Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Situation Of Father LaCuesta

Let me preface this post by saying that my own family is no stranger to suicide, as are the families of some close friends of mine.  I have seen and experienced that pain.

A young man in the Detroit area recently committed suicide and his requiem Mass was conducted by Father Don LaCuesta.  It appears that the parents met with Father beforehand and requested that Father "celebrate how Maison lived, not how he died".  Well, I understand that the parents were grieved, but that doesn't give them leeway to dictate to the priest his homily.

So the Mass happened, and Father proclaimed the truth about suicide.  I understand that twice during that homily the parents got up and asked him to stop - during Mass.  That is simply unacceptable conduct, grief notwithstanding.  Then they went to the media and Archbishop Vigneron to complain about the homily.  Here is the text of the homily about which they complained.  I find nothing objectionable about the homily that proclaimed God's love many times, but yes, reaffirmed the objective sinfulness of suicide.

The parents are demanding that Father LaCuesta be laicized (more on that later).  Vigneron promptly forbade LaCuesta to preach at future homilies and to have "all other homilies reviewed by a priest mentor".   He even has to submit to "help from professionals - on human, spiritual and pastoral levels".  There's that word "pastoral" again but they forgot the word "accompaniment".  We may only shudder to think who these "professionals" may be.

Perhaps Archbishop Vigneron was simply trying to deflect media attention from himself, for he has acquired a boatload of that.  He has, for several years, allowed Dignity almost free rein in his Archdiocese, with the founder of Dignity being one of his auxiliary bishops.  It is said that he fears a "rebellion" among the gay priests.  Well, why doesn't he sack them, just as he sacked LaCuesta?  He has been called out on the denial of the role of homosexuality in the problems in his own archdiocese - something being brought to bear on him by the Michigan attorney general.  It seems that Vigneron is preparing for a lawsuit - by shifting archdiocesan assets to a holding company where they will be sheltered from lawsuits.  So yes, we can see why Vigneron might want to keep the media wolves at bay by tossing to them a sacrificial lamb in the person of Father LaCuesta.

Let me get back to a point that I wanted to make earlier, when I said that the deceased's parents were demanding the laicazion of Father LaCuesta.  This is strikingly similar to the treatment of Father Marcel Guarnizo in my own parish over six years ago.  In that situation, he withheld Holy Communion from a practicing lesbian at her mother's funeral.  The medial lambast started that same week and Father Guarnizo was ejected from the Archdiocese of Washington.  I wrote about that almost exclusively from Feb - April in 2012.

Now the long knives are out for Father LaCuesta.  One wonders if this incident was simply a handy excuse to remove a faithful priest and even destroy his vocation.


  1. When I was much younger, those who committed suicide were denied a Catholic funeral Mass and burial.

    If course, nowadays that is not considered "welcoming" or " pastoral ".

    God help us!

  2. Near universal apostasy among the Bishops who can't help but offer their pinch of salt to the idols of a culture that has rejected Our Lord. Isn't Vigneron held to be a "conservative" by some?

  3. If you read his homily, in no way did he say that this young man's soul was 'in hell'. He relayed the grievous offense of suicide, which he should have, but also talked about the mercy of God and how God looks at more than the act itself and takes into consideration the entirety of the person. There are many that believe a person does not commit suicide unless there is an underlying mental illness. We don't have all the answers but Fr. (in my opinion) gave a beautiful homily that spoke of the seriousness of suicide and also incorporated God's mercy. The problem here I do believe is that even the parents of this boy haven't been catechized correctly, but that's no surprise. And if they haven't been catechized, how can anyone expect their son to be? They need to be praying incessantly for his soul......I will pray for him.

  4. Secondary point: +Vigneron's re-org of Diocesan properties will bring the Diocese into compliance with Canon law and be consistent with the (financial) organization of the vast majority of Dioceses in the USA. In Milwaukee, e.g., parishes have owned their own real estate and buildings since at least 1956 if not long before that.

    Were Vigneron to retain the current structure, an ambitious P I attorney could (literally) place a lien on any or all parish properties until a judgment is paid off. I'm quite certain that you would not think much of your Bishop and his legal team if YOUR parish and school were assessed with a (say) $750K judgment.

  5. Thanks Janet,

    I agree. This situation is similar to many of the attacks on good priests. Have you seen the meme on FB? It reads "Signs that our Church is sick: Holiness gets you exiled. Gay advocacy gets you promoted." One could add that preaching Catholic doctrine gets you exiled; political correctness and worshiping the zeitgeist get you promoted." It's sickening! The family of that boy needs catechesis. They probably spent their years in CCD making banners and playing word find games. We need a new evangelization based on the old evangelization. And bishops need to stop persecuting good priests!

  6. "...twice during that homily the parents got up and asked him to stop - during Mass. "

    "The parents are demanding that Father LaCuesta be laicized"

    The parents sound like authoritarian bullies.

  7. The only thing I disagree with is the statement about God not judging us on our final act.
    If our final act is any type of mortal sin, then we deserve hell unless God by some special grace gives us perfect contrition in the last moment of life.

  8. To be a formal heretic one must:

    1: Be a baptized Catholic
    2: Confirmation and current Catholic profession of faith.
    3: Outright denial of a Dogma.
    4: Morally culpable.

    The Bishop is wrong as wrong can be. The parents' moral and spiritual confusion was made worse by his encouragement.

    Dogma is not negotiable. It will be up to the Faithful and hard-working Priests in the trenches to uphold Dogma against powerful Churchmen who seem to be almost all outside the Dogmatic fenceline.

  9. This poor, orthodox priest. His Bishop has ordered him to apologize!

    I know what that's like. I have been told to stop preaching on the evils of Communion in the hand, hell, abortion, and maintaining silence in Church.

    The Catholic Church is a complete mess right now!

    Thank God for the SSPX!

    Get 'ye to a TLM ASAP!


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