This is generating waves in the Golden State:
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.