

Parker said she had been a member since 2001 and served as a lector, a cantor and also sang in the choir.

“He had called me the day of the rosary and said he wouldn’t be able to give us communion because of our same-sex relationship,” said Parker.

The couple says they will never step foot in the church again. Parker said it took away a final opportunity.

“It was very important to me, my last opportunity to worship here at the church with her,” Parker said. “

Martin said she and Parker don’t understand why the priest compounded the pain of a funeral with his decision.

“To be singing in the choir and be lectors, and everything, it’s all God. He just took it away in a second,” Martin said. “I just really don’t understand where his heart is.”

FOX 4 did attempt to speak with Father Benjamin Kneib but we were told by his secretary that he did not wish to comment. Parker and Martin say they have found another church that has welcomed them. Parker said even after the experience and with the new church being an hour away, she still wants to worship.

“My faith is strong enough that I wasn’t going to let this deter me to go to church,” she said.


    • good on ya Father – for sticking to the Churches teaches.

      • Where exactly in Church teaching does it say that sinners should be cast out or exiled?
        Where in Christs message does it say they should be excluded?

      • Jessie says:

        GlazeMyDonut…There you go again. Accusing him of casting them out. He did not do that. He denied them Communion and invited them to stay and repent. Sheese! More slanderYou guys best beware we can and will prosecute you for your slander.

      • Dennis says:

        Is he also withholding communion from the divorced? If he has confirmation of premarital sex of a parishioner, he’s withholding communion from them, also? It seems to me like just another case of arbitrarily cherry-picking from the Bible. Seems hypocritical to me.

      • David says:

        You’ve a fat lot of nerve, Jessie, ranting about slander and defamation when you casually call people idiots.

  • rick says:

    awesome church the way it should be

  • mary says:

    This is a non-story! I can’t believe Fox 4 would report on this! I watch the news on Fox 4 because they don’t usually report on these kind of stories like the other stations. Guess it must have been a slow day for news in KC. The Catholic church is clear on its convictions. Are we supposed to feel sorry for these women because the church won’t change for them? If church doctrine follows public opinion, and not the Bible, then there’s no reason for church.

  • kevellena leestrom says:

    these women committ apostasy and blashphemy. they should take it as a warning from God to not try to do communion while they continue to practice sin willfully

  • Ginger Brooks says:

    This is just sad. It shows the ignorance of humankind.

    • stacy says:

      Ginger, anyone in a state of mortal sin is not “in communion’ with the Church and should not receive communion. The requirement applies to everyone. It does not single out homosexuality, if you are in any sexual relationship outside of marriage you are living in sin. This fake news story is another attempt to discredit and put an end to the Catholic Church. It is shocking to me that a person so ignorant on the fundamentals of their faith was allowed to have such influence in their parish.

  • Carlos says:

    This is not newsworthy.

  • Chris says:

    no one is forcing church’s to comprise their beliefs and values. that church has the right to refuse them communion and not perform holy unions to same gender couples.

    i hope they are able to find a church that welcomes, accepts and loves them for how God made them.

  • Anne says:

    Nice to see evidence that our priests are still brave enough to do their job and not let the PC bullying distract them. Thanks Father!!

  • Lainie says:

    My only wish is that more priests would do what Fr. Kneib had the courage to do. Church teaching is there for all to either accept or reject. A priest is to hold true to the teaching of the Catholic Church, speak the truth. God bless you, Fr. Kneib!

  • Bridget says:

    We need to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church! It is a Sacralage to receive Holy communion in the state of Mortal Sin. Father Kneib did the right thing! May God bless him!

  • Beth says:

    God bless, Fr. Kneib for being such a good and courageous priest! Parker and Martin are welcome to give up their lifestyle and come back to the fullness of the faith. Prayers for all involved.

  • cmo says:

    God bless this priest, this is the catholic church, it has never swayed or changed in its opinion. Shame on these woman trying to get their 10 mins of fame at the sake of someone doing the right thing for the church and community. I’m sure if she was so involved she knew her lifestyle choices were not in line with the faith and shouldn’t be so shocked and feel “unable to step in the church again”. If this were any other religion or even about a mosque the media wouldn’t touch it with a 10ft pole.

