Catholic Church | Discrimination | Religion

Catholic Priest Refuses Gay Man Last Rites

Ronald Plishka, a gay Catholic man who suffered a heart attack on February 6, was admitted to the emergency room at Washington Hospital Center in DC for treatment. Unsure if he would survive, he requested a priest give him the last rites. Father Brian Coelho was brought in to perform the ceremony but stopped once he learned that Plishka is gay.

The Washington Blade reports:

Washington“We started talking and I told him I was so happy with this new Pope because of his comments about the gays and his accepting the gays,” Plishka said. “And I mentioned that I was gay. I said it and then I asked him does that bother you? And he said, ‘Oh, no, that does not bother me,’” said Plishka.

“But then he would not proceed with administering the last rites or communion. He couldn’t do it.”

According to Plishka, Coelho, who brought a supply of holy water to his hospital room, never said in so many words that he was refusing to administer communion and last rites.

Asked what Coelho told him, Plishka said, “Well, I mean he stopped. He would not do it. By him not doing it I assumed he would not do it because why was he getting ready to do it and all of a sudden when I say I’m gay he stops?”

Plishka said Coelho gave no reason for not giving him the sacraments he requested but offered instead to pray with him.

“He said what he wanted to do,” said Plishka. “He wanted to pray. That’s what he wanted to do. He said well I could pray with you. And I just told him to get the fuck out of here — excuse me. But that’s what I told him.”

Plishka received further treatment at the hospital and was eventually released. Once home he called to complain about Coelho.

Once at home, Plishka said he called the hospital chaplain’s office to lodge a complaint against Fr. Coelho. He said he also called the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception next to Catholic University, where he has attended Mass nearly every Sunday for years.

“They have a priest on call,” he said. “So he called me back and said he agreed with what the priest at the hospital did. He said unless you’re willing to change and basically become somebody you’re not, then this priest had every right to do that, to refuse you communion and to refuse you the last rites of the church,” Plishka said.

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  1. What a shock this "priest" will find when he's waiting in the ante-chamber expecting the elevator to take him to Heaven, but the bell rings "down".

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Feb 23, 2014 9:20:04 AM

  2. I'm still amazed that any gay has any attachment to religion; we are virtually hated by the vast majority of religions.

    Even the pretense of 'loving the sinner/hating the sin has gone'.
    We are defined as 'intrinsically defective' ....violence is encouraged by religions which keep silent about prejudice against us........just as they kept silent about what was happening to the Jews.

    Forget Francis; he is a Jesuit.......they were implicit in the Revocation of the Edict of other words they encouraged the revocation the toleration of the Huguenots which was granted by Henry of Navarre. They are traditionally two faced." We say we will tolerate you, but we will do nothing active about that."

    As i said I put my trust in the Boatman; it is just as valid as Christianity and a hell of a lot less hypocritical.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 23, 2014 9:31:53 AM

  3. Whenever I see a "story" like this, my reaction is always, And...?

    This is not slightly shocking behaviour. We all know the only thing that is shocking is that the patient and/or and believer thinks that something else (something appropriate) was going to occur.

    Don't get me wrong. I think it is terrible and sad, but wholly expected. You get what you pay for. He should have maybe called someone from the MCC to give last rites.

    Posted by: Critifur | Feb 23, 2014 9:46:28 AM

  4. every gay catholic I've ever met is so screwed up from the deep self-loathing this religion has instilled in them. and few of them has been smart enough to figure out that they are supporting and contributing to their own internal death by being a member of it.

    Posted by: truthsayer | Feb 23, 2014 9:56:42 AM

  5. Many people including all journalists got fooled by the ambiguous words from this new pope when he said : who am I to judge (a gay person)... Well this wasn't anything new at all: he is not allowed to JUDGE but we are still condemned by the dogma. He doesn't judge you, but your not better for it. The doctrine excludes you anyway. In the end he looks better and you're left to believe what you think you heard. But you're mistaken and he laughs at your back. Jesuists are masters of rhetorics, ambiguity, misleading, and verbal manipulation, especially by omitting specific words or using one for another. All superficial and hopeful minds (including many many journalists) fell for it and said oh the vatican changes its stance on gays. Not at all: look at the bishops in recent weeks. The same bullying continues. In most public demonstrations against progressive laws you find the the catholic church in cahoots with muslims and jewish clerics. In France last year you saw bishops demonstrating in the streets against the government along with imams and rabbins. You don't need reassurance from superstitions to live a great life. All you need is true friends.

    Posted by: Mark Twain | Feb 23, 2014 10:10:20 AM

  6. The man deserved his last rites. It was his wish gay/straight whatever. Where is the Christian love in refusing a dying man his rites?
    Maybe if it was a young boy, there would be no questions to a "hands on" last rites ritual.

    Posted by: Matteo | Feb 23, 2014 10:14:28 AM

  7. What is saddest of ll is reading all of you expecting more from these people.

    Have we learned nothing at all from the AIDS tragedy ?
    Have you all forgotten ?
    Where were the 'last rites' then ?
    When they put the dead into trash bags where was the compassion ?
    Where was the Cardinal of New York when the dying demonstrated on and were dragged from the floor of St. Patrick's Cathedral ?
    Where was the compassion then ?

    Get up off your knees and denounce every religion for what it empty promise of eternity....."a chicken in every pot" !!!

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 23, 2014 10:23:39 AM

  8. The priest did the right thing. Do you think a muslim cleric would offer the equivalent if the man in the bed said, "oh, yes, i eat pork screw around and i never pray and i'm not sorry about any of it and if i was healed in a second i wouldnt change the way i live."

    religions are allowed to run their rites and sacraments How is this a news story? if anything the anti marriage equality crows should be smart enough to seize upon this and argue "see, they gays are steps away from demanding marriage at our altars."

