Montana gay couple denied Communion after Roman Catholic priest learns of marriage

A gay couple has been told they can no longer receive Communion or participate in church ministry after the new priest at a Roman Catholic church in central Montana learned they had been married in a civil ceremony more than a year ago.

The decision set off a split that has cut attendance at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Lewistown, population 5,900. It has prompted an upcoming visit from the bishop of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings.

Paul Huff and Tom Wojtowick (WOY'-tah-wick) say they were stunned by the priest's decision.

The men have been in a committed relationship for more than 30 years. Wojtowick says they married so they can make medical and financial decisions for each other.

The bishop he says he must uphold church teachings.