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First Communion is a ceremony in some Christian traditions during which a person first receives the Eucharist (sacramental bread and wine) and it symbolizes that a person enters into the Catholic Church as an adult. This ceremony is very important to Catholics and it typically occurs between the ages of seven and thirteen. But one boy was denied his First Communion by a Catholic Church in New Jersey because he is an autistic child so Saint Aloysis Church in Jackson, New Jersey, decided that he is unable to determine right from wrong.
This is not the first time that a Catholic Church denies Communion to someone. It became common to hear stories of Catholic priests denying communion because of a person's beliefs. One of the most famous examples is former Vice President, Joe Biden, who was denied Holy Communion because of his support of abortion and the explanation was that this was based on Church law. On the other hand, Saint Aloysis Church decided to deny First Communion to a boy who has medical issues. This is probably the first time that something like this happened and the reason why Church did it is concerning.
The boy's father, Jimmy LaCugna, posted about his situation on Facebook and received messages of support from people who were angry with the Church because of its decision. "This is very hard and upsetting to comprehend when we all are created by God and now our son is being shunned from the Catholic faith due to his inability to communicate," the father wrote, as The Fox News reports. The Church reacted by a statement citing Church rules that say “a Catholic cannot be denied the sacraments as long as they are properly prepared and are ready to receive the sacraments.” According to Patheos, they added that, after some research, “new information has come to light” that would allow them to give the boy communion.
Even though the Church "did some research" and is now on the course to give the boy communion, the parents are no longer sure about the idea that their son receives communion from a priest who discriminated against him. The Church's decision was totally discriminatory on the basis of boy's illness and According to the comments on LaCugna's Facebook post that this is not an isolated case. Many congregants with mental disabilities were denied religious rites in all kind of religious traditions and this is very concerning. People with medical conditions, especially children, should not be discriminated against but they should sometimes even receive better treatment together with their parents in order to make some things easier for them, if possible.