Excuse the long citation here, but this story is too outrageous. A major American archdiocese has caved to a self-described Buddhist/active lesbian, while a solid, orthodox priest who courageously denied her Communion is thrown under the bus. I still say that Father Guarnizo did Ms. Johnson a favor by protecting her soul from grave sacrilege, but alas, arguing along those lines, i.e., traditional Catholic theology, is already getting too deep into the weeds for some, apparently.
A priest who denied communion to a lesbian at her mother's funeral is no longer in ministry with the Archdiocese of Washington, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese said Monday.
Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, who served at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg, Md., was placed on leave in mid-March for engaging in intimidating behavior, NBCWashington.com reported at the time, and now he is leaving for good. ...
Johnson, a 51-year-old founding director of a small art center, attended her mom's funeral with her partner of nearly 20 years at St. John Neumann on Feb. 25. When it came time for communion, Guarnizo “issued a strong admonition that only Catholics in a state of grace can receive communion,” Johnson told msnbc.com.
“I went up. I was standing next to my mother’s casket and he covered the bowl, and said, ‘I cannot give you communion because you are with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.’ I stood there with my mouth open in a state of shock for -- I don’t know how long,” she said.
Guarnizo also didn’t attend her mother’s burial, Johnson said. She told msnbc.com on Monday that she was relieved by the archdiocese's move, although she thought it might have more to do with the alleged “intimidating” behavior than how she was treated at her mother’s funeral.
“It gives me great comfort to see that the Archdiocese of Washington acted swiftly initially not only to point out that his behavior was wrong and not in accordance with their policy but then to suspend him. And this final message from them says to me that, unfortunately, this was not a person that was meant to be in the ministry in this region,” she said. “Knowing that he will not be able to visit such pain on another family in the Washington archdiocese gives me and my family a lot of comfort.”
One positive aspect of what happened to her was that “it showed the very human face of the issue regarding the church and the church’s teachings, and behavior towards the LGBT community within the church,” she said. “I just wish that there was a more global and more positive church response to the LGBT community” on issues such as marriage equality and communion.
Homosexual Lobby in America: 1, Catholic Church in America: 0