What kind of priest curses at mourners, halts the funeral and kicks them and their dearly departed out of church?
Agnes Hicks was baptized at St. Mary’s Church in Charlotte Hall, Maryland and let it be known to her family that when she departed this earth, she wanted her funeral to be held at the church. Agnes died at the too early age of 54 and her family carried out her wishes. But something went terribly wrong – with Pastor Michael Briese.
During the ceremony, someone inadvertently knocked over and damaged a chalice when they went to hug another attendee. This enraged Briese, who then announced:
There will be no funeral, no repast; everyone get the hell out of my church. Get this thing (referring to Mrs. Hicks) out of here.
The mourners were understandably upset at this decidedly un-Christian display from a supposed Man of God and an argument ensued. Then, as I’m sure Jesus would have done, he kicked everyone out—including the dearly departed Agnes Hicks.
Since the mourners were upset, Briese feared they might do him harm, so he decided the best course of action was to—what else?—call the police on those unruly black people who had the temerity to expect love, peace and comfort from their parish priest.
When the police arrived, it was determined the family had done nothing wrong. They subsequently took them to a church in another county, where the service was completed.
So much for Agnes Hicks’ last wish.
The Archdiocese of Washington issued the following statement:
What occurred at St. Mary’s Parish this morning does not reflect the Catholic Church’s fundamental calling to respect and uplift the God-given dignity of every person nor does that incident represent the pastoral approach the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington commit to undertake every day in their ministry.
Obviously, someone didn’t send Briese the memo.
This is reminiscent of another egregious act of bigotry that took place in 2012. Father Marcel Guarnizo refused communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral and then refused to finish the funeral service, pleading a migraine. What became of that bigot? He’s still a priest and writing for a Catholic publication. Proving that the Catholic Church has learned nothing.
To the family of Agnes Hicks, I extend my sincere condolences on the death of your loved one. To the Catholic Church, I suggest you look unto yourself and the rot that is permeating your culture. You can’t be godly when you allow ungodly acts to be performed upon those whom you profess to serve.