TEMPERANCE, Mi. (AP/NBC NEWS) – The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit says it regrets that a priest officiating at a teen’s funeral questioned whether he would get to heaven after killing himself.
Maison Hullibarger’s father tells the Detroit Free Press that he walked up to the pulpit and whispered, “Father, please stop,” during the Dec. 8 funeral Mass. But Jeff Hullibarger says the Rev. Don LaCuesta continued giving a critical sermon at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperance.
“There were actually a couple of younger boys who were Maison’s age who left the church sobbing,” Jeff Hullibarger told the paper.
“He basically called our son a sinner in front of hundreds of people and judged him when he didn’t even know him,” Linda Hullibarger told WXYZ-TV.
The archdiocese released a statement Thursday saying it’s sorry that an “unbearable situation was made even more difficult.” The archdiocese says LaCuesta will not preach at funerals “for the foreseeable future.”
Eighteen-year-old Maison died on Dec. 4. He was an athlete and honors student.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).