Family Cancels COVID Victim’s Funeral at Anti-Vaccine Father Michael Panicali’s Church

The dangerous lies about COVID-19 and the vaccine that Father Michael Panicali spewed from the white marble pulpit at St Mark’s Roman Catholic Church have left the outraged household of 1 pandemic sufferer shamefully disadvantaged of what they name their religious dwelling.

Helen Sylvester was married at St. Mark’s in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. St. Mark’s was additionally the place her dad and mom’ funerals have been held and the place her daughter, Elizabeth, and son, Anthony, made their first communion. Elizabeth and Anthony additionally attended the parish college.

When the pandemic hit, Helen was in a nursing dwelling in Lengthy Seashore, New York. Elizabeth was unable to see her mom after March 11 of final yr. Helen started displaying indicators of forgetfulness simply earlier than she turned 95 on April 4. Elizabeth is a retired registered nurse, and she or he is aware of that may be the primary indication of an infection within the aged.

Helen’s combat with the virus was mercifully fast.

“She was useless by the ninth,” Elizabeth mentioned. “It was quick.”

However there was a wrenching COVID cruelty on the finish.

“She died alone,” Elizabeth mentioned. “My mom died from this in such horrible circumstances. It’s only a disgrace that any individual who lived that lengthy needed to die like that. Within the last hours, we couldn’t be there for her. I really know the that means of powerlessness.”

As a result of COVID, the household was unable to carry a funeral in any church. That additionally saved them from fulfilling Helen’s long-standing want regarding her brother, Pvt. Joseph Gagliardi of the Military Air Corps, who was simply 19 when the troopship USS Dorchester was sunk by a Germany U-Boat on Feb. 3, 1943, killing 674 People.

4 clerics who would turn into posthumously often called “the Immortal Chaplains”—a Catholic priest, a rabbi, a Methodist minister, and a Reformed Church reverend—had died with Gagliardi after giving their life jackets to others and linking arms to sing a nondenominational hymn because the ship went beneath. Gagliardi’s physique was by no means recovered.

“My mom requested to have a number of of his belongings within the casket together with her in order that her funeral would primarily be his, as nicely, as he was by no means discovered,” Elizabeth instructed The Each day Beast. “It’s very ironic that we have been unable to do this for her on account of COVID. It appears there was no closure for both of them.”

One comfort for the household was the hope that after the virus subsided there could be a memorial Mass at St. Mark’s, which had been for Helen the epicenter of church, household, college, and group.

After the entire household was vaccinated and the virus appeared to be on the wane, Elizabeth and Anthony figured that it will be protected to carry the memorial Mass on the church in April 2021, however then they determined it could be prudent to attend till June. However as that neared they reasoned it will be higher to carry off till Sept. 18, their father’s birthday.

Then the virus had begun to surge once more in some elements of the nation. And there was no assure that COVID-19 wouldn’t additionally turn into an elevated risk in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth was nearly to name St. Mark’s on Aug. 19 when the parish workplace known as her to verify the date and start the preparations. Elizabeth instructed the workplace she was canceling, however Father Michael Panicali had apparently not gotten the phrase when he known as Elizabeth later that day. He left a message providing to assist the household select the music. She reasoned he would study of the cancelation.

The next week, Elizabeth learn an Aug. 25 report in The Each day Beast detailing a demented anti-vax homily that Panicali gave at Sunday morning Mass simply three days after she canceled.

“Be very cautious about this vaccine,” Panicali had mentioned. “If I have been you, I’d not contact it with a 10-foot pole. And I by no means will as a result of it results in issues.”

Elizabeth is aware of that severe unwanted side effects from the vaccines are in actual fact extraordinarily uncommon. She learn that Panicali had compounded that falsehood by saying the vaccine contained the cells of aborted fetuses.

“My brothers and sisters, you’re beneath completely no obligation to take a vaccine that’s made, produced, manufactured, examined even in probably the most distant methods with aborted fetal cells,” he mentioned. “Don’t let anybody let you know in any other case.”

Pope Francis and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio had already mentioned that was nonsense, and Elizabeth understood that Panicali was in search of to make use of a bogus right-to-life argument that might place others vulnerable to shedding their lives simply as her mom had.

“It’s so unsuitable,” she instructed The Each day Beast.

She learn that Panicali had additional urged the parishioners to affix him in resisting the vaccine mandates scheduled for Sept. 13 in public locations resembling eating places and groceries.

“In the event that they’re not going to permit me to go and purchase groceries on the retailer as a result of I’m unvaccinated, then so be it. I can develop my very own greens and fruit,” he mentioned. “However I can not develop my very own human soul, and I can not justify to God why I’m presumably contributing or permitting an evil to happen?”

She additional learn that Panicali had participated within the Jan. 6 “Cease the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the Capitol riot—and she or he was horrified. “Is he insane?” she requested.

