This one is really easy. Raised Catholic, I was the lead altar-boy at my small church for a number of years. I have been to a lot of Catholic funerals. I have never seen anything like this, and can’t imagine it happening.

That’s the same response I had when I first watched shooting videos on YouTube. The scene would look familiar, crazy person acting up at the local 7–11 and the police pull up. Then the shooting by the cop starts and I’m like, “What the fuck was that? I have never seen anything like that in my life.”

Look, I’ve been to some bad funerals and services. I have watched a priest insist that the only speaker would be him, even though he didn’t know the deceased at all. I have sat and listened to a priest say that my cousin didn’t have much of a chance of getting to heaven because he wasn’t a practicing Christian (it was said in florid academic language, but I, a religion major, turned to my nephew who has a PhD in philosophy after it and said “what the fuck was that?”, he replied, “the meanest sermon of all time”). I have seen appointed god parents told they couldn’t be god parents because they couldn’t confirm good standing in a Catholic parish, etc., etc., etc.

I say these things not to bag on the Catholic church, but to say, I’ve seen things go south, but nothing like what you describe. I simply can’t imagine it, but I believe your account. Yes, I do.

I’m an Episcopalian now, but I still have a lot of juice. I’m going to say prayers for Agnes Hicks. I have things to offer up. I’m going to offer them up for her.

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