While never accused of any wrongdoing, Langlois said he decided that it was no longer appropriate.
The decision has left many in the community wondering what prompted it.
Ed Carey, the chancellor of the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese, said that they recommended that the hugging practice be stopped. The decision was made because of several letters and phone calls placed to the diocese over a number of years regarding the "appearance" of the practice, and not because of any allegations of inappropriate touching, Carey said.
“We live in an unfortunate time in our society where certain practices we are used to must be examined,” Carey said.
Carey also said that hugging during Mass has no liturgy to back it up, and instead was just something Langlois practiced in the St. Patrick's/St. Anthony's parish.
Carey said he's explained the situation to a number of parish members that asked about it.
Langlois said he has received one letter regarding the matter, and decided to make the change as a result of it.
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