Autistic boy banned from church

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Ceicei, May 19, 2008.

  1. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    Apparently there are some who feel he is a danger to others at church. Could this situation be handled differently?

    Video clip below from CNN:
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/05/19/fryer.autistic.boy.banned.kare

    News Article from Kare11:
    http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=511306

    This is a different situation with another autistic boy who is barred from taking the Communion because he is unable to consume it properly. This causes a great deal of thought... is religion meant to be for man or for God?
    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0304communion0304.html

    - Ceicei
     
  2. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    As to the boy in the first two links ... I think everyone has to do their part. If he is unmanageable to the point of disruption or danger, then the family needs to be sensitive to that. Keeping him at mass while misbehaving won't program good behavior for him, it will program ALL behavior for him in a place of worship.

    On the other hand ... it is the house of God. The most important ministry for this youngster is to his soul. Shame on any priest who cannot find mercy in his heart for the most needy in his congregation. Perhaps a MiniMass later on or earlier for families with behaviorally challenged members? Why was it necessary to obtain a restraining order in this instance?

    I think a good priest could have handled this differently - IF all is being told to us.

    As to the second child - why must we get bogged down in such tight, restrictive ritual such that we ban the children from receiving the host?

    I cannot believe God would restrict his love and his commandment to keep his memory through communion to the acts of chewing, sipping and swallowing. Such shallowness for the love for God's children.

    Sometimes ... *sometimes* ... I am ashamed to be grouped with others who call themselves Christian.
     
  3. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    From what I know of autism it is extremely challenging for the parents and the child, it should also be taken as a challenge by these congregations. They should challenge themselves to find a way that these families can worship in the way they chose. I don't know how they can do this, not being familiar with Christian worship but where there is the willingness to do it there will be a way. I can't believe either that in the second case of the boy not being able to swallow that the will can't be taken as the deed. He is willing to do it, he just can't do it physically. He's surely not the only one in the Catholic world to have had this problem and there must be an answer, IF they chose to look for it.
     
  4. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Jesus said: Suffer the little ones unto me.
    He probably didn't care if they were autistic, crippled, deaf, blind, mentally disabled, had polio, ADD, or any other type or number of ailments/disabilities. He loved having them around because he knows the hell that they have to go through sometimes.

    Kids are kids and if they have differences then it's up to adults to deal with them appropriately.

    Shame on the churches that seem to forget that.

    Church is a place for man to worship God and to find God and to commune with God. Think God cares if some autistic kid is being disruptive? I wouldn't think so. If we are ALL God's Children as they say... then ALL are welcomed under his roof.

    Banning the boy isn't the answer.

    Shameful absolutely shameful. The rest of the congregation should be in an uproar.
    The Sheriff should be ashamed as well.
     
  5. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Exactly Shesulsa at the Church we attend they have aseperate room for Behavior people just not childern so they can still hear the word of the lord. All places of prayer should follow in the same line.
     
  6. mrhnau

    mrhnau Senior Master

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    I think that might be a good idea...A lot of churches have "home groups", "cell groups" etc... situations like this can be dealt with effectively in those kind of groups. Having a "MiniMass" could be an analogy of a small group.

    I agree.

    BTW, the church is supposed to be the people, not the building. Church is not something you do on Sunday mornings... Did Jesus love only those in a coat and tie that remain quiet at the appropriate times?
     
  7. OnlyAnEgg

    OnlyAnEgg Senior Master

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    Amen
     
  8. crushing

    crushing Grandmaster

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    Based on the CNN reporting this morning and left out of some of the other reports is that the priest had offered a seperate room with a feed of the service and also offered the mother to take the issue to mediation to come up with a solution that protects the congregation without actually banning the boy from church. The mother refused the attempts at accomodation and mediation, which is what resulted in the ban.
     
  9. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    If that is the case, then a compromise should've been worked out, by both parties.
     
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, compromise is the word here. Both sides must be understanding!
     
  11. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Before I start, I am Roman Catholic, and have served as a CCD or catechism instructor. In other words, I do have some qualification to speak -- but I'm also NOT a bishop, priest, or other official voice.

    I don't want to address the boy being banned from attending Mass in the church; there's simply not enough information from both sides for me to feel like I can do so. There's no evidence in the links provided about how much of a problem the kid was, or about what was tried earlier to work with it.

    I will address the boy who wants to receive the Eucharist in his own way; as described, it is disrespectful, and I agree with the bishop that he is not truly receiving the consecrated Eucharist. First, let me make the Church's teaching on the Eucharist absolutely clear; at the moment of consecration a miracle takes place (transubstantiation), and the accidents of the sacrament, bread and wine, become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The Church teaches that the host IS Christ; this is why the Church practices Adoration, and why any consecrated hosts remaining after Mass are either placed in the tabernacal or consumed if there is no tabernacal available. In accordance with this belief, the Eucharist is deserving of the highest respect; I'm aware of no precedent for "holding" the Eucharist briefly as a form of reception. However, physical acceptance of the Eucharist is not necessary for participation or even receiving the graces of the Eucharist! As long as one is properly disposed (mentally and spiritually prepared, including being clean of serious sin) for receiving the Eucharist, the graces are bestowed upon you. So, the boy is not being denied the graces of the sacrament. It's clear the parish and diocese have worked with the family -- but the family apparently wants to dictate the Church's practice. That's just not how the Catholic Church works.

    A similar issue has arisen lately around people with celiac disease or other reasons why they cannot consume wheat. The current teaching and guidelines are specific about the host's composition, and apparently the rules do not permit a gluten-free host. Some parishes permit people who cannot receive the Body (consecrated host) to receive the Blood (the wine) -- but I know of a few priests who do not or who require it to be offered by a priest or Eucharistic Minister.
     
  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Like many another subject this one would have been better served being kept out of the media surely and a solution in private found?
     
  13. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    I thank you for this post, though I see it as precisely the doctrine which inhibits the love of God and acceptance of The Host rather than encouraging it.

    Please instruct me in the reference which points to the Christ prescribing the recipe for the bread and the fermenting of the wine at His last supper. Bread and wine. Tea and cakes. Water and rice wafers. What the matter?

    Bless the food and drink and administer the Host to those seeking it for Heaven's sake.

    Man will stand in the path of God at every chance he gets.
     
  14. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Amen and the door shall be opened to those who knock. The boy who cannot swallow is knocking and the folks who cannot ingest wheat are knocking. Is the door shut or opened to them? Who decides that. Personally I think it's God & Christ who makes that decision.
    If the recipe for the sacrament was given by divine revelation or written by Paul who founded the church then people need to be aware of that... but it is very difficult for me to believe that God would deny his grace to those who cannot partake of the blessed sacrament because of a physical abnormality they have which would hurt them if they attempted to do so.
     
  15. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Why? The church sought an injunctive order against them. That means a JUDGE ordered that they would be banned from the property. The Sheriff's Office is BOUND by a judge's orders and acts on behalf of the court. If she goes against what a judge orders by bringing the child to the church, then the Deputy is REQUIRED to act on that court order. It has NOTHING to do with their personal feelings of what's right or wrong.

    In the article it states the child's size as a determining factor. The child in this case is the size of a professional football player, OVER 6 foot tall and 235 lbs. It also alleges that he "struck" one child and has run through the church almost knocking down elderly people. Also, the church did this as a LAST resort. The parents have been unwilling to make any type of compromise in the matter.

    At what point do you keep letting the child attend when the parents can't control him and are unwilling to bend on alternative arrangements and he poses a risk to the safety of others?

    If the church had made NO attempt to work with them then shame on them, but they did try to work with the family.
     
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  16. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes I agree and my statement was made before reading crushing's post saying that there was more to the story, at which point I said that a compromise should've been made all around. :asian:
     
  17. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    And I concur - compromise must be made all around here.

    I think it's unrealistic for unfettered people to prance through life expecting their path to be free and clear of others less fortunate. However, I also think it's unrealistic for families of less fortunate people to demand right of way regardless of the harm to others.

    There must be compromise which is reasonable for everyone.
     
  18. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    This doctrine has a long history in the church of doing just this. For many centuries, the lay people weren't allowed the wine at all; only the priest was permitted to drink. What would happen if one of those clumsy oafs spilled it? You can pick up brea...sorry, the Body, off the floor, but spilled blood is not quite so easy to gather. Best make sure only the trusted and deserving can drink.

    Part of this is a unintended consequence of the doctrine of transubstantiation. Funny, I've seen a lot of blood and flesh in my career as a scientist, and the wafer and wine never looked like that before or after the proper point in Mass. Something tells me the Church authorities would not be amused if someone wanted to run a quick diagnostic test on the wine after the Mass for the presence of hemoglobin or albumin.

    On such rocks miracles are broken.
     
  19. Gordon Nore

    Gordon Nore Senior Master

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    I was only able to get one of the links to work, but the information in the story seems a little sparse. There are comments from the mother, but only a brief written statement from the church.

    My gut tells me that the church leaders were worried a violent outburst might lead to serious harm or a lawsuit.123
     

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