However, the clergy also have THE GREATEST POTENTIAL to STOP THE RIPOFF by
This editorial cartoon, 6.3" x 11.5", one of the largest seen in a major newspaper, appeared on the front page of a section of the Arizona Republic newspaper, accompanying the group of articles about mortuary/clergy relations which were uncovered. It depicts a mortician secretly handing a kickback or bribe to a clergyman.
One pastor provided his parishioners with warnings about the prices, problems with pre-pay plans, mortuaries taking entire insurance policies when the funeral price did not require it, etc. The diocese responded that it was taking a "common sense" approach -- which seemed to mean taking no action to warn people about high prices or try to force prices down to fair levels.
A Presbyterian minister said that "accepting gratuities is as much a danger to Protestant as Catholic clergy. ... Ministers have been naive about the incredibly high markup in the mortuary industry. Most of the ministers I deal with are coming to feel the costs are staggering, but they are unsure what to do about it. ... I think people have expected more from their ministers, and now they need to give some real guidance." Arizona Republic, July 7, 1984)
AMAZINGLY, this mortuary was awarded the national "PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE AWARD" of the NATIONAL FUNERAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION, Second Place awards in the during the time of the ads, and the national FIRST PLACE AWARD after running the ads. This seems to indicate the level of integrity of the national organization and its 15,000 member mortuaries.