Church postpones child’s baptism because he has two dads

By : Jeremy Williams
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An Orlando gay couple took to social media when their child was turned away from baptism at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Luke because they are gay.

Rich McCaffrey and his husband Eric were to have their son, Jack, baptized before the church congregation of St. Luke’s on April 19, but instead were notified three days before that the church forbade the ceremony.

“We received a message from Dean [Tony] Clark asking us to contact him regarding ‘a development’ concerning the baptism,” McCaffrey wrote in a Facebook post on May 2. “With relatives in the room, I called and what I heard still creates a lump in my throat. The Dean shared there were members of the congregation who opposed Jack’s baptism and although he hoped to resolve the conflict, he was not yet able to.”

McCaffrey continued, saying the church’s “issue is with you and Eric being the first two men who will baptize their child at the Cathedral.”

The post goes on to say the family was informed that Bishop Greg Brewer, the Diocese of Central Florida, was involved in the decision.

Many took to social media expressing outrage at the way the church handled the situation and asking why they would deny the child a baptism, prompting the diocese to address the matter on Facebook.

“Bishop Brewer was caught by surprise by the information read online. He has spent much of his time since Sunday responding to numerous e-mails, online posts and calls about the matter. Almost all who write are people who are upset about what they have heard, and who want an immediate explanation,” the post explains.

“On Sunday, Bishop Brewer immediately reached out to the parents and scheduled a meeting with them for Thursday, May 7. He hopes that through this pastoral meeting, the parties directly involved can find a way forward. More information will be made public as it develops, while respecting the privacy of the parents. The Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke is supportive of Bishop Brewer’s meeting with the parents and has pledged his support.”

Joe Thoma, Communications Officer to the Diocesan Office, says Bishop Brewer and McCaffrey have talked and both agree they will not give any interviews or statements at this time to protect the privacy of their conversation.

McCaffrey did take to Facebook for one final post saying “the support from so many near and far has been truly inspiring and we are very appreciative. Thank you all for your kind words thoughts.”

A joint statement is expected to be released May 8.

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