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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mom says disabled child denied first communion -article & video - April 23 2011 - Kcentv.com - Kcen HD - Waco, Temple and Killeen

Mom says disabled child denied first communion - Kcentv.com - Kcen HD - Waco, Temple and Killeen

The Easter season is a time for religious reflection, but one Texas family says their faith is being tested.

This, after the pastor of their church refused to give first communion to a member of the family who has cerebral palsy.

It was a religious milestone Irma Castro spent months preparing their grandson Kevin for, but when it came time for his first communion, he was denied.

"It hurts and I think it's a form of discrimination," Castro said.

Castro was told by Pastor, Father Phil Henning, with the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Floresvile, that because Kevin had cerebral palsy and has the mental capacity of a 6-month-old, he didn't qualify to receive his first communion.

"He said because he was not able to understand the meaning of receiving the body of Christ," Castro said.

Canon law requires that a child receiving Holy Communion have "sufficient knowledge" of Christ, but it doesn't define what level of knowledge is considered sufficient.

Deacon Pat Rodgers, with the Archdiocese of San Antonio, said oftentimes the decision lies with the pastor.

"It's never our desire, hope or wish to withhold a sacrament from someone who wants or needs it," Rodgers said.

Castro said this doesn't just make her question her pastor, it makes her question her faith.

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