Indiana man warned off singing at his gran's funeral

Indiana man warned off singing at his gran's funeral November 29, 2016

An Indiana man who attended a gay pride event has been refused permission by a Catholic church to sing at his grandmother’s funeral.
Connor Hakes, above, received a letter from Father Bob J Lengerich of St Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Indiana, saying that
Hakes’ attendance at a gay rally a few years before could bring “scandal” to the church.
Hakes shared the letter he received from Lengerich, above, on his Facebook page.
It said, in part:

I am sorry for the circumstances but I cannot allow you to serve at St Mary’s parish during Mass or any other official liturgy, including your grandmother’s funeral, until our present situation is resolved.
Your grandmother was such a beloved figure in our community … her funeral will not be a private, family service, but rather a celebration of her life and faith for our entire community, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
I have the responsibility to address issues that could scandalise our congregation and neighbours.

The letter added that people who support “abortion rights and are openly participating in unchaste same-sex relationships” cannot perform in a position within the church.

Anytime someone sins and then acts in the name of God, it causes scandal. The Catholic Church upholds the dignity of those with same-sex attraction. At the same time, it does not permit same-sex relationships or openly advocating for them because it causes scandal.

To add insult to injury, the priest also seemed to “grant permission” for Connor to honour his grandmother:

As long as it is outside of the Mass and outside of the Church.

After posting the letter online, Connor added his grandparents would be “disgusted by their parish” and that they “loved everyone” regardless of sexual orientation.
Hundreds of people have commented on the post since it went up last week.
Although the majority have offered support to Connor, some have defended the priest’s decision.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • AgentCormac

    ‘…her funeral will not be a private, family service, but rather a celebration of her life and faith for our entire community, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.’
    So by non-catholics Lengerich presumably means anybody who isn’t necessarily a catholic but shares similar irrational prejudices and intolerances? More importantly, however, just whose grandmother was it, you conceited, evil twat? How dare you tell her own grandson that the supposed reputation of your lying, immoral, child-abuse-sustaining fucking church takes precedence over his own grief and desire to mark her passing? Makes my blood boil (just in case you hadn’t noticed).

  • barriejohn

    “Anytime someone sins and then acts in the name of God, it causes scandal,” says Catholic priest. Yes, you really couldn’t make up this bullshit, could you?

  • Angela_K

    “Any time someone sins and then acts in the name of God, it causes scandal” Except when it is priests raping young boys.

  • Gill Kerry

    Oh those poor people, scandalized by such racy goings on.Someone pass the smelling salts! I notice that he doesn’t have similar problems with all the paedophiles etc

  • barriejohn

    Angela: That’s what I meant!

  • Barry Duke

    The church has just issued this statement:
    “Having become aware of the painful situation at Saint Mary’s Parish in Decatur, the diocese is working on fostering healing and reconciliation between the pastor and the Hakes family. We encourage all to move forward with genuine Christian love and mercy and with respect and prayer for one another.”

  • “Wait, you mean my Roman Catholic clergyman practices the Roman Catholic faith?” – all those surprised by this man’s letter.
    Yes, those at that parish who are offended, it turns out your religion is not a democracy and you don’t get to pick and chose who the ‘good ones’ are. Your religion is what it is.
    You are welcome to leave it behind.

  • StephenJP

    Is this family paying fees for the hire of the church, the organist, the choirboys (oh! – the irony!), the coffin-bearers, etc ad nauseam? Then who is this god-botherer to say how they can or cannot celebrate the life of their relative?
    I have attended the funerals of quite enough of my relatives,not excluding my parents, to be aware how stultifying and reductive most funeral ceremonies are. The one exception was my dear younger sister, a fierce atheist, for whom I arranged a wholly secular celebration of her life, which I think inspired and uplifted even the few faithful in the assembly.

  • 1859

    The ‘scandal’ might be that ‘Father Bob’ secretly finds Connor irresistible.

  • Robster

    Didn’t that pope Frank or one of his overdressed, brain dead cohorts recently announce that Catholic funerals ARE NOT to be treated as a celebration of the dead sucker’s life rather a sorrow filled hour of pious tripe? I think they did.

  • What was Mr Hakes planning to sing at Grandma’s funeral? Y.M.C.A, I Am What I Am, or It’s Raining Men? What possible objections could Father Bob have to such harmless ditties?

  • Walter

    The rcc … the most bigoted bunch of paedophile shitehawks ever.

  • AgentCormac

    We organised a humanist send-off for my father-in-law. A staunch catholic relative commented that it was the best funeral service they’d ever been to.

  • Paul

    This is truly astonhing – how on earth does he think he can dictate to the family what type of funeral the lady has. ‘It won’t be a private family funeral’. Who is he to decide that? It would be her in her will (if she had one) and her family. Not him.
    What gives him the right to say that is truly astonishing.

  • Stephen Mynett

    Paul, noting would surprise me, there have been religious funerals held for atheists who specifically stated they did not want a religious ceremony but selfish relatives decided otherwise.

  • barriejohn

    S. Mynett: There’s nothing that you can do to prevent it, either. When I acted as executor for my neighbour some years ago, I was astonished to discover that the beneficiaries of your will, and the executors, can get together after your death and ignore everything that you’ve said!

  • Stephen Mynett

    BJ, I know, I have looked into it as am executor for a couple of family members and also need to sort out my own disposal. The teaching hospital I spoke with were very helpful but even they cannot go against the wishes of those you mention, a pity but providing things go well I will be played with by some medical students and then incinerated with no service of any sort.
    Donating a cadaver for study is worth thinking of for people like me, my various conditions mean my organs are no good for transplant and there is a shortage of cadavers for students to work on.

  • Vanity Unfair

    I know how Mr. Hakes must feel. I have been refused permission to sing everywhere I have tried to: and not always politely.

  • jay

    Hmm I seem to remember Mafia bosses taking part in Catholic funerals.