Thursday, March 31, 2005

New Details On Death Of Gay Man Refused Catholic Funeral

I had to post this update to this fuck up by the church.. It is sad. May he rest in peace.

by Matt Johns 365Gay.com Los Angeles Bureau

Posted: March 30, 2005 5:01 pm ET

(San Diego, California) A gay San Diego man refused a funeral in the diocese's Catholic churches died of asphyxiation, heart failure, and a drug overdose according to an autopsy released by the Mono County Sheriff's Department.

John McCusker, 31, died suddenly March 13 while he was holidaying at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort.

The autopsy report shows that in addition to the heart attack his death was, at least in part, caused by "large amounts" of the pain killer oxycodone and by amphetamines. He also had alcohol in his system the report said.

As well, McCusker had been taking medication for high blood pressure.

The way in which the Catholic Church reacted to a request from his deeply religious family to hold his funeral at the Catholic Church at his alma mater, the University of San Diego. Initially, the university agreed to hold the funeral and then suddenly declined.

When they were turned down stunned family members approached two parish churches and were rebuffed.

The family was told that Bishop Robert H. Brom had issued a directive to parishes throughout the area to refuse to conduct the funeral (story) "because of his business activities".

McCusker owned two clubs in San Diego. Club Montage, attracts a mixed crowd. The other club, ReBar, is gay.

"To avoid public scandal Mr. McCusker can't be granted a funeral in a Catholic church or chapel in the Diocese of San Diego," a statement from Brom's office said.

Last week the bishop of apologized to the McCusker family (story). But, then in a stunning report Brom appeared to take it back. (story)

Brom has refused to clarify his position, but has offered to hold a memorial mass for the family.

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