A Catholic Bishop in the US state of Illinois has said that same-sex spouses should be denied communion, last rites and funeral rites.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who oversees the Springfield diocese, said that unless same-sex spouses repent, they should be denied the rites.
He sent a decree to priests, deacons and seminarians, as well as staff, saying that the policy should be adopted across the diocese.
The decree also banned same-sex marriages from taking place on Catholic facilities and bans staff and priests from partaking in same-sex ceremonies.
He wrote that people in same-sex marriages “should not present themselves for Holy Communion, nor should they be admitted to Holy Communion.”
Adding that anyone in a same-sex marriage who is facing death can only receive communion if they express “repentance for his or her sins.”
Paprocki also wrote that “unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death,” they should not be afforded a Catholic funeral.
LGBT Catholic group DignityUSA wrote that the document “is mean-spirited and hurtful in the extreme.”
Christopher Pett, the group’s president said: “It systematically and disdainfully disparages us and our relationships.”
“Bishop Paprocki’s decree makes it very clear why so many LGBTQI people and their families feel unwelcome in the Catholic Church and why so many leave it,” Pett added.
Paprocki previously attempted to perform a long-distance exorcism on Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, when he legalised same-sex marriage.
During the exorcism, Paprocki conducted “”prayers of supplication and exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage”.
He said: “Be gone Satan, father of lies, enemy of human salvation. Give way to Christ, in whom you found no trace of your works.
“Give way to the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church, which Christ himself won by his blood.”
He later blessed the Arizona legislature.