Writing for The Advocate on the internet, on July 17, 2015, Steve Hardy posted the story of a practicing homosexual named Tim Ardillo. It is an important story because it reveals the militancy of the mind of the homosexual. Simply put, the homosexual will not be content until Jesus Christ, and His church, approves of homosexual practices. A true church of Jesus will never sanction such behavior, for to do so is to cease to exist as a holy and called out people of God. The church must never apologize to a practicing homosexual, but must call upon them to repent and renounce that which is against God, and nature. The church must never capitulate to the practicing homosexual, and must condemn what heaven condemns.
“Tim Ardillo said he was standing next to his mother’s coffin leading his young son to receive a blessing when the priest presiding over the funeral Mass denied him communion. The longtime Catholic said the priest told him it was because he married outside the church, but Ardillo doesn’t think that’s the whole story. He believes he was denied the sacrament because, as is stated in his mother’s obituary, he is married to a man.
The priest in question, the Rev. Mark Beard, of St. Helena Catholic Church in Amite, did not return multiple calls seeking comment in the week following the July 10 funeral.
Ardillo said the church passed out a quotation from 1 Corinthians at Mass the next Sunday, which states, in a portion highlighted in red ink, “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks in judgment of himself.”
Ardillo said he has since received an apology from the Diocese of Baton Rouge, which directly oversees the Amite church, and a personal apology from New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, though Aymond’s office declined to comment on the matter for this story.
The standing of gays and lesbians within the Catholic Church is complicated, with the church opposing same-sex marriage but counseling respect for LGBT people.
According to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “homosexual inclination” is not a sin itself, but “homosexual acts” are immoral and “always objectively sinful.” The conference also says people with a homosexual inclination should not be encouraged to speak openly about the matter and may be denied roles in the church.
However, the bishops also say, “Church policies should explicitly reject unjust discrimination and harassment of any persons, including those with a homosexual inclination.”
As for communion, Catholics should not receive communion if they have committed a “grave sin” to which they have not confessed and performed an act of contrition, according to the conference.
When asked about Ardillo’s case, the Diocese of Baton Rouge emphasized that the responsibility to comport with church teachings is on the person receiving the communion.
“With respect to the specific matter raised, the Catholic Church expects that any individual Catholic who is in a marital situation which is not in conformity with its doctrines will not come forward to receive the body and blood of the Lord at Mass. For Catholics, reception of Holy Communion among other things is an expression of unity with the church’s teachings, including those about marriage,” the diocese wrote in a statement.”
Upon reflection, it can be said, from a Biblical perspective, that the immediate response of the priest serving communion is understandable. He wanted to protect the Lord’s Table. He wanted to affirm the teaching of the Catholic church. However, his action was premature, because the Scriptural procedure for handling such a situation was probably violated.
The church does have a responsibility to discipline a practicing homosexual, and even withhold communion, but only according to the provisions Jesus outlined in Matthew 18:14-18.
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Until proper church discipline is exercised, it is incumbent upon a person attending the Lord’s Table to examine themselves. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup” (1 Cor. 11:28).
Those who take communion in an unworthy manner are subject to divine discipline in the form of sickness, and even premature death by the hand of God. “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (1 Cor. 11:29-30).
From a Christian’s point of view, Tim Ardillo was not a victim of the church being insensitive towards him. Tim Ardillo was, in that hour, a militant homosexual defying the living God at his mother’s funeral in church without shame or remorse. Tim Ardillo stood before the Lord and dared God to discipline him. In that act, Tim had the dark and militant heart of Judas Iscariot who also wanted to take communion with the Lord, adding insult to betrayal. Tim wanted to publically pretend he was in agreement with the teachings of the Catholic church, and therefore worthy to receive comfort from the community of Christ, when he was at the same time living a life that betrayed Christ, and the community of believers.
That is the main problem of this practicing homosexual. He had no spiritual discernment, or social shame. A public funeral of an alleged loved one became, for Tim Ardillo, just another platform for his homosexual agenda. Now that is evil. The practicing homosexual can do this because the conscience is seared in this area.
Of course, anyone who dares to oppose a practicing homosexual, in any form, is presented as being mean and homophobic. The homosexual will run to the nearest reporter for underserved sympathy. It was beyond all that is holy, and decent, for this practicing homosexual to demand that God Himself, in God’s own house, at his mother’s funeral, honor a lifestyle, and practice, which is condemned in the most severe terms in Scripture.
The church must pray for a practicing homosexual, while gently, but firmly, as good soldiers of the cross, call them to repentance. Only after repenting and turning from their abominable practice, can they have the privilege of dining with the Lord.
Let every homosexual know this. No matter how much society changes, the Saviour does not change. He will love you, as you repent, and turn from your evil practice, but He will never accept you on your terms. That is why the true church calls Jesus, LORD. He is the one who rules and guides His own. Christ changes us, we do not change Him. Come to Christ. Let Him change your heart, your beliefs, your behavior.