Newark, New Jersey Archbishop John Myers has urged Roman Catholics who support gay marriage to skip the communion line.

In a lengthy 16-page pastoral letter released Tuesday, Myers argued that gay and lesbian couples should not be allowed to marry because they cannot procreate.

“There are many bodily activities that people do together: enjoy meals, play sports, do manual labor, etc. Friends, teammates, colleagues, and others engage in all of these and many other activities. But everyone recognizes that marriage involves a sexual component, which these other physical experiences lack. A brother and sister or an uncle and his niece are prohibited everywhere from marrying because of the relationship of marriage to sexual activity and the laws of consanguinity. Even those who propose radically altering the definition of marriage would not advocate allowing two brothers or sisters or an uncle and his nephew to marry (say, for the tax benefits, or for hospital visiting privileges),” Myers said.

“What, then, explains this connection – acknowledged even by those who would redefine marriage – between marriage and sexual activity? Each individual is a complete organism, for every bodily function save one: reproduction. Biologically, reproduction requires the coordination in a particular way of two sexually complementary persons to form an authentic union whose biological function is reproduction. This coordination might or might not lead to conception, but only through it does a couple function biologically as a unit; only such acts bring the couple into a true one-flesh union. Conjugal acts, and only these, fulfill the behavioral conditions of procreation and thus consummate a marital relationship.”

He added: “I urge those not in communion with the Church regarding her teaching on marriage and family … [that] they must in all honesty and humility refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they can do so with integrity; to continue to receive Holy Communion while so dissenting would be objectively dishonest.”