Regarding the story in the Reporter about the Ellarby family’s struggle with the Catholic church.
I too am a Catholic, and I too am participating in the First Holy Communion programme with my third child.
As parents we are told that we must attend a number of sessions in order to help our children to prepare for this sacrament and it is made very clear that lack of attendance will result in our child’s removal from the programme as they will not have received adequate knowledge about this very important sacrament.
I feel absolute disgust that this mother feels it is appropriate to imply that her son has been refused this sacrament due to his disability when the article says that the family “has not participated in the regular life of the church or in the preparation preceding first communion”.
I feel very saddened that yet again the Catholic church’s integrity is brought into disrepute.
If for one second I believed this boy’s refusal was due to his disability, I would be the first to pull my child from the programme. I have neither the time nor desire to go to mass, however it is the sacrifice ALL the parents of children taking their first holy communion make.
If there were medical reasons why this child can’t attend mass I know from past experience that the Church makes special arrangements with the family.
It would seem to me that there has been no communication between this family and the church. It would seem that the family may be looking for victimisation where none exists.