The former leader of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church is reportedly on his death bed, his estranged son says.
Nate Phelps, who lives in Calgary, wrote his father, Fred Phelps Sr., “is now on the edge of death” in a Facebook post Saturday.
He added he has not been allowed to see his dying father.
“I feel sad for all the hurt he's caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I'm bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes,” Nate Phelps wrote.
“I'm not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.”
On its website, the church said Fred Phelps “has health issues, but the idea that someone would suggest that he is near death, is not only highly speculative, but foolish considering that all such matters are the sole prerogative of God.”
The church has gained notoriety for picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq with signs that read, Thank God For Dead Soldiers, Fag Troops, God Blew Up The Troops, and America Is Doomed.
Phelps Sr., 84, is a former attorney who was disbarred in 1979. He was excommunicated from the church last August, his son says.