The Archdiocese of Washington announced Tuesday that the Rev. Michael Briese is on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
Rev. Briese had lost his cool at the funeral at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall, Md. and sent a grieving black family parking just before the funeral service asking them to ‘get this thing (the deceased, Agnes Hicks 54) out of my church! Everyone get the hell out of my church!’ It was very sad. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
As if disrespecting the deceased and her mourning family was not enough, Rev. Briese also called the cops who were waiting outside the church as the family walked out with the casket of their late mother in search of another church and priest to conduct the final rites.
Apparently, someone had knocked over and damaged the church’s sacred golden chalice when they went in for a hug near the altar. That is when witnesses say all hell broke loose, prompting an abrupt end to the funeral.
The chaotic scene was captured on a mobile phone video that has since gone viral. “He literally got on the mic and said, ‘ … There will be no funeral, there will be no mass, everyone get the hell out of my church,’” Hick’s daughter Shanice Chisely recalled of the incident.
“He disrespected our family, he disrespected my mother. He called my mother ‘a thing.’ He said, ‘Get this thing out of my church!
“It’s bad enough we had to bury our own mother yesterday, but for you to say she is a ‘thing’ and that there will be no funeral?” Renetta Baker, another of Hicks’ daughters, said of Briese. “You’re not a preacher. You’re not a pastor. You’re not a father of the Lord. You’re not any of that. You’re the devil.”