This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Ruth Institute Sends Roses to Grand Rapids Priest Who Upheld Church Teaching on Marriage
Posted on Monday, December 09, 2019
The Ruth Institute sent two dozen white roses and a framed commendation 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.