The Archdiocese of Washington has published an apology after a surreal incident where a family, mourning their dead, was kicked out of the funeral in Maryland. A video of a confrontation as it happened in the Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall went viral from last week Tuesday, June 26.
A mobile video showed the argument between Pastor Michael Briese and the family of the deceased, Agnes Hicks, as the confrontation interrupted the solemn funeral for the 54-year old. It went to the extent that the family was later seen hauling the casket of their dead out of the church, a sight that shocked those present, as recapped by Fox News.
The shouting match reportedly started after someone knocked over the sacred chalice of the church before service started. The holy cup was damaged according to accounts of what happened, at which point the pastor took to the microphone.
"That's when all hell broke loose," Hicks' daughter, Shanice Chisely, recalled. "[Briese] literally got on the mic and said, 'there will be no funeral, there will be no mass, no repass, everyone get the hell out of my church,'" she recounted via the New York Post.
The statement from the Archdiocese of Washington went out a week later this Tuesday, July 3, offering prayer and condolences as well as an apology for what transpired a week ago.
"I have been informed that following the incident at Saint Mary Parish that one of the neighboring pastors, Father Scott Woods, completed the service at the Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home and offered his sincerest apologies," the Rev. Michael W. Fisher also noted.
Pastor Briese has also come out with a letter of apology of his own, which was published in the Maryland Independent two days after the incident. In it, he admitted that he lost his temper in a display of anger "most inappropriate" given the circumstances at the time.