Here are my thoughts about the Bee's news article and More Light Presbyterian’s site and statements:
The Sacramento Bee:
The author of the article, Jennifer Garza, mentions several times that Paniccia left a three page letter behind, and that both Pastor Baird and David Larson received copies. There is speculation by both Baird and Larson about why he committed suicide. Evidently Paniccia did not say in the letter, or they would have said so, so it cannot be truthfully stated as a fact that he committed suicide because of his sexual struggles. In fact, the article points out that he asked that no one be blamed.
The article also states that his name was raised during Fremont’s debate about leaving the denomination. I attended all but one forum [they were not debates except right before we voted] but did not hear his name. So if the name was raised during that time it could not have been often.
What I do appreciate about the Bee article is that it gave the whole story and did not insist that Paniccia committed suicide because of his sexual problems. Instead they told both sides of the story. But not More Light Presbyterians.
More Light Presbyterians:
I have little to say about them. My first reaction was anger. How could they take the self inflicted death of a man (who is now, undoubtedly home in safe keeping in the care of our Lord) and use it to push their own agenda. They write:
We grieve with our sisters and brothers within Fremont Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, CA who have come to understand that they lost one of their own to suicide because he was not encouraged to be the person God had created him to be.Believe me he was encouraged to be the person God created him to be; someone loved and cared for by the Lord. We all know so little about what is going on in the mind of someone who commits suicide. How dare strangers use the death of someone they did not know at all to promote their own selfish cause.