Longtime parishioner of St. Gertrude Catholic Church Stewart Donaldson is being accused of insensitivity and for “not being a team player” after he was seen not clapping after the church’s pastor concluded his homily last Sunday.
Donaldson’s refusal to applaud after the homily was seen by many in the parish, including Fr. James Thomas who delivered the homily, as a slap in the face. Donaldson was subsequently called to the front of the church to answer for himself.
Parish council members that were present at the Mass have denounced what they are calling Donaldson’s silent protest of the church and of Father Thomas in particular.
“Fr. Thomas gave a wonderful homily about community and coming together as one family,” said one member of the parish council, Maria Forte. “His refusal to clap was basically him saying ‘To hell with this community—to hell with coming together.’ So when he was called to the front, everyone was obviously really angry him. Remember—this is the same guy who doesn’t applaud for the church band when Mass is over, so he’s clearly insane. That’s the reason we ended up not even giving him the opportunity to answer for himself.”
“People were shouting and throwing hymnals at him,” said parishioner Tabitha Joans. “He was very lucky to only be banned from ever entering the church. Could’ve been a lot worse. And poor Fr. Thomas has been a mess ever since Sunday. He’s so self-conscious now that he says he won’t ever deliver a homily again.”