An angry white priest kicked out a grieving black family from his church, called the deceased woman a “thing” and called the cops — all over a small accident during a funeral.
The incident happened at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, during the wake of 54-year-old Agnes Hicks. According to Fox 5, someone, presumably a child, knocked over the church’s sacred golden chalice when they grouped near the altar for a hug and damaged it.
The correct response would have to be to pick up the chalice, clean up any mess and move on with the service. However, that is not what Rev. Michael Briese, who was presiding over the ceremony, did.
Instead, the “honorable” priest flew into a rage fit like no other, telling the family to get out and disrespecting the dead.
“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, everyone get the hell out of my church,’” said Shanice Chisely, Hicks’ daughter. “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 devastated family quickly took away the casket carrying their dearly departed’s remains and made a hasty retreat — but then found cops waiting for them at the door. Apparently, the enraged reverend had called the police after the accident.
Fortunately, the cops realized the family had done nothing wrong and escorted them to a funeral home in another county, where another pastor finished Hicks’ funeral service.
After the news broke, the Archdiocese of Washington was forced to apologize on behalf of the unruly pastor.
“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,” the Archdiocese said.
However, the family is not quick to forgive such insult to their deceased family member.
“Bad enough we had to bury our own mother yesterday but for you to say she’s a ‘thing’ and there will be no funeral. You’re not a preacher. You’re not a pastor. You’re not a father of the Lord. You’re not any of that. You’re the devil,” said Renetta Baker, another of Hicks’ daughters.
Officials at the church said they are still investigating what happened and have not determined if Briese is to be punished.
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