Priest says incident at San Diego parish over funeral rites for gay bar owner was a “set-up”
(California Catholic Daily) A controversy over the refusal of a San Diego parish to hold a funeral Mass for the deceased owner of a gay bar was a “set-up” by homosexual activists, an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary Church said at a midday Mass yesterday.
The parish’s associate pastor, Fr. Louis M. Solcia, spoke about the controversy during noon daily Mass yesterday, a parish insider told California Catholic Daily. Fr. Solcia minced no words in describing the uproar over a decision by priests at the parish to refuse a funeral Mass for John Sanfilippo, who owned the San Diego gay bar the SRO Lounge and had been involved in a long-term same-sex relationship before his death.
Sanfilippo died on June 24 and his family and “partner” of 30 years had sought to have a funeral Mass for him at the downtown San Diego parish. Initially, plans for the funeral Mass moved forward and it was scheduled for June 30. But when Mr. Sanfililppo’s “partner” telephoned the parish to discuss further details, priests determined that a Mass would be inappropriate, the parish insider reported.
That decision prompted homosexual activist Nicole Murray Ramirez to post a letter on the church’s front door addressed to San Diego Bishop Robert Brom, calling on him to clarify diocesan policy on the issue of funeral rites for homosexuals. Following a similar incident in 2005, Bishop Brom apologized to the loved ones of a man, also the owner of nightclubs catering to gays and a homosexual-rights activist, who had been refused a funeral Mass.
The parish insider said priests at the parish (the pastor is away) decided that burial services would be appropriate but not a Mass because it appeared that Mr. Sanfilippo had not received the Last Rites, had not gone to Confession and was not a practicing Catholic...