San Diego Catholic diocese smears dead gay man

“[San Diego diocese representative Rodrigo] Valdivia could not recall any examples of other cases in which the diocese has invoked the canon to deny funeral rites to Catholics.” – AP

So much for not speaking ill of the dead.

The SD Catholic church says that apparently our anger is part of an “organized campaign” to advance our “agenda.” I think that’s bigot code for “gay agenda.” So, with the man’s funeral happening today (I believe), the church is lashing out to smear his name. Of course, their smear is hardly smear-worthy, and downright laughable.

Their press release, issued today:

Date: March 18, 2005
From: Rodrigo Valdivia, Chancellor
Re: Statement on McCusker Funeral

We have become aware that an organized campaign is distorting the action of the Bishop in order to advance its agenda and to silence those whose moral convictions are at variance with its own.

Once again, in order to avoid public scandal, John McCusker was denied a funeral in a Catholic church or chapel in the Diocese of San Diego because of his business activities which were contrary to Sacred Scripture and the moral teaching of the Church. The Bishop acted as he did so that the faithful would not be misled and erroneously conclude that the Church condones activities such as those included in the businesses of Mr. McCusker.

It is a mistake to interpret this pastoral action as a condemnation of Mr. McCusker. He should be in our prayers for the blessing of eternal life.


Putting aside for a moment the fact that the church could simply issue a statement saying “funerals don’t mean we approve of everything the funeralee has done in life,” they’re now telling us that a church funeral means the church condones everything that person has done in his life, or at least everything in his business life?

Well that’s fascinating. So, anyone who hasn’t had a pure business life and/or personal life (let’s face it, they’ll hardly limit this to your business life) will not get a Catholic funeral because to give them such a funeral would mean the church was condoning their wrongful behavior. So, other than the Pope, who I hear is infallible, who does that leave who has led a pristine life and can therefore be buried by the church?

Would a funeral for Donald Rumsfeld, were he departed and Catholic, mean the church was condoning the deaths of thousands of Iraqis, so they wouldn’t permit it? Would Martha Stewart be off the ticket because she’s a convicted criminal, and the church can’t condone crime? And I’m hoping that every Catholic who’s had a divorce is now not getting a funeral, since we know the church doesn’t condone that. And condoms and other birth control – use ’em and you’re not getting buried. And anyone who’s had premarital sex. And then there’s masturbation… Ok, so none of us are getting buried.

Or does the Catholic diocese of San Diego pick and choose who they selectively smear after death, holding out a special place in their heart for the homos?

And then the San Diego diocese follows this release with this explanation of why they denied this man a funeral. Get this.

1. His advertising slogan for his bar included “Real Men, No Rules!” and “Tired of Playing with Boys, Come Play with Men!”

So now the Catholic church won’t give you a funeral if you ever have any kind of racy advertising. I guess that means ABC won’t be getting a Catholic funeral after that Desperate Housewives ad, nor will that football player or the blond lady (or anybody else on the show), nor the entire FCC since they chose not to fine the network. And what does the Catholic Churchlady think of car ads with hot bikini-clad models? Is just the model not getting a Catholic funeral, or are we also banning the car manufacturer, the ad company, the television network who airs it, and the guy or lesbian who watches the commercial at home and enjoys it?

2. Porn stars were scheduled to appear at an event at the bar.

Wonder how the church feels about bars (or airlines) whose sole purpose is for heterosexuals to look at women’s enormous breasts while eating chicken wings? Or for that matter, bars whose only purpose is to help straight men find women they can fuck? I just want to know so we can all plan our funeral arrangements accordingly.

And their final reason for not giving this man a funeral:

3. A porn video was allegedly filmed at one of the bars.

What do they do, run a friggin background check on you before you can get a Catholic funeral? “I’m sorry, Mr. Maloney, your wife only received a 573 on her moral credit rating – and as you know, the church requires a 575 or above for a burial. Perhaps you can try the Episcopalians down the block, we hear they like sluts.”

And for the record, what does that background check say about date rape, pedophilia, and enabling both of them?

And note how the diocese said in their release that “in order to avoid public scandal, John McCusker was denied a funeral.” To avoid a public scandal? According to what I’ve read, the guy was LOVED by the public. The head of the San Diego business community praised the guy. There’s been an outpouring of emotion from his friends and family across the city. And, let’s face it, this is hardly a faith run by men who go out of their way to avoid actions that could lead to public scandals. So, what exact “public scandal” was going to ensue? In fact, the scandal that has ensued is one of outrage against the church for their own actions. If anything, this proves the church was wrong on that count alone.

Finally, the SD diocese said the other day that they couldn’t give the details of why they turned McCusker down for a funeral, “for legal reasons.” Well, those legal reasons sure dried up in a hurry when the church felt it was getting too much criticism. Then again, the San Diego Bishop is a proven liar (see the article I cite in the post a bit below), so who knows what to believe from these people.

For shame. Then again, look at the abysmal way the Catholic Church leadership has handled the rape of scores of young boys and girls. Is anyone really that surprised that they would handle the death of a gay man any better?

(PS And let’s not even talk about Bob Dole and those Viagra commercials.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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