A seven-year-old boy with Down's Syndrome has allegedly been banned from taking Holy Communion at his local Catholic church.
Denum Ellarby's parents wanted the little lad to take communion with the rest of his class at his mainstream Roman Catholic primary school. They claim the parish priest refused him the preparation classes.
Mrs Ellarby, 30, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, said the priest from St Mary of the Angels Church in Batley was 'abrupt' with her when she tried to discuss it with him.
The furious mum then complained to the local diocese chiefs, but they agreed with Father Patrick Mungovin's view that Denum would not 'understand the preparation' or be able to 'enjoy participation in Mass.'
The Daily Mail reports that the church denied banning Denum, claiming it hopes he will be ready to participate in the ceremony in the future.
Mrs Ellarby and her property developer husband Darren, 36, have collected signatures on a petition in support of Denum, and says that four generations of her family have worshiped at the church and she wants Denum to be taught the Catholic faith.
"I believe it is because of his disability that they won't accept him. I feel very upset my son is being discriminated against and I feel really let down by the Catholic faith," she told the Daily Mail, "They need to have more compassion. What they are doing is so cruel. As a child with Down's Syndrome he may never have a full understanding of what it is about."
Doesn't seem very compassionate to ban the little boy, does it?
What do you think?