Catholic Priest Condemned Suicide at Teen’s Funeral, Called Son ‘a Sinner’: Parents

"He wondered if he had repented enough to make it to heaven," Linda Hullibarger, Maison Hullibarger's mother, said

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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.

"He was up there condemning our son, pretty much calling him a sinner," said Linda Hullibarger, Maison's mother. "He wondered if he had repented enough to make it to heaven. He said 'suicide' upwards of six times."

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.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.

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