Westboro Baptist Turns Out–To Picket Fr. Kenneth Walker’s Funeral

The hate group we love to hate, the Westboro Baptist Church, turned out June 20 to picket the funeral of Father Kenneth Walker FSSP, the priest who was slain in an attempted robbery in Phoenix.

Catholic News Agency has the story:

Faithful who attended the funeral for Father Kenneth Walker were dismayed at the presence of picketers from the Westboro Baptist Church on June 20 near Paxico, Kansas.

As mourners filed into Sacred Heart Catholic Church, members of the hate group stood nearby holding signs and singing songs in order to broadcast their message.

A priest with the Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Walker, 28, was shot and killed while coming to the aid of Fr. Joseph Terra at their parish, Mater Misercordiae Mission, in Phoenix on June 11. Fr. Terra, 56, suffered several injuries but was released from the hospital June 16.

It’s unfortunate that a group like Westboro Baptist self-identify as “Christians”, because their repugnant actions cast aspersions on all people of faith.

Fortunately, Catholics present for the funeral liturgy reacted to the protest with characteristic grace and charity.  According to CNA, attendee Michael Drake said that the Catholic response to such protests is a peaceful one.  Drake’s mother, also present, expressed sadness for the protesters and didn’t understand why they would picket funerals.  “I know that if one of their ministers died,” she said, “I would be very sad for his family, I would be concerned.  I certainly wouldn’t be protesting in front of their church.  I just think it’s a sad and not terribly Christian thing.”

Fortunately, there aren’t too many of these bitter religionists.  According to reports, membership in the unaffiliated Baptist church known for its extreme ideologies numbers about 40, mostly relatives of the founder Fred Phelps, who died in March 2014.