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Ruth Institute Sends Roses to Grand Rapids Priest Who Upheld Church Teaching on Marriage

The Ruth Institute sent two dozen white roses to Rev. Scott Nolan, pastor of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, MI, for upholding the Church’s teaching on marriage.

Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., stated, “By denying communion to a local Catholic judge who ‘married’ another woman, Fr. Nolan wasn’t being mean-spirited, but merely upholding Catholic doctrine regarding marriage.”

Fr. Nolan privately informed Chief Judge of the Kent County District Court, Sara Smolenski, occasional attendee of St. Stephen’s, that while she was welcome at services, as someone who publicly rejected Church teachings on marriage, she would not be allowed to receive communion. Judge Smolenski challenged the decision publicly.

In his defense of Rev. Nolan, Bishop Walkowiak noted that while “inclusion” and “acceptance” are hallmarks of the Catholic Church, they presume “respect on the part of individuals for the teachings and practice of the wider Catholic community.” Furthermore, “No community of faith can sustain the public contradiction of its beliefs by its own members.”

In October, Rev. Robert Morey, a parish priest in Florence, South Carolina, denied communion to former Vice President Joe Biden for his support of abortion.

Morse warned: “It’s not enough that the federal judiciary gave the Sexual Revolution the power to remake marriage. Now the Revolution demands that the rest of us be compelled to endorse its ideology.”

Morse explained that Roses from Ruth are “presented in gratitude for upholding the Church’s teachings on life, marriage and human sexuality.”

Past recipients of Roses from Ruth, which was started in 2016, have included Archbishop Charles Thompson of Indianapolis, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon.

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

Find more information on The Ruth Institute here.

To schedule an interview with Ruth Institute representative, Fr. Mark Hodges, email 



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