Gay Patient Refused Last Rites by Hospital Chaplain

The Washington Post has a really heartbreaking story about a seriously ill gay hospital patient named Ronald Plishka who thought he was going to die and asked to see a priest for last rites.

When Rev. Brian Coelho arrived to minister to the 63-year old Plishka he asked if Plishka would like to say confession. Plishka, who didn’t come out until his fifties, talked about his life and his long struggle with his sexuality.

“Then we started talking about the pope, and I said I was so excited about him, because of what he said about gays. I said: ‘Does that bother you, that I’m gay?” And he said ‘no,’ ” Plishka said.

It might not have bothered Coelho, but it was apparently enough to deny Plishka Communion. According to Plishka (who thankfully recovered) the priest agreed to pray with him, but nothing more. No last rites, which greatly distressed Plishka who was in fear of not only his life, but his immortal soul. “I believed in the sacraments; this is something we’re taught we need before we die.” More.

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About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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