.- The chancellor of the Diocese of San Diego says the bishop denied a man a Catholic funeral because his business activities were contrary to Scripture and to the teachings of the Catholic Church. John McCusker died last week of congestive heart failure. The 31-year-old was the owner of a dance club that was popular with homosexuals and of another bar for homosexual patrons.
Chancellor Rodrigo Valdivia said church officials did not know McCusker’s business activities when arrangements were made to hold funeral services at Immaculata Catholic Church on the University of San Diego.
“However, when these facts became known, the bishop concluded that to avoid public scandal Mr. McCusker cannot be granted a funeral in a Catholic church or chapel in the Diocese of San Diego," he explained in a statement Thursday.
But homosexual community leaders are crying discrimination. They say Bishop Robert Brom denied McCusker a Catholic funeral because of his sexual orientation.
The chancellor denies this point and says the decision had nothing to do with McCusker’s homosexual orientation.
“We have become aware that an organized campaign is distorting the action of the bishop in order to advance its agenda and to silence those whose moral convictions are at variance with its own,” the chancellor said in a second statement March 18.
He repeated that the bishop’s decision was based on McCusker’s business activities, “which were contrary to Sacred Scripture and the moral teaching of the Church.”
“The bishop acted as he did so that the faithful would not be misled and erroneously conclude that the Church condones activities such as those included in the businesses of Mr. McCusker,” he continued.
“It is a mistake to interpret this pastoral action as a condemnation of Mr. McCusker,” the chancellor wrote. “He should be in our prayers for the blessing of eternal life.”