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Priest criticizes Shane Macgowan’s “Inappropriate” funeral, labels it a “Scandal”



Irish priest decries Shane Macgowan’s funeral as disrespectful to catholic traditions

Renowned Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan’s funeral, attended by stars like Johnny Depp and Bob Geldof, has faced criticism from an Irish priest, Fr Paddy McCafferty. The three-hour service, celebrated in Co Tipperary and live-streamed, featured performances and eulogies, leading Fr McCafferty to denounce it as a “scandal.”

The parish priest of Corpus Christi parish in West Belfast expressed discontent, stating, “It was an abuse of what mass is and what the Catholic funeral liturgy is all about. The introduction of all these elements into that funeral mass frankly was a scandal and it shouldn’t have happened.”

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Fr McCafferty emphasized that while MacGowan, who passed away on November 30 after a prolonged illness, was entitled to a funeral mass, the inclusion of performances and live-streaming was inappropriate for a Catholic liturgy. He suggested that such events should have been held separately, respecting the sanctity of the funeral mass.

He specifically criticized the performance of The Pogues’ Christmas classic, “Fairytale of New York,” during the mass, describing it as “totally out of place” and highlighting a lack of understanding of the sacredness of the church. Fr McCafferty expressed concern about the trend of what he called “celebrity funerals” in Catholic churches and called for a reevaluation of such practices.

The priest concluded, “We’re not there to entertain; we’re there to celebrate the worship of God and lead people in the worship of God. I wouldn’t allow that in my church.”

While MacGowan’s funeral attracted attention for its star-studded guest list and memorable performances, Fr McCafferty’s critique adds a layer of controversy, sparking a conversation about the intersection of celebrity culture and religious traditions.


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