Not even death provides a respite from racism, as one Catholic priest eagerly demonstrated last week.
Pastor Michael Briese became so infuriated at the funeral of Agnes Hicks last Tuesday, that he kicked the entire funeral party — as well as the deceased — out of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall, MD. The pastor’s outburst appeared to be in response to a funeral attendee accidentally knocked over the church’s “sacred golden cup, also known as a chalice,” according to Fox 5 News.
“There will be no funeral, no repast, everyone get the hell out of my church,” Briese yelled at the family. According to the network, the pastor then kicked the family out of the place of worship and told them to remove Hicks’ body from the premises — dismissing the 54-year-old’s request to be laid to rest in the church where she had been baptized.
Shanice Chisely, the daughter of Agnes Hickes, explained how devastating the pastor’s behavior was. “He disrespected our family, he disrespected my mother. He called my mother ‘a thing.’ He said, ‘get this thing out of my church! Everyone get the hell out of my church!’ It was very sad.” Chisely added, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
As though this wasn’t bad enough, Briese then called the cops on the funeral goers. When police arrived, they determined the family had done nothing wrong and escorted them to a funeral home in a different county, where another pastor finished the service.
The Archdiocese of Washington issued an apology to the family, which reads, in part: “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.”
They also added that they were “taking the matter seriously,” and that the incident was “still under review” — a troubling statement, considering the Catholic Church’s history of not punishing clergy despite ample evidence of wrongdoing.
This despicable incident is just the latest in a vile trend which sees African-Americans having the cops called on them for engaging in laughably innocuous activities.
Two years ago to the month, someone called the cops on a black man who was reading a book about Christianity while watching the ocean. More recently, black people have had to explain themselves to police officers just because they went to the gym, or sat down in a Starbucks, or tried to use a coupon at a pizza spot.
In the past month alone, an eight-year-old black girl had the police called on her for selling water bottles outside of her own home. Three black teens were kicked out of a public pool because they “didn’t belong” there. A black family had the authorities sicced on them because they were having a family barbecue. A few days ago, a little boy had the police called on him because he was mowing a lawn.
h/t Fox 5 News