    Plishka is a selfish, entitled dope, who needs to better educated about his chosen religion, and the difference between a right and a rite. And that he has no right to a rite.

    Posted by: patrick | Feb 23, 2014 10:28:27 AM

  9. I really don't understand why LGBT folks would want to be part of a church that hates them.

    Moreover, I don't see why anyone else would want to be part of a church that for decades had a GLOBAL conspiracy to cover up the rape and psychological torture of children.

    Stop. Think about this: The Catholic Church had a global problem of priests raping children. This was known through the Church hierarchy. The Church protected these priests and bullied victims who came forward. This happened in virtually every country on the planet.

    How is that not the epitome of all that is corrupt and sick? Why would any sane person want to be part of such an organization?

    I respect the fact that there are good Catholic priests but I certainly wouldn't let my kid anywhere near that place for another decade or two to ensure that all the bad actors are dead. There are other Christian churches.

    Posted by: Walter | Feb 23, 2014 10:33:21 AM

  10. I was raised catholic. This does not surprise me at all. What does surprise me is that any gay person would profess to be catholic? They truly despise us.

    Posted by: John | Feb 23, 2014 10:39:50 AM

  11. As nearly as big a question, though,

    "Coelho… brought a supply of holy water to his hospital room... to administer communion."

    WHY THE F*CK does anybody care about this voodoo crap? "Holy water"? Seriously??

    Posted by: Fred Lanns | Feb 23, 2014 10:43:57 AM

  12. ...a supply of holy water...sacraments...He wanted to pray...Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception...Catholic University...communion...last rites...*brainfeeze headache*

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Feb 23, 2014 11:21:12 AM

  13. You actively support an organization whose policies are widely known to be extremely intolerant and then are shocked with the organization acts with extreme intolerance? Oh, I think I understand, you supported their intolerance when it was directed at others, but when it finally was directed towards you, now you have a problem. Nice.

    Posted by: Donald | Feb 23, 2014 11:23:12 AM

  14. Sometimes I wonder why gay men even bother with issues like this. I grew up Catholic and know what the church is all about, as a child its understandable to be a part of because you're still under the control of your parents, but as an adult? Why is this man even surprised?

    Posted by: ny2.0 | Feb 23, 2014 11:29:15 AM

  15. They give last rights to a f'ing murderer in prison, but draw a line in the sand because your gay. Interesting.

    Posted by: Ted | Feb 23, 2014 11:29:15 AM

  16. Papist swine!

    Don't expect the empty words of the new goon that runs this racket in Rome to change a single thing.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Feb 23, 2014 11:29:15 AM

  17. All I can say is "Stay away from the Roman Catholic Church for the sake of your mental and spiritual health."

    Posted by: Joel | Feb 23, 2014 11:32:42 AM

  18. “So he called me back and said he agreed with what the priest at the hospital did. He said unless you’re willing to change and basically become somebody you’re not, then this priest had every right to do that, to refuse you communion and to refuse you the last rites of the church,” Plishka said.

    He seems surprised to learn that being in union with the church (which is why it's called "communion") requires sharing the church's definitions of sin. No one is entitled to either communion or the last rites; they're not a civil right. They're contingent on accepting the doctrines of sin and repentance that they give form to, which he'd indicated to the priest that he doesn't accept. He needs to find a church with doctrines he can actually believe in, so he can truly be in communion with it.

    The priest, on the other hand, might have been theologically in the right, but he proved himself to be a terrible chaplain by handling this so awkwardly and insensitively. He needs to be reassigned.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Feb 23, 2014 11:52:33 AM

  19. brian1

    if one is conscious then pat of last rites is full renunciation and repentance of any and all sins, active gay sex is still a mortal sin per the catechism

    Posted by: Moz's | Feb 23, 2014 12:41:28 PM

  20. How is this news? This bigotry and hate is well known.....DUH!

    Any gay catholic knows that a priest
    can not and will not give sacraments
    to a gay catholic. Retaliation? DUH!

    Why is anyone surprised?

    Sad, but all this is just already known facts from the catholic churches teachings.

    It is nieve to expect anything different.

    Posted by: Bigun | Feb 23, 2014 12:49:09 PM

  21. The Church is just not that into you.
    The sooner you accept this, the better.

    Posted by: Marc | Feb 23, 2014 1:00:56 PM

  22. Religion is rooted in hate.

    Posted by: lou | Feb 23, 2014 1:23:16 PM

  23. Yet another reminder that I feel so fortunate to have never stepped inside a church other than for a couple of weddings.

    Posted by: Casey | Feb 23, 2014 1:29:52 PM

  24. How long is it going to take for reasonably intelligent people to renounce these stupid cults and quit supporting discrimination against themselves? All religions are shams!

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 23, 2014 3:17:33 PM

  25. As far as I am concerned, the real idiot here is the guy who continues to be a Catholic despite the incessant denigrating of gay people by the Catholic church! Catholics are the most passive and most credulous of people. I know, I used to be one (albeit MANY years ago!). Catholics are expected to suffer every indignity without complaint... priests piddling their little boys? No, that won't make them leave the church. Piddling their little girls...? Well, what can they do? Murdering women in Texas to cover up affairs...? well, no one's perfect... spending lavishly on the personal homes of clerics/bishops and the like... Catholics just keep ponying up the money. Why should the church care what the parishioners think? They're never going to leave the church no matter what the church clerics do. Through centuries, Europeans who could think critically and who were not afraid to act on their moral convictions became Protestants, or left the church all together. The genetic pool that remains in the church is a pool of completely passive and obedient cowards. And the church knows this, and LOVES it!

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Feb 23, 2014 3:32:29 PM

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