priest threatening to deny 7-year old FHC-help!

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cotaface

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Hello,
I need some guidence. The pastor at our church prohibits us from dressing our child in white for her First Holy Communion. We have been warned not to “test” this policy as it may lead to our daughter being rejected. In other words, denied FHC because of the color of her clothing.
The Diocese has instructed the pastor that the church does not support this and that not only does it violate the church policy, but it violates our civil rights. The pastor has essentially defied the bishop at this point and continues to ban white.
Is a Canon lawyer appropriate for this? And if so, how do I retain one?
Thank you!!!
 
Wow this is amazing. As far as I can remember the “White” dress always was the norm for a girl to wear when getting 1st communion. Honestly why is there a policy against it? Does the priest not want a spectical of “Awww OOOO, look at the pretty girls in their white dresses getting communion!”?

I could see his point if that is the case. However it still sounds like a crazy policy.
 
Although we don’t encourage the ‘little bride’ look in our first communicants – the mothers tend to make the dress more important than the sacrament the girls are receiving – we’d never tell them they can’t do it. All we ask is that the children be dressed in clean, modest clothes, no jeans.
 
There is no other parish in your area besides the parish with this priest? I would look, and I would ask, after telling this story again to the bishop. If the bishop does not listen, I would put in a call to Rome.

A lot of people put down my local bishop, but this is an incidence where he would send out his bulldog chancellor, and Father would comply.

If you get no traction, try the St. Joseph Foundation.

As an aside, if you get no action and this priest is still being utterly wrong (where do they find time to do all this???), if it came down to it, I would trim her dress in pink rosebud trim, and add pink rosebuds to her headpeice- for easy removal later.👍
 
He says it is a theologically based decision, to show that you don’t need to be pure (wear white) to recieve communion. I agree that you don’t need to be pure, but let’s be real, my 7-year old has not committed a mortal sin and therefor actually is pure. Regardless, the theology ties FHC to baptism and being welcomed in to the Catholic world. In Baptism, we wear white and should do so for FHC as well.
Bottom line, he is a control freak and will not give in. At this moment, the Bishop has attempted to correct him and he continues to defy him.
As a side note, I’ve explained that this is not a mini-bride dress. It’s actually quite simple.
I really think I need a lawyer on this. Appreciate the feedback!
 
Reply to OutinChgoburbs:
We actually did call other parishes, but understandably, they feel that doing the FHC for our daugther in thier chuch is like stealing from a brother. As a note-NONE of the other priests I contacted agree with this pastors position and all were empathetic to our situation.
How do I put in a call to Rome? Any thoughts on who I should ask to speak with?
Appreciate it!!!
 
He says it is a theologically based decision, to show that you don’t need to be pure (wear white) to recieve communion. I agree that you don’t need to be pure, but let’s be real, my 7-year old has not committed a mortal sin and therefor actually is pure. Regardless, the theology ties FHC to baptism and being welcomed in to the Catholic world. In Baptism, we wear white and should do so for FHC as well.
Bottom line, he is a control freak and will not give in. At this moment, the Bishop has attempted to correct him and he continues to defy him.
As a side note, I’ve explained that this is not a mini-bride dress. It’s actually quite simple.
I really think I need a lawyer on this. Appreciate the feedback!
A regular lawyer would probably stay out of a Church matter like this since there is no “Positive Law” being broken.

What you need is to contact the Bishop again or get a Canon Lawyer (Maybe even both).
 
Here was what my daughter wore last year during her 1st communion. We didn’t think it was distracting and was not “bride like”
  • blurred her face for protection.
 
By pure, do you mean free from original AND mortal sin? If so, then, yes, you do have to be pure to recieve the Eucharist.

That is one reason that those 7 year olds go to Confession before FHC, to make certain that they ARE pure.
 
Well then kage_ar, you will love this-
Another of the pastors “policies” is that First Reconciliation is done AFTER FHC. Yes, after. It’s in 5th grade b/c he believes second graders are not capable of grasping the concept of this sacrament. So, we have to home school our 7-year old and have her privately do First Reconciliation prior to First Communion.
This sounds awful, but it is like this pastor isn’t fully Catholic. He disagrees with so much that JPII and current Vatican has put forth.
 
I’m stunned that a priest would even consider mortifying a child that way.

If he turns her away, it could color her attitude toward the Eucharist and the Catholic Church in general. Children don’t forget being embarassed. I had a really hateful nun in grade school, and I can remember every mean thing she did or said…I’m 57 years old.
 
Well then kage_ar, you will love this-
Another of the pastors “policies” is that First Reconciliation is done AFTER FHC. Yes, after. It’s in 5th grade b/c he believes second graders are not capable of grasping the concept of this sacrament. So, we have to home school our 7-year old and have her privately do First Reconciliation prior to First Communion.
This sounds awful, but it is like this pastor isn’t fully Catholic. He disagrees with so much that JPII and current Vatican has put forth.
While I have a feeling that the color of a dress is more custom than law - - - -

This is in direct opposition to Official Church Teaching. There are some wise people who will direct you to the Canon Law and/or CCC documents that state Reconcilliation is to come before FHC.

Prayers for you - and, why do you not just switch Parishes 🤷
 
It is VERY pretty-but we actually already have the dress. It was a dear cousins.
Thank you!
 
Here was what my daughter wore last year during her 1st communion. We didn’t think it was distracting and was not “bride like”
She looked lovely, and did not stand out from the other children, other than that she is just a very beautiful child. (I loved it that she wore a mantilla instead of a mini bridal veil - it was so perfect!) 👍

Anyway - to the OP - try sending a PM to member on here, Cameron-Lansing - I believe he is a canon lawyer.

I will also PM you the name and email address of a canon lawyer I know - he’s a bulldog, and I’m sure that if he can’t personally help you, he will point you to someone who can.

Good luck with this - you will be in my prayers.

~Liza
 
We thought about switching parishes, but our daughter adores her catechist and her classmates. And, the people at the church-the other parents are very nice.
 
The reconciliation after First Communion doesn’t surprise me as it was that way in many dioceses for decades. But where’s the Bishop in all this? It’s his job to make sure the priest obeys Rome’s directives.

As for the dress, it’s hard to believe a priest would think it’s right to ban a dress based on color. Wonder what he’d say to a black one?
 
She looked lovely, and did not stand out from the other children, other than that she is just a very beautiful child. (I loved it that she wore a mantilla instead of a mini bridal veil - it was so perfect!) 👍

…snip…

~Liza
The wonderful thing was our daughter wanted a mantilla. We were so proud that she chose to wear one of them and not the veil.

Liza and I attend one of the more conservative churches in our area and our church does not have a policy like this.

One thing our priest does not allow is pictures to be taken during communion. He does do a “mock” communion for pictures after mass though. However there is not policy on what to wear.

My two children were just baptised in 2006, so the dress my daughter wore for her 1st communion was the one she was baptised in. My son will be wearing his white suit he wore for his baptism.
 
Yep, there’s my question too. Where is the Bishop. Don’t be afraid to call or go to the Chancery office.
 
My son’s First Communion was in 1987. They SAID no pictures and they MEANT it. There was a tiny little nun, who grabbed the video cameras right out of people’s hands. She escorted a young Brooklyn lady out because of inappropriate dress too. She was something else.

They did sell a video of First Communion for about $20. I think I saw my son for about 4 seconds, but my sister was sitting in just the right place. She was in about half the video.
 
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