“All Hell Broke Loose”: Priest Kicked A Black Family Out Of Their Loved One’s Funeral But Then He Apologized

Date December 24, 2018

When a priest loses his tamper, nothing is scarier. The Hicks family got to experience the anger of a holy person, and nobody would ever want to end up in a devastation situation like that.

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“Get the hell out of my church”

When hundreds of people gathered at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Maryland to say goodbye to 54-year-old Agnes Hicks, nobody knew that the funeral will end up being much shorter than they expected.

One of the relatives reached for a hug and accidentally knocked over the church’s sacred wine cup, and that’s when the witnesses experienced what an angry priest looks like.

The Pastor Michael Briese started screaming at a family, feet away from an open casket of a dead woman.

Hicks’ daughter Shanice Chisely recalls what happened:

That’s when all hell broke loose. He literally got on the mic and said, “There will be no funeral, there will be no mass, no repass, everyone get the hell out of my church.” He disrespected our family, he disrespected my mother. He called my mother “a thing.” He said, “Get this thing out of my church! Everyone get the hell out of my church!

Michael Briese later apologized for kicking a black family out of the funeral.

The family didn’t talk about racism, but social media made a powerful response creating #MourningWhileBlack. People's reaction was supportive. 

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What happened next

The video of the incident has since made the rounds on social media. The Archdiocese of Washington has issued an apology to the family after the story. The priest apologized in a letter to the editor, published in Maryland Independent. 

The priest wrote:

Two minutes can change a life.  In an emergency medical situation, two minutes can save a life. But can two minutes erase a quarter century of a person’s life and commitment to serving and caring for his community and those entrusted to his care?  I hope not.

He added:

 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.

Everybody makes mistakes in life, and mistakes help people to turn into something better. But can priest make such mistakes? What do you think? 

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