Saint Aloysius Church

Church Denied 8-Year-Old First Communion Because He's Autistic, NJ Family Says

"Our son is being shunned from the Catholic faith due to his inability to communicate," the boy's father, Jimmy LaCugna, said

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A New Jersey couple said their 8-year-old son is being denied the chance to make his First Communion by their church because he is autistic, NBC News reports.

Jimmy LaCugna said in a Facebook post that he and his wife were informed Tuesday by Rev. John Bambrick at Saint Aloysius Church that their son, Anthony, won't be able to participate in the religious ceremony because he feels the boy is "unable to determine right from wrong due to his disability."

LaCugna said they were told Anthony, who is non-verbal, is not at the "benchmark required to make his communion."

The church released a statement Wednesday on Facebook saying it follows the Code of Canon Law, which states that a Catholic cannot be denied the sacraments as long as they are properly prepared and are ready to receive the sacraments.

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