Woman sues priest after saying at her son’s funeral that suicides don’t go to heaven
The parents of the deceased boy felt humiliated and insulted after the Catholic priest said at the funeral that their son would not go to heaven because of the way of death.
Linda and Jeff Hullibarger on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, and the Rev. Don LaCuesta. The amount of compensation is 25 thousand dollars.
Despite the fact that the parents asked not to focus on the method of his death, LaCuesta decided that it would be more correct to focus on the fact that “those who commit suicide do not go to heaven,” referring to Catholic dogma.
"Many in attendance, including very close friends of their son, immediately became upset and burst out crying," the lawsuit states. "Despite the Hullibargers and others being visibly upset and vocally distraught, Father LaCuesta continued to hammer out his message on suicide. Father LaCuesta repeatedly discussed suicide and how it is condemned by the Church, how it is a secular crime, and how it is a sin against God with dire consequences."
After the incident, the family turned to the church directly, but they did not respond to the family's complaint. Only after the lawsuit was filed, the church forbade the priest to speak at the funeral.
"Since her son’s funeral, Linda has suffered and continues to suffer severe and permanent emotional distress, terror, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of religious faith, difficulty in practicing religion through the church, severe psychological injury and deprivation of earning capacity, and has incurred and will continue to incur expenses for psychological treatment, therapy, and counseling," the lawsuit says.