Main | Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hospitalized Gay Man Claims DC Catholic Priest Refused To Give Him Last Rites

A Washington DC gay man says that a Catholic priest refused to give him last rites when the hospitalized man feared that he was dying of a heart attack. Via the Washington Blade:
D.C. resident Ronald Plishka, 63, a retired travel agent and lifelong Catholic, said he asked a nurse to arrange for a priest to see him on Feb. 7, one day after he was admitted by ambulance to the hospital emergency room for a heart attack. He said that at the time he wasn’t sure he would survive. A short time later, Plishka said, Father Brian Coelho, a priest assigned to the hospital’s Department of Spiritual Care, arrived at his bedside. He said Coelho offered to take his confession before proceeding with communion and last rites, which the church now calls the sacrament of anointing of the sick. “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.”
The hospital is investigating the claim.

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