Mr. Fuller was Catholic, although obviously dissident. On the Sunday before he ended his own life, he attended Mass and received Holy Communion - obviously sacrilegiously. Moreover, Father Quentin Dupont, SJ, led the First Communion children in "blessing" Fuller. Fuller's plans were widely known at that parish. Unless the priest was inexcusably oblivious, he had to have known them too. I am unable to determine the nature of Dupont's relationship to the parish; he appears not to be the pastor.
If Father Dupont, at that Mass, was aware of the impending sin of suicide that Fuller was to commit, then he is guilty of that sin by way of being an accessory to the sin. Several other parishioners would also be in that status. In a previous post, I listed the nine ways of being an accessory to sin and participating in its guilt. I'll run through them now.
- Counsel - Did Father Dupont suggest that Fuller was taking a correct step?
- Command - Probably not present in this situation.
- Consent - That "blessing" would appear to constitute consent.
- Provocation - Did that happen?
- Praise or flattery - That seemed to be oozing from many parishioners. What about Father?
- Concealment - Well that certainly didn't occur.
- Partnership - This is defined as sharing the fruits of the sin. Not present here.
- Silence - Father did not act or speak to prevent Fuller's sins
- Defending evil - That was all over the praise from the other parishioners.
The Seattle bishops intend to "review" this matter. If Dupont didn't know of the impending suicide, then what reason did he have of "blessing" Dupont and even inducing children to be props in his stunt? Will the bishops really do an honest review of this matter or are they simply trying to stall in the hopes that we will forget about this atrocity?
Unless Fuller made a perfect act of contrition right at the moment of his death, he is not in a good place. Let us pray that he did. But let us also take action. Contact St Therese Parish and the Archdiocese of Seattle to demand that real investigations be done regarding the apparent approval that Fuller received from Fr Dupont. That atrocity can never again happen in a Catholic Church.