Sue the Priest for a Bad Sermon October 3, 2007

Sue the Priest for a Bad Sermon

Last year, Angel R. Llavona went to church and was unhappy with the sermon.

So he called up the pastor, Rev. Luis Alfredo Rios, and left a message:

“I attended Mass on Sunday and I have seen poor homilies, but yesterday broke all records.”

The pastor, unable to take criticism, played that message for the congregation. He then said the following:

“[Llavona] is the person in charge of religious education here last year. That’s why it is no surprise to me [that] we had the kind of religious education we had. That’s why we didn’t get altar boys. What should we do? Should we send him to hell or to another parish?

Llavona had to change churches. He said “the incident amounted to defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and public disclosure of private facts.”

And now, he’s suing for $50,000.

It even made the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times:


So if you want to get rich, just call your pastor and tell him you weren’t satisfied with his sermon last Sunday. Then *dare* him to play the message to the congregation.

He’ll play your message and call you an angry, evil “atheist.”

An “atheist”?! How could he!? That’s defamation, you say. He just called you untrustworthy.

The money will start rolling in after that.

You may want to have your lawyer waiting in the wings.

[tags]atheist, atheism, church, Jesus, Christian[/tags]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I happened to see that when I was at the library today. I’m thinking that either had to be one awful sermon/homily for that guy to call and leave a message, or more likely, he had some personal issues with the pastor.

    And instead of initiating a conversation with the guy, the pastor does the absurd and plays the message for the congregation. I’m thinking it would have been more productive to either ignore the comment, which sounds as if it had the intended effect, or talk to the guy and say, ok there’s an opportunity for understanding here, what did you feel was so bad about it?

    The fact that there is now a lawsuit just proves that people have lost their minds.

  • Karen

    At least Mr. Llavona was gutsy enough to identify himself on the phone. In my old church, when someone was critical of the pastor or the church, they’d send an angry and sometimes mean letter with no signature or return address.

    One time when the pastor was particularly distressed (this was a few months before he quit) he read a bunch of the anonymous comments from the pulpit. I guess he just wanted to show the congregation what he was up against. I’m sure he wouldn’t have identified any of the complainers if they had signed their letters.

  • Or asked the congregation if they should send them to hell.

  • I’m thinking perhaps this is a pastor who wouldn’t have taken well to being written up in your book, Hemant.

  • Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny that the priest brought up the lack of altar boys?

    OK, probably… 🙂

  • No Masala, I had that thought too! 😀

  • Richard Wade

    Masala, I also thought the altar boys remark was good material but I didn’t have enough time to think of some smart-assed quip. Let’s see:

    “[Llavona] is the person in charge of religious education here last year. That’s why it is no surprise to me [that] we had the kind of religious education we had. That’s why we didn’t get altar boys.

    “…and if I don’t get an altar boy soon, I’m gonna go postal!”

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