March 22, 2005


A few days ago, news broke that the Bishop of San Diego had forbidden all parishes within his diocese from holding a funeral Mass for one John McCusker, on the basis that he owned a nightclub and a gay bar. Denying funeral rites to (the family of) someone the Church disapproves of happens extremely rarely, on the order of once a decade, notably for people like mob bosses and such. News of this sort of specific dig at specific people is about the most frustrating thing for me to read about as a Catholic; the general policies like forbidding birth control or denying marriage to same-sex couples are things that I know will change, in time, and I can be patient. But the sheer nastiness in pronouncements like this, coming from reasonably high up in the hierarchy, is almost too much to bear.

But when I see, a few days later, that Bishop Brom has apologised and will in fact celebrate a Mass in McCusker's memory, that sort of news is eminently reassuring. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall in the bishop's offices over the last few days. But in any case, I can accept that human nastiness will surface occasionally, even if we try to fight it. When the good men in the church hierarchy realise what a horrifically awful thing they've done, and rectify it as best they can, I have a great deal of hope for the future.

And hey, if he hadn't so thoroughly denied the funeral in the first place, none of this would have been even remotely national news. Now, though, if anyone on a more local level---a pastor or other priest---was thinking of trying something like this, it's been made clear that that shit don't fly.

On Unbreakable: "It's times like this when I wonder why everyone else's taste in movies SUCKS. Tori, I can find you many beautifully filmed movies that don't drag on like a homily in latin." --Jonathan Prykop

Posted by blahedo at 1:17pm on 22 Mar 2005
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