A CATHOLIC priest allegedly kicked a mourning family out of a church in a row over a chalice just as they were preparing to bid farewell to their loved one.
According to Fox 5, the Reverend Michael Briese became angry after someone knocked over and damaged the church’s chalice at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, US.
After allegedly telling mourners to “get the hell out of my church”, he then called police during the incident on Tuesday, June 26.
The Archdiocese of Washington has apologised to the family, who were escorted by police to a funeral home in a different parish where the service went ahead.
The incident happened during a viewing (wake) for 54-year-old Agnes Hicks that was taking place before the funeral.
Her family said the chalice was accidentally knocked over when someone went in for a hug during the service.
“That’s when all hell broke loose,” Mrs Hicks’ daughter, Shanice Chisely, told Fox 5.
“He literally got on the mic and said, ‘there will be no funeral, there will be no mass, no repass, everyone get the hell out of my church’.”
In a statement to Fox 5, the Archdiocese of Washington said: “What occurred at St Mary’s Parish … does not reflect the Catholic Church’s fundamental calling to respect and uplift the God-given dignity of every person, nor does that incident represent the pastoral approach the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington commit to undertake every day in their ministry.”