She added, “I feel he needs to be maybe an evangelical minister. I feel that might swimsuit him higher. There’s one thing not fairly proper there.”

Elizabeth realized that the priest with these toxic and lethal views was the very one who had known as to supply his assist in selecting out the music for her mom after she died of COVID-19. And she or he figured that had she not canceled the Sept. 18 memorial Mass, he might need really presided, giving communion to her nonetheless heartbroken household.

“I’m purported to go there and have him serve the Mass when my mom dies from the virus?” she mentioned.

Elizabeth expressed her outrage in letters to Bishop DiMarzio and to Rev. Robert Mucci, the pastor of St. Mark’s-St. Margaret Mary Church, Panicali’s quick boss.

“It’s with a heavy coronary heart I write you this letter on behalf of myself and my brother, Anthony Sylvester,” her letter to the pastor started.

She detailed what St. Mark’s had meant to her mom and the household. She famous that that they had scheduled a memorial Mass at what she described as “probably the most stunning church in Brooklyn,” however then determined to carry off.

“After studying what I now find out about Father Michael Panicali, I’m comfortable that we did, however very saddened and dissatisfied that he has given us motive to not reschedule the Mass at St. Marks,” she wrote.

“We have been collectively distressed to listen to that Father Panicali took it upon himself to disseminate false and doubtlessly life-threatening info to his parishioners relating to the COVID vaccination. As a registered nurse, I’m conscious about the perils of this virus, and extra importantly, having had a beloved member of the family perish on account of it makes me all of the extra outraged that anybody would discourage folks from taking the vaccine.”

She went on, “Worse, Father Panicali took benefit of and misused the privilege of the pulpit to push his very flawed and private opinion upon individuals who may see him as a religious mentor, authoritative voice and bonafide supply of knowledge. He took benefit of the anti-abortion angle and framed his objection to the vaccination by stating that it contained cells of aborted fetuses, which is a LIE.”

“It’s our hope that Father Panicali be faraway from his pastoral duties. I hope to listen to how the Diocese officers plan to ‘take care of’ his transgressions.”

The Each day Beast article she learn had quoted a diocese spokesperson replying to a request for remark by with an emailed assertion that Panicali’s homily was “in battle with the place of the Vatican and the Diocese of Brooklyn” and that “the difficulty might be addressed by diocesan officers.” The Aug. 25 electronic mail had added, “The Diocese of Brooklyn has been critically dedicated to addressing the religious and materials wants of the trustworthy within the midst of this lethal pandemic.”

Elizabeth hooked up a replica of her letter to 1 she addressed to DiMarzio, difficult that dedication.

“Our mom died of COVID, and we discover his [Panicali’s] knowingly and demonstrably false and malicious statements relating to the one weapon we have now to combat the virus that killed our mom reprehensible and unbefitting a member of the clergy,” she wrote. “It’s our honest hope that on this perilous time, throughout a worldwide pandemic that has killed over 600,000 People, together with our stunning mom, that the Diocese will deal accordingly with the likes of a priest like Father Panicali, who will use the facility of the pulpit to push his personal political agenda upon weak and trusting parishioners, who consequently may shun a life saving measure and refuse the vaccination. His phrases and actions can show lethal as a consequence, and that’s unacceptable for a Catholic priest.”

She posed a query the bishop needs to be asking himself.

“Is abortion the one life ending measure that issues the Church? Individuals could die on account of Father Panicali’s phrases. Are their lives no extra invaluable than these within the womb?”

She closed by saying, “It’s our hope that Father Panicali be faraway from his pastoral duties. I hope to listen to how the Diocese officers plan to ‘take care of’ his transgressions.”

4 months earlier than The Each day Beast article and Elizabeth’s letter, Panicali is claimed by a educated supply to have expressed his anti-vax views to DiMarzio throughout a March 24 Zoom assembly between the bishop and clergymen ordained lately. DiMarzio is claimed to have challenged Panicali, who’s 46 however has solely been a priest since 2017.

“Bishop, I’m sorry, however that’s simply unhealthy theology,” Panicali is claimed to have replied. “You don’t know your theology.”

On Tuesday, a DiMarzio spokesperson mentioned by electronic mail that the Zoom trade was in “a non-public assembly together with his not too long ago ordained clergymen and we’re not going to touch upon it.” Panicali and Mucci didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the homily and the virtually memorial Mass for Helen Sylvester.

Elizabeth solely despatched the letters on Tuesday, return receipt requested to make sure the bishop and the pastor received them. The household of a younger airman who perished together with the 4 Immortal Chaplains waits to see what the church will do in regards to the shameful priest who added to their heartbreak over shedding their mom within the pandemic. way of=rss | Household Cancels COVID Sufferer’s Funeral at Anti-Vaccine Father Michael Panicali’s Church


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