|Our Lady of the Rosary|
John Sanfilippo died last week, losing his battle with emphysema, and he'd hoped to have his funeral mass held at Our Lady of the Rosary, but her was denied.
John Sanfilippo was a gay man, and that's why, even though he attended mass regularly, and even left some money to the church in his will, that his funeral mass was canceled. Over the weekend, Sanfilippo's partner of 28 years, along with his family, were notified that the church canceled the funeral because Sanfilippo was gay.
Friends, family, and neighbors were furious with the decision by the church, and took to the streets in front of the church to protest, and, as soon as the story broke on TV and the Internet, suddenly the church had a change of heart. The church, however, has not communicated the decision change to either the family of the deceased man or the media.
In an email, Rodrigo Valdivia, the chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, said: "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."
At the cocktail lounge that Sanfilippo owned for 28 years, Neil Thomas was not buying it: "All of a sudden, they change their mind and say, 'Well, you know, we may still allow the funeral to be here.' Why? Because they got caught in the process of denying equal rights to people?"
Yes, because they got caught being the homophobic hate-mongers that they are.
But Sanfilippo's partner and family may have the last word. They have already found another Catholic church for the funeral because they do not feel comfortable going back to Our Lady of the Rosary after being denied a funeral mass.
Even though this happened in death, this should spur Catholics on. If you are a member of a church who would allow a man to attend mass for decades, take his money into the collection plate for decades, be included monetarily in his will, and then denounce his homosexuality and deny him a funeral, maybe you ought to rethink where you worship.