Hi everyone, sorry I haven't been back to check this thread, I don't have time to check this forum every day.
From what I know, this is the church that my friend was baptized in and attended all her life. She developed a degenerative disease and has had extreme difficulty attending church in recent years. The service dog helps with her mobility as well as with vision issues.
She actually contacted the priest before attending to give him a heads up, and the priest forbade her to attend with the dog. She feels no longer welcome there, as her issues prevent her from attending without her dog.
Legally, places of worship are the ONLY places that can ban service dogs- any other place of business is required to admit certified service dogs. Phobias and allergies are not legitimate excuses for public buildings under the law.
As I said in the beginning, I don't know the whole story here, and I don't recommend suing a priest or a church- I was just shocked that it happened and was wondering what the norm was. I know at my own church a few of the strapping young men carry wheelchair bound folks up the stairs as our church is not accessible, which makes me very proud of our teenagers.