  • John says:

    I am sorry for her loss, but if she was as good a Catholic as she seemed to be, she must have known that her relationship was in conflict with the teachings – and the expectations – of Catholicism. Just accepting Communion – a Sacrament in the Catholic Church – while in such a relationship is a mortal sin. Something that many people don’t know – or refuse to acknowledge – is that heterosexuals living as ‘partners’ outside of sacramental marriage are committing a mortal sin as well.

    I know Catholics who are gay and they live chaste lives – which I am quite sure is difficult. They are not the problem – all people are sinful. It is their actions which are disobedient and willful against the Magisterium that is a serious problem.

    I will pray for this woman.

  • Jason says:

    I am sorry, of course, for her loss, but it is obvious that she does not know the slightest bit about her faith. If she truly believed in what Holy Communion is, she would not wish to receive it while in a state of objective mortal sin, as she would know that she was committing yet another grave sin by doing so.

  • Myles says:

    LOL! They obviously are not real Catholics if they dont even understand why they were denied communion. Also thanks to the secular media for spinning what Pope Francis actually said when he made his “who am I to judge” remark. These two women that claim to be Catholics dont even know what he actually said.

  • Elinor Dashwood says:

    I would be astounded if any Catholic in the United States really didn’t know that homosexual relations are intrinsically disordered. Have they had their fingers in their ears all this time, or did they figure that they should have a special exception made for them because they’re sweet?

  • Mark Westhoff says:

    Good,brave,and holy priest!

  • Shame on Fox News for not researching their story better! These ladies have had an on again off again relationship with more than one church in Chillicothe. How embarrassing for the reporter!

  • congregentur says:

    The Priest was acting accordingly to the Holy Scripture.
    What’s the rant and rave all about to make this into the headlines?
    It would be the same if you post headlines for every ticket a cop has given for someone speeding.

    As I gather, the couple is out of this particular Church.
    I fully support Father Benjamin’s rightful action in this regard to clean out where’s to clean out.

  • Franz says:


  • rita says:

    Why do people brag about their immoral relationships and turn around and present themselves for Holy Communion? Rather than trying to make Father the BAD guy they should thank him! For those of you who use the Bible to bludgeon this priest reread 1Cor 11:23-29.

  • Diane says:

    Finally, a real honest to goodness priest, standing up for Jesus.

  • Mike says:

    Brave priest and channel 4 is going done hill

  • God bless this good Priest and may God have mercy on these two people who have given into temptation.

  • Nana510 says:

    Altho the story really didn’t deserve the press the 2 women thought it needed, I’m glad it was reported because it’s wonderful to see someone stand up for the teachings of the church as they should. If these women actually were “true Catholics” they should know better. They know the church teaches that their lifestyle is sinful. Obviously, they haven’t brought it to confession or they would have been given some advice regarding it at that point in time. If they’ve been going to that church for 12 years and it’s only NOW that it’s coming out, someone has been picking and choosing the sins they take to confession. And before anybody starts saying anything like there having to be clues along the way, not asking a person’s sexual preference is a respect of a person’s privacy. Just because 2 people of the same sex do things together all the time, it doesn’t mean there’s another kind of relationship involved other than that of a sister or brother.

    Bottom line is shame on these women for thinking a church that is doctrinally against their lifestyle needs to change for them. One of the biggest reasons I became Catholic was exactly BECAUSE it sticks to it’s beliefs instead of bending to the desires of the public.

  • Tammy says:

    Thanks be to God for this brave and holy priest for standing up for the teachings of Holy Mother Church! EVERYONE knows that the Catholic Church teaches that acting out homosexuality (not just the inclination without acting upon it) is a mortal sin. That they dared to present themselves to receive Holy Communion is a blasphemy!

    • StandTallCatholic says:

      Amen amen amen

    • Michele says:

      I know! The story is trying to vilify the priest when he is only doing his duty in protecting the blessed sacrament from being defiled. These women sadly are very lost. They should understand that when you disobey God’s law you can not receive His Body and Blood. If another priest is offering them communion knowing their active lifestyle choice, he is also condemning himself. Therefore these women in their evil are bringing down those who support and defend them. Satan just scored many souls using these two lost souls. We must pray for their conversion. The Church will never conform to the will of men. It is men who MUST conform their lives to God’s will.

