CHARLOTTE HALL, Md. – A Maryland priest has been placed on administrative leave after he booted mourners from a church where they were to hold a funeral.
The Archdiocese of Washington announced Tuesday that the Rev. Michael Briese is on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
On June 27, before a funeral for Agnes Hicks could begin at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall, WTTG-TV reports a guest knocked over a chalice, damaging it and angering the priest. Hicks' daughter, Shanice Chisley, said Briese ordered everyone out and disrespected her deceased mother, saying "'get this thing out of my church! Everyone get the hell out of my church!'"
The archdiocese says Briese apologized to the family. In a letter published in the local newspaper, Briese said anger "was the most inappropriate response."