In the Chicago area, the family of a deceased Catholic mother is fighting with the diocese that owns the cemetery where she is buried. The matter in dispute: the wording on the woman's tombstone.
That certainly sounds newsworthy to me, so it's not surprising that the Chicago Tribune jumped on the story.
This is a case where precise language is needed to explain the positions of both sides, and the Tribune provides it.
The lede lays out the basic facts:
Marguerite Ridgeway was a fervent Catholic until her faith was shaken when church sex abuse scandals came to light, particularly a decades-old trauma recounted by her daughter-in-law.
Now Ridgeway’s son wants to install a marker at his late mother’s gravesite in Wheaton bearing the inscription “She supported priest rapist victims.”
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet, which owns Assumption Cemetery, has objected to what it calls the “explicit language” of the epitaph.
Ridgeway’s son, Jack Ruhl, of Kalamazoo, Mich., recently sent a rendering of the planned marker to the cemetery, along with a $350 check to cover the installation fee.
“I ask that you do not dishonor the memory of my mother by further delay in installation of her grave marker,” he said in an email to officials with the diocese earlier this month.
An attorney for the diocese in an Oct. 6 letter proposed removing the word “rapist” and substituting softer language, such as “She supported clergy sex abuse victims,” or “She supported victims of clergy sex abuse.”
The letter described the word rapist as “graphic, offensive and shocking to the senses.”
Keep reading, and the story identifies the attorney and offers additional insight on the diocese's official position: