By now, I think we all have pretty much accepted that a white person being “placed on leave” for obvious misconduct is more of a vacation/slap on the wrist than actual discipline.
Yet here we are, with a D.C.-area Catholic priest being “put on leave” after verbally lashing out at black funeral-goers mourning the loss of a loved one, telling them to “get the hell out of my church,” and calling the cops on them.
Placed on leave after being caught on camera in the middle of his verbal tirade.
According to the Washington Post, Rev. Michael Briese was
given vacation put on leave on Tuesday while the archdiocese investigates what it is being called a “serious misunderstanding” by church officials.
Welp, it’s time to pack up. They’ve told us all that we needed to know with that one phrase.
Briese more or less lost his damn mind last week after an attendee at the funeral of Agnes Hick knocked over the church’s “sacred chalice.”
“There will be no funeral, no repast, everyone get the hell out of my church,” Briese reportedly told the family.
Who knew that a “sacred chalice” was more important than respecting human life?
As the family attempted to talk him down, Briese continued ranting while pointing at Hicks’ casket, “Forget it, just get that thing out of here,” he said according to the family.
Church officials reached out to the family to apologize, but as we see, that may not be worth much.
“What occurred at Saint 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,” the Rev. Michael W. Fisher, the auxiliary bishop for ministerial leadership of the archdiocese, wrote in an apology. “I want to reach out to you first to offer my prayers for your loved one that God will grant her a place in his kingdom of eternal light and love, and condolences to your family. On days such as today, our response should always be one of compassion and sympathy for the bereaved as well as prayers for the deceased. I reiterate and reinforce the sincere apology you and your family received”
Yet it was Fisher who called the whole outrageous incident a “misunderstanding.”
Briese declined to comment but wrote a half-assed apology, blaming his outburst on his human nature.
“Some might dismiss these words, given the tenor of the words I uttered before the funeral that was to take place on Wednesday. That is a just part of the consequence I will bear for my behavior. Like all human beings, I, too, am broken in nature, make mistakes and, yes, I fail,” he wrote in a local newspaper, according to the Post. “My recent actions and words were not borne of kindness, but a failure of my vow to serve the Lord and those entrusted to my care as a person and as priest. I am profoundly sorry for my words and actions. I pray for all in this community every day, and I can only ask that you pray for me, but also for other priests and ministers, and all who seek to serve those who suffer and struggle as we strive to build up the kingdom of God.”
Sure, I guess.