CHAMA, N.M. (AP) The family of former Chama Councilman Ben Martinez is suing a Roman Catholic priest and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe over the sermon at Martinez' funeral.
The lawsuit says the Rev. Scott Mansfield used ''graphic terms'' to tell the congregation that Martinez was going to hell. A spokeswoman said the archdiocese and Mansfield ''deny the allegations and are vigorously defending themselves.''
Nine Martinez family members allege that Mansfield, a former disc jockey for a rock radio station, said ''clearly, loudly and without hesitation that the Lord vomited people like Ben out of his mouth to hell.''
Their lawsuit also says Mansfield, while walking to the gravesite after the funeral, swore and said that he didn't care ''what the people of Chama thought, that he had put the Martinez family in their place.''
The church response said Mansfield ''recited scriptural passages from the Gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ and scriptural passages from the Book of Revelations'' at the funeral. In Revelation 3:15-16, God says ''because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.''
The suit also claims Andy Rivas was dismissed as a candidate for ordination as a deacon because he backed the family's account of the sermon.
The suit suggests Mansfield was irked that Martinez didn't attend church when he was terminally ill. Rivas said Mansfield may also have been upset because Martinez married his second wife in a civil ceremony instead of church.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.