I saw a story this morning on Good Morning, America and it really made me sad. here is the full story. Basically, a Catholic church has issued a restraining order against an autistic young man and is making it against the law for him to attend. The church is citing a potential danger to others by his attendance since apparently he is rather large and unruly. The family has been attending the church for years and takes great care to keep him under control. They also claim that he is of no threat to other people.
It sounds like a really tough situation. He is loud and disruptive during the service, though the family sits in the back or the cry room. People are nervous around him because he’s unpredictable. But what is the Church if it’s not a place for the sick and rejected? Apparently the church has taken several steps to try to find a different solution, but even if those don’t work, should they really be taking legal measures against someone who has a medical disability and is being consistently taken care of by his family during services? Is this what Jesus modeled and taught His followers?
The boy’s mother was interviewed on tv this morning, and she was saying how her son needs the church and to be taught about God and it is really hard on the family to be rejected from the one place that should welcome them with open arms. It makes me think of all of the sick and demon possessed people that Jesus embraced, no matter their behavior or rejection from society.
Obviously I can’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but it makes me really uncomfortable to hear that a church is turning to the law to keep someone who can’t help his behavior out of the best place for him to be. I just can’t see how that is in any way following in the footsteps of Christ and being ministers of reconciliation in a broken world.
What do you think?