Lesbian Denied Communion —at Mother's Funeral
Archdiocese of Washington says the public move went against 'policy'
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2012 9:31 AM CST
Barbara Johnson, a lesbian, was denied Communion at her mother's funeral service.   (Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(Newser) – These certainly weren't the gentle and consoling words Barbara Johnson expected to hear at her mother's funeral on Saturday: When attempting to take Communion at the service at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md., the priest "put his hand over the body of Christ and looked at me and said, 'I can't give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin,'" she tells the Washington Post. The Rev. Marcel Guarnizo had apparently found out about her relationship that morning, when Johnson arrived with her partner of 20 years.

The priest also left the altar when the 51-year-old delivered a eulogy, according to family members, who also say he skipped out on the burial. Johnson received a written apology from one of the archdiocese's top administrators yesterday; it noted that the "lack of pastoral sensitivity ... is a cause of great concern and personal regret to me." But Johnson still wants Guarnizo booted from the church, and her brother noted that their concern didn't extend beyond the priest. "We’re not in this to Catholic-bash." Church officials promised to look into the matter, noting "it is not the policy of the Archdiocese of Washington to publicly reprimand the person." