MEDICINE HAT, AB, August 28, 2002 ( - Newspapers across the country have attacked a Catholic parish in Medicine Hat Alberta for refusing to marry a pro-abortion couple. Celina Ling, a Planned Parenthood employee, who was supposed to marry fiance Robert Symmonds at St. Patrick’s Church on Sept. 21, was told by pastor Rev. John Maes that she could not be wed in the church due to her pro-abortion stand.  The media has assailed the parish for its action which is consistent with Catholic principles. Various news organizations have gone so far as to present one-sided commentary from the fraudulent pro-abortion group “Catholics For a Free Choice” (CFFC).  A Canadian Press story, quoted in newspapers as far away as New Brunswick, quoted CFFC’s Frances Kissling’s hostile comments towards the church.

Pro-lifers congratulated Fr. John Maes for remaining true to the Catholic faith by refusing to allow an unrepentant abortion supporter to get married in the Catholic church.  Catholic Insight editor Fr. Alphonse de Valk told LifeSite “Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic church and, like all other sacraments, requires repentance for grave sin prior to valid participation.”  Fr. de Valk concluded, “Fr. Maes did not ‘just decide’ to refuse the pro-abortion woman marriage, she excluded herself from the sacrament by contributing to the killing of unborn children with her work at Planned Parenthood.”  See related LifeSite coverage:  ALBERTA PRIEST REFUSES TO MARRY PLANNED PARENTHOOD EMPLOYEE AND FIANCE   See the biased coverage in various papers: Story appeared in the Calgary News Aug. 28 edition. [story taken offline]  Story appeared in the London News Aug. 28 edition. [story taken offline]

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