A sad and unjust situation has taken place in the Diocese of San Diego. Recently the pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Little Italy, has denied a gay man a funeral. In a decision reminiscent of the Catholic Church’s refusal to hold a funeral mass in 2005 for openly gay businessman John McCusker, Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Little Italy has canceled a funeral mass scheduled this Thursday morning for openly gay businessman John Sanfilippo, owner of the SRO Lounge, a popular gay cocktail bar.
The Rainbow Sash Movement is glad to hear that the Diocese has over ruled the local priest and said the funeral mass could proceed. Now the family feels very uncomfortable with the local parish, and so does John’s life partner of 30 years Brian Galvin.
Ironically this is the on Diocese in the country where this happened. After the 2005 incident Bishop Brom apologized to the family, but for some in the family it was far to little and to late. Some of the family south a new faith community in the local Episcopal Church.
Bishop Brom must be held accountable for this reckless action on the part of one of his local priests. Yes, the Rainbow Sash Movement agrees that the Diocese needs to put a policy in place so this does not happen again. First we are denied communion, and now we are denied a funeral mass, it is time for people of good will to speak out on this matter.
We would like to see the priest involved enter into some form of council-ling. He is obviously caring some emotional baggage about Gay People that is clouding his pastoral vision.
The Rainbow Sash Movement realizes this must be a terribly painful time for the family, and Brian Galvin, and it is our hope that the Diocese will make a special outreach to this family and Brian that is based on love and compassion.
We wish to extend our condolences to John’s life partner and his family in this very difficult time.Let us pray this never happens again to another gay person lover and family in this Diocese. The only way to make sure that it does not is get Bishop Brom personally involved in the decision making.
Rainbow Sash Movement