  • StandTallCatholic says:

    She obviously lied in confession or never went, and must have missed catechism because every catholic knows you can’t receive holy communion in a state of mortal sin, so for 12 years she hid it and has been sinning against the Holy Ghost, both Muslims and Jews would turn them away and it would not be on the news, GOOD Catholics do not stray away, it’s sad that she could quote pope Francis too, and any Christian deniminatiowould not take them in if they didn’t repent, so the other church they found must not be Christian

  • Pete says:

    I pray for these women, but find it odd how little they really know about the religion they claim to be a part of!! If these were truly “good Catholic” women, they would have known that they were in a state of sin and had no business receiving communion!! You’ll notice the priest didn’t say “You can’t come to church” or “We don’t want you here”, he simply told them something they should have already known!!
    As to why this is a story…’s simple!! It’s not about whether you agree or disagree with homosexuality….they are going to shove it down your throat!! And when you don’t conform to whatever “they” believe is right, they will find a way to discredit or bad-mouth you!! Look at the homosexual issue!! There is not a more MEAN SPIRITED, hateful group of people than homosexuals….and they don’t care what you think or what your beliefs are… are simply to do as they say and accept it!! It’s so sad that these people don’t get the sort of mental help they need to get better!!

  • liz rosemary says:

    I sure hope Fr. Knieb is not harassed or criticized any further for doing his job correctly. MOX News only aired this story to hurt him. What a desperate move.

  • Maryanne Michele says:

    Oh no? The priest really did that? How terrible! My goodness does he think he is standing in the place of Jesus and trying to get us to heaven? The audacity of this priest for doing what God calls him to do! Praise God for this priest!

  • Jonna says:

    The priest was appointed by the disgraced Bishop Finn who convicted in criminal court for failure to report Shawn Ratigan. I hope he denied Communion to the Bishop.

  • Noel says:

    Who had decided that they are ‘in good standing’? They obviously have no conscience.

  • Bob Fox says:

    Father Knieb,

    We are proud of you. Thank you.

    A priest of God following the Magisterium of our church. He is not afraid of offending “the church of nice” that permeates too many of our parishes. A man of God and not a sissy man of society. May God Bless his work and may he continue to stand for our true Catholic Faith.

  • Hopefully in time this woman will come to understand this priest lovingly attending to her mother in death is showing her great love as well by rightly directing her to communion through the route of the confessional. He wasn’t denying anything but offering everything. Good for him. We need more priests with this kind of, “not counting the cost,” courage and charity.

  • Christine says:

    Way to go Father Ben. We love you and support you. We miss you at St Andrews. You Rock!!!

  • Kathy says:

    Father Kneib is very well respected at St. Columban and has his parishioner’s support.

    • cc423 says:

      So his parishoners support treating someone like this at their mother’s funeral? What nasty, ugly mean people they must be. God must be so proud of them.

      • mary says:

        You should read what the Bible says about communion before YOU pass judgment. Denying communion to these women had nothing to do with hate. It was instead about the Bible’s teaching and love. The priest would have been wrong to offer them communion, and they would have been wrong to receive it.

  • Loretta says:

    Treating them like what? Do you know the teachings of the church? I’m sure God is pleased that the priest cares SO much for their souls!

  • Christine says:

    While poking around the Internet a few months ago, I came across the web sites of the two insurance companies whose major business is to insure churches. I found that according to THEIR figures, non-Catholic claims about sexual abuse were running 13% higher than Catholic claims. That does NOT excuse the behavior of our priests nor does it make the activity less criminal or less of a sin. However, it does present a different view of the problem than that which is generally perceived by the public!

    But you are accusing a fine priest of something he has never don. Shame on you

  • Gary Chicaro says:

    Jesus = Santa Claus
    he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice!
    A fictional character idolized by people with tiny, closed minds!

  • JayHobeSound says:

    How revealing that so many sanctimonious mingers climbed down from their high horses to express contempt for two fellow church members. I don’t believe for one minute that the priest *just* found out they were a longtime couple. Nobody these days is that naive.

    Bring back the lions.

  • Shawn says:

    Funny, reading all of the “way to go” sanctimonious comments from the bigoted priest’s supporters. This boy priest is judging this elderly couple? What does this boy know of life? He said in an earlier article that he “wanted” to join the Marines. How rich – I guess he wanted to “kill for Jesus”. Did he attend a university or have a career before his seminary? He’s just an uneducated tube from the Midwest. He was appointed by a convicted pedophile – what has he said publicly about that child rapist and all of the other child rapists in his church? Thought so.

  • Alterboy says:

    The bishop (Finn) was first warned about father ratigan’s interest in young girls…”. Sanctimonious rubes.

  • Dan says:

    Did you know that a priest can be defrocked for suggesting the ordination of women but not for the cover up of child molestation.

  • mary says:

    It’s interesting to me that most of the people commenting in support of this priest and the church come across in a kind and sane way – even trying to educate and offer facts to dispute the attacks. Yet many of those who want to villify this priest and the church do so in a hateful, rabid way, which is exactly the kind of behavior they are accusing others of displaying!

    • There is a lot of anger being expressed.
      I am sorry for that and for the whatever hurts have happened to the people behind the anger.
      Jesus loves YOU. HE loves the angry, hurting, victimized and the even people who hate him.
      We are wasting a lot of time and energy fighting while we could be working together to change the lives of the dying, hungry, homeless, diseased people of our world.

  • Jessie says:

    To all the haters on here. There are laws that prohibit defamation and you could be liable for such with all your hateful comments. Stop bashing the church and this priest.

    Missouri Defamation Law

    Note: This page covers information specific to Missouri. For general information concerning defamation, see the Defamation section of this guide.

    Elements of Defamation
    The elements of defamation in Missouri are:

    1. publication
    2. of a defamatory statement
    3. that identifies the plaintiff
    4. that is false
    5. that is published with the requisite degree of fault, and
    6. damages the plaintiff’s reputation

  • Loretta says:

    I fail to understand the “judging” part ? What are we judging? As a practicing Catholic you follow the teachings of the church. You don’t pick and choose what you want to follow and you certainly can’t expect the church to change for you. Jesus sat and ate with sinners, he loved them but he also corrected them and told them to go and sin no more.

  • Dennis says:

    Does this priest uphold his undying commitment to God by withholding communion from the divorced, too? The Bible is pretty clear on divorce.

  • David says:


    Believing in the need for priests to aid you in communing with the power that creates the world, believing in saviors that die for your sins, and believing in supreme persons — all of this is involved in Catholic worship. And it is all superstitious rubbish!

    Have I offended anyone by stating this truth? I hope so. For I will not have offended anyone anymore than those who spout their religious opinions in comments to stories like this one offend me.

    This report is about how one man hurt the feelings of two women. Comments should confine themselves to how the parties might have avoided the hurt feelings and nothing more. Your opinions on God et al. are irrelevant.

    • Jess says:

      Your a day late and a dollar short David. And so you are a

      1. A foolish person.

      2. A person of having a mental age below three years and generally being unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers.

      [Middle English, ignorant person, from Old French idiote, from Latin idiōta, from Greek idiōtēs, private person, layman, from idios, own, private; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]

    • mary says:

      David, you are so wrong. This is not merely a story about a man who hurt someone’s feelings (although that might have been more newsworthy). At issue is a priest being called out for correctly doing his job.

      You may not believe in God, and that is your right. But I don’t understand why people like you get so upset by those who do. No one is trying to force you to believe. Remember, these women who were denied communion apparently think it’s important, or this wouldn’t be a story.

      • George Waite says:

        I think that there should be wafers sould on eBay or Amazon; people could have their Jesus-in-bread-form conveniently mailed to them without having to bother anyone else.

  • RB says:

    They shouldn’t receive communion in any church. They’re living in mortal sin and that excludes you from communion. Anyone that doesn’t know this shouldn’t be receiving communion in the first place. Regardless of what the media has reported Pope Francis as saying, the dogma of the Catholic Church hasn’t and will never change. Unfortunately some of the media has twisted the words of the pope just enough that even some gullible Catholics are believing what they have to say.

  • Kelly says:

    He should have just kept a couple in his pocket that weren’t blessed and given to them when they came up for Communion. If anyone ever asked him, he would say that he is following Church Doctrine, mind their own business, and NOT GOSSIP. Jesus never has a problem with trying to help people. You’ll help people much more by hugging them and being nice (doesn’t mean you surrender your beliefs at all). Jesus is the Prince of Forgiveness and Love. As a Catholic and plain old human being, I have to ground myself and remind myself of that daily.

  • Asm says:

    Could this statement be more ignorant? Let me help you answer… No. Women who have had abortions are always welcome to come to church and receive holy communion… once they have gone to confession and been granted God’s forgivness. And get this, the exact same opportunity is afforded to the two women in this story as well. Crazy, right!?!

  • Karen says:

    If the post-abortive woman is repentant and has taken her sin to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, she is forgiven and may receive the Sacrament of Communion. It is a different matter if a person if continuing in the sin. It might help to review not only Sacred Scripture, but the Cathechism.

  • StandTallCatholic says:

    Are you catholic because if she repented and went to confession she is allowed to receive communion, People before you post do your research wow this is amazing

  • Gene says:

    Yes you are right, and still if other churches does not fit to your desire, you can build one of your own, yeah its a free world why not, same thing with what King Henry VIII did, when he is not granted divorce by the Catholic church, he made a church of his own – the Church of England and see how big and profitable is his church nowadays. – that’s amazing..

  • Jonna says:

    I hope you examine your conscience to ensure 100 percent compliance with Catholic doctrine before approaching the Eucharistic. Little dweeb priests like this need to understand that God doesn’t need to be protected from his people. God is not some foppish prude of an immature priest’s imagination. Neither does this man own the Eucharistic.

  • Shep says:

    Jonna I am curious who appointed you Fr. Knieb judge. His is only doing what Gods work has instructed him to do. Maybe you need to research more or just burn all of your Bibles (if you have any) because you don’t believe in them. I have no hate for you only sorrow because there is a judgment day that we all will face. I pray for you and those like you that are blind to the truth.

  • Fred says:

    This priest does not own the Eucharist, but he is a steward of the mysteries of God. He did the right thing. He is calling these two women to repentance. When Pope Francis said, “who am I to judge?” he was speaking of a person who has repented and changed.

  • jess says:

    The church owns the Eucharist and Holy Mother Church will not bend the rules for every idiot that wants to receive while living in sin that is brought to light.

    The woman can protest all they want. The Church is Not changing the rules for receiving the Eucharist for these 2 nub’s or other lessies either.

  • cc423 says:

    And God will do the same for you for juding others in his place.

  • Thank you to Christine for her attempt tp educate Lamont! Unfortunately, the media prefers to malign Catholics!

  • Loretta says:

    Catholic priests are more likely to be pedophiles than other groups of men.

    This is just plain false. There’s absolutely no evidence that priests are more likely to abuse children than are other groups of men. The use and abuse of children as objects for the sexual gratification of adults is epidemic in all classes, professions, religions, and ethnic communities across the globe, as figures on child pornography, incest, and child prostitution make abundantly clear. Pedophilia (the sexual abuse of a prepubescent child) among priests is extremely rare, affecting only 0.3% of the entire population of clergy. This figure, cited in the book Pedophiles and Priests by non-Catholic scholar, Philip Jenkins, is from the most comprehensive study to date, which found that only one out of 2,252 priests considered over a thirty-year period was afflicted with pedophilia. In the recent Boston scandal, only four of the more than eighty priests labeled by the media as “pedophiles” are
    actually guilty of molesting young children

    Facts, Lamont, Facts!

  • George Waite says:

    Unlike Mainline Protestantism, say, which is over 95% White and Middle/upper middle class even after 40 years of preaching “Celebrate Diversity”?
    Religion is all a freak show; why is there a disproportionately high percentage of gays in the priesthood anyway? Anyone figure that out yet or are all sides (the “Vatican II” and “Traditional Latin Mass”) too afraid of even asking this question?

  • Jessie says:

    2000 years of morals and good teaching trump’s 40 years of immoral following bad teaching. The dumbing down to your ok I’m ok does not make their lifestyle ok.Your gross responses tell it all.

    The priest was right to kindly deny them communion. And HE did not embarrass the ladies. They did it to themselves. He did tell them discreetly. They made the fuss because they do not want to change their lifestyle. That’s fine. It is their right.

    No one is bashing them. So stop bashing Father. You sound like a bunch of idiots. We shall pray for them and you slanderers.

  • Jessie says:

    He is not sad you idiot. You don’t even know him. He is a good man and faithful priest doing the right thing for their salvation. If the 2 woman wish to live in sin that is their choice. But they are not allowed to offend God with their profane living choices. Period!!!

  • Christine says:

    whatever. Move along. Nothing to see

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