San Diego diocese reverses parish decision, offers Catholic funeral to gay lounge owner
SAN DIEGO, California, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A San Diego Catholic church that recently cancelled the funeral Mass for the owner of a gay lounge has since had their decision overruled by the diocese.
The funeral Mass for John SanFilippo was scheduled at Our Lady of the Rosary Church this Thursday. After learning that the deceased had been in a homosexual relationship for many years, the parish priests reportedly informed the family on Sunday that the funeral could not take place.
Our Lady of the Rosary parish told LifeSiteNews.com that they are refusing comment at this time and directed all inquiries to the diocese.
A similar situation occurred in 2005 when a Catholic funeral was requested for an openly homosexual businessman. Bishop Robert Brom of the Diocese of San Diego said the funeral could not take place in a Catholic church of the diocese. Bishop Brom reportedly apologized to the man’s family afterwards.
LifeSiteNews.com contacted the diocese for further comment.
“Diocesan Authorities have concluded that the funeral scheduled at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish may take place,” Rodrigo Valdivia, chancellor for the diocese, told LSN.
He added that the priest at Our Lady of the Rosary who responded to the funeral request was a visiting priest substituting during the pastor’s vacation. “This visiting priest is not familiar with local practice,” said Valdivia.
The director of the cemetery is in contact with the SanFilippo family to make funeral arrangements and the funeral will take place as scheduled on Thursday, according to Valdivia.
The Church’s code of Canon law states on the matter that “unless they gave some signs of repentance before death”, those “manifest sinners” who if granted church funerals would cause public scandal, “must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals.”
Archdiocese of San Diego: