The Seattle Suicide: Not ‘Confusion’ But Grave Scandal, by Phil Lawler

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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Aug 29, 2019

After the publication of an an AP story about a man who received a blessing in a Catholic church just a few days before committing suicide, the Seattle archdiocese released a statement that read in part:

The Associated Press story about Mr. Fuller is of great concern to the Archbishops because it may cause confusion among Catholics and others who share our reverence for human life.

Confusion? The AP story was not confusing at all; its message was crystal-clear. A man had received a blessing in a special ceremony arranged by his parish before he carried out his plan to take his own life—and, for good measure, to enter into “marriage” with his male partner just before the suicide. The implication was unmistakable: the parish approved of Robert Fuller’s plans. The problem was not “confusion;” it was scandal. If the AP story was accurate, this was an outrage, a grotesque offense against the faith.

So, was the AP story true? Neither in its original response nor in a follow-up statement did the archdiocese deny the essential accuracy of the news report. The statements, taken together, claim that while the report was not inaccurate, it was misleading—“confusing,” you know—because “a very different reality was at work.” ….