A NJ Priest has been accused of extreme rudeness by two of his congregants who claim that he interrupted and rushed them through their grandmother's funeral service. Sisters Laurie Treene and Robyn Nini say that Reverend Bartley P. Baker, of St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church in Elmwood Park, ruined their 96-year-old grandmother's funeral, cuing the proverbial awards show music at points: "I got about halfway through [my eulogy] and he ran up to the podium and said, 'Wrap it up! Wrap it up!' I was just flabbergasted," said Treene.
The sisters said that Baker also rushed an elderly relative while giving her the host during communion: "She slowly opened her mouth and she bit on it so that she would not choke. He yelled, 'Lady, put it in your mouth. Lady, put it in your mouth,'" Treene said, avoiding any jokes at the elderly lady's expense. Then as the casket was being brought out, Treene said his twitchy ways really went too far: "He walked down in front of the casket. Like an air traffic controller, he motioned the funeral pallbearers, 'Come on! Come on! Come on!' Like, where was he going?"
"Heartless. He showed no compassion and was totally heartless," said Nini. A spokesman for the Robin Catholic Archdiocese of Newark said the issue was being looked into, but this may not be the first account of Father Baker's impatient and rude behavior. There is a petition online created by disgruntled members of the church, which complains that Baker has not integrated into the community: "He refuses to return our calls unless we email him or have the secretary inform him; he has moods of hot/cold tempers, at the point of losing his temper in front of everyone." Currently, it has no signatures however.
On the one hand, Father Baker sounds impatient, moody, and pretty lousy at his job; on the other hand, at least this is a story about a Priest which has nothing to do with accusations or convictions of molestation. Glass half full people.