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‘An unbearable situation:’ Priest faces backlash after criticizing teenager who killed himself

Maison Hullibarger

TEMPERANCE, Mich. — The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit says it regrets that a priest officiating at a teen’s funeral questioned whether he would get to heaven after killing himself.

Maison Hullibarger’s father tells the Detroit Free Press that he asked the priest to stop talking during the Dec. 8 funeral Mass. But Jeff Hullibarger says the Rev. Don LaCuesta continued giving a critical sermon at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperance.

Hullibarger says some mourners left the church crying.

The archdiocese released a statement Thursday saying it’s sorry that an “unbearable situation was made even more difficult.” The archdiocese says LaCuesta will not preach at funerals “for the foreseeable future.”

Eighteen-year-old Maison died on Dec. 4. He was an athlete and honors student.

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