Public express concern for Church burying gang member

The Auckland Catholic diocese responded to a small number of calls concerned about St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Grey Lynn, allowing a Catholic funeral to a gang member and alleged criminal.

Family and friends were joined at the Church last Friday by hundreds of other mourners from patched gangs including the Rebels, King Cobras, Hells Angels, Killer Beez, Mongrel Mob and Two Eight Brotherhood, among others.

The deceased man was Taranaki Fuimano, who died in Auckland Hospital over the weekend after he was found unresponsive in police custody.

Dame Lyndsay Freer, spokesperson for the Auckland diocese told CathNews that the deceased and his brothers and sisters all went to Catholic primary and secondary schools, and members of the family are parishioners at the Grey Lynn parish.

“Pope Francis continues to remind us of God’s mercy and love for us all.

“From time to time it is good to remember that the Church care for people includes the temporal as well as the spiritual,” she said.

Freer said, one of the marks, a tangible test of the Church’s merciful face of God, is its care for other people.

“In Catholic thinking caring for people is labelled a ‘corporal (as in bodily) act of mercy’, and burying the dead is clearly a work of mercy.

“Burying the dead ranks alongside other corporal works of mercy such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless and visiting the sick.”

To aid the funeral process, Police closed roads as hundreds of gang members descended onto St Joseph’s Catholic Church in central Auckland for the Head Hunter’s funeral.

Although there were no arrests made at the funeral, not everybody was impressed by the police’s management of the occasion.

Police kept a low profile, managing traffic in Great North Rd as the outlaws blocked the street once the coffin was removed from the church and into a hearse.

“From our point of view, the [funeral] procession went relatively well.

“Yes, there were roads blocked off and we did have to employ traffic management plans, but our aim, as always, is to ensure that everyone on the roads is safe and is kept safe.

“And that’s what we feel that we were able to achieve today,” Auckland District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus told Checkpoint’s Lisa Owen



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