Family Sues Archdiocese of Detroit After Priest Attacks Deceased Teen At Funeral

Darren.Woon

A lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Detroit was filed by the family of a deceased teen after a priest repeatedly discussed suicide and attacked the teen at his own funeral, according to The Detroit News.

According to documents filed Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court, the Rev. Don LaCuesta veered away from the “uplifting and loving message about the importance of kindness to one another” that Maison Hullibarger’s parents had requested for his Dec. 8 service at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Temperance. 

The filing stated that, “Father LaCuesta repeatedly discussed suicide and how it is condemned by the church, how it is a secular crime, and … a sin against God with dire eternal consequences.”

Maison’s father, Jeff, approached the pulpit at one point to tell LaCuesta to “please stop,” but the pastor ignored the plea and continued his message, failing to let the family share final words about their son. 

Although LaCuesta apologized to parishioners last December in a statement, the Hullibargers requested a meeting with Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who “ended the meeting, telling [Linda Hullibarger] he wasn’t there to” talk about LaCuesta. 

Hullibarger’s lawyers accuse LaCuesta of outrageous conduct and argue that the Archdiocese of Detroit supported it by failing to remove him. The lawsuit claims that Hullibarger “continues to suffer great pain of mind and body, shock, severe and permanent emotional distress … and difficulty in practicing religion through the church.” It seeks at least $25,000 in damages. 

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