Pastor Michael Briese kicked a black family out of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church during a funeral and called the police in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, on June 26.
The incident happened after someone knocked over and damaged the church’s golden chalice near the altar.
Larry Hicks, the brother of the deceased, told WTTG:
This was uncalled for and it really hurt me. It really did To see your loved one come there to rest and to be shut down like that.
Shanice Chisely, the daughter of the deceased, added:
That’s when all hell broke loose. He literally got on the mic and said, “there will be no funeral, there will be no mass, no repass, everyone get the hell out of my church.” 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. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
The Archdiocese of Washington has issued an apology:
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.
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