A Maryland priest told a black family to “get the hell out” of his church mid-funeral. He didn’t just instruct them to leave; he said to take their deceased loved one with them.
According to Fox 5 DC, pastor Michael Briese of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, lost it on Tuesday, June 26, when someone was going in for a hug and accidentally knocked over and damaged the church’s sacred golden cup. Hundreds were gathered together to remember the life of 54-year-old Agnes Hicks, but the little mishap quickly got them the boot.
It had been the request of Hicks to have her funeral in the church because that’s where she had been baptized as a child; however, Briese had no regard for her last wishes as he chaotically argued with the family.
“There will be no funeral, no repast, everyone get the hell out of my church,” Briese reportedly told the family over the mic. Moments later, funeral goers were shocked to see them carrying the casket out of the 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,” Shanice Chisely, Hicks’ daughter said.
Briese then added insult to injury by calling the police.
“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,” Hicks’ other daughter, Renetta Baker, said.
Upon the arrival of police, they determined that the family had done nothing wrong. They went on to escort them to a funeral home in a different county where another pastor performed their funeral service.
The Archdiocese of Washington has since issued an apology for the occurrence:
“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.”
Even an apology doesn’t change the fact that the family has to associate this chaos by laying their mother to rest.
“My mom was supposed to have a great funeral and all this came up and I’m so traumatized by it. I’m going to be thinking about this every day. I’ll never forget this day,” Davon Chisley, Hicks’ son, said.
See the Video at: Blavity.com