California Parish Denies Funeral Mass to Open Homosexual

This is generating waves in the Golden State:

A local Catholic church is accused of canceling the funeral service of a parishioner because he was gay.

Local businessman and devout Catholic John Sanfilippo died last week after a prolonged illness. Friends said Sanfilippo planned for the funeral mass to be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Little Italy.

This weekend, Sanfilippo’s partner of 28 years and Sanfilippo’s family were notified that the church canceled the funeral because Sanfilippo was gay.

First, notice how Local 10 News feels free to make the editorial comment that Mr. Sanfilippo was a “devout” Catholic? By what measure, I wonder, have they expertly determined that he was a “devout” Catholic?

Here’s how Mr. Sanfilippo’s friend responded:

He led a small group in prayer outside the Our Lady of the Rosary on Monday and taped a letter addressed to Brom to the front door of the church. Ramirez said the letter asks the bishop to clarify the church’s position on funerals for gay parishioners.

So, this “devout” Catholic’s friend responds to the news by taking a page right out of Protestantism’s most famous gesture? That didn’t take long.

Next, in a classic case of burying the lead, it turns out the Diocese of San Diego has actually decided to allow the funeral to take place after all (any folks with canonical training want to comment on this decision, considering how Canon 1184 reads?):

“The Diocesan office was notified about this situation earlier today… Diocesan Authorities have concluded that the funeral as scheduled at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish may take place. Plans for the ritual are yet to be made.”

… Sanfilippo’s family had already found another Catholic church for the funeral.

This story had some personal interest for me because it’s the parish where I learned to serve Mass and continued to serve Mass for many years while growing up. At least one of the priests I remember being there still serves as the associate pastor. I remember him as simply a good, “old-school” Catholic priest who loved celebrating Mass, praying the rosary (obviously, considering the patron saint of the parish), and simply believed and preached what the Church holds.

Now, because someone who lived a lifestyle deeply opposed to Christian morals was temporarily refused a Catholic funeral Mass, we have people praying in protest outside the Church and taping letters to its front door. I don’t remember that kind of thing happening when I was serving daily Mass there in my youth.



97 thoughts on “California Parish Denies Funeral Mass to Open Homosexual

  1. Barbara Conn says:

    Doesn’t charity outweigh church regulations? I do believe this is what Jesus taught.

  2. AndrewSB49 says:

    It’s the second time on record this parish has done this. Needless to say that Reverend Father Brendan Smyth received all the funeral rites that the Catholic Church in Ireland reserves for all it’s clergy – after all Reverend Father Brendan Smyth wasn’t gay – the only notable new about him is that he raped 100s of children in Ireland and America. Oaths of Secrecy:

  3. ZRAinSWVA says:


    The sanctimonious rhetoric that’s spewing in this blog makes me remember why I left the Catholic church.

    None of you–I repeat: NONE of you–are without sin. And yet you condemn others for what you think are their sins. That is not your place, as your Lord Jesus Christ commanded that you judge not lest you be judged.

    I pray the Catholic faith withers and dies like the hatefilled serpent it has become. You are blind to your own transgressions, and revel in casting-down others for theirs. You should be ashamed.

    1. Irishtroubadour says:

      You know Zrainswva, some of us do try to live devout lives and follow the teachings of the Church. How do you think we feel when others, who “claim” to be Catholic, refuse to live by the law. I’d love to go do immoral things, but I don’t, why? Because Christ taught differently. We can always have a re-enactment of Sodom and Gomorrah. I would also recommend you read the lives of the saints and see how they lived counter-cultural and how they are examples of living Christ centered lives. They didn’t go against the Church and her teachings, they abided by them. It’s a shame that people feel they can go against Church teaching so that they may live as they please.

    2. Dave says:

      In addition to what Irishtroubadour said, I’d like to add that when it comes to condemning others, you, ZRAinSWVA, have ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM to talk. Your hateful, self-righteous diatribe turns right around on you.

  4. mikekla says:

    It’s interesting that in this blog there’s no mention of the money that Mr. Sanfilippo left his parish. So much hand wringing and moral certitude about this “unrepentant person who flaunted his sin .” Yet the Church authorities say to bury him regardless of Canon 1184. It certainly couldn’t have been the money, could it? The Church wouldn’t do that.

  5. homer says:

    So the man willed a pile of money to the church. Is the church going to accept this money?

    Reading these comments- I am so glad that I don’t know disgusting, nasty, sanctimonious creatures like you people in person. You honestly think your Jesus would spend time with people like you?

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