Father Francisco Perez, a parish priest in the city of Acala la Real, Spain, said this week his decision to deny communion to a homosexual couple was based on canon law and for the good of the faithful.
The incident, which gave way to a new round of attacks on the Church as “homophobic,” took place during a funeral Mass for the mother of one of homosexual men, who came forward together to receive communion.
The two men, renowned for their activism, were the first to obtain a civil union from the Acala la Real city hall. Both are well known in the community and operate a hair salon.
Father Perez said his actions were “in conformity with Canon Law,” since he “did not deny them communion because of the fact they are homosexuals, but rather because they live publicly and openly in a state which the Church teaches is not moral.”
Father Perez stated that the Church “has laws” and “whoever adopts a belief contrary to Church teaching cannot receive communion.”
He also pointed out that his decision to deny them communion was carried out “with the greatest of discretion so that it would not be too noticed,” but that it was the homosexual couple that decided to make it a public issue.
”I only followed the law of the Church,” and therefore, he added, “my conscience is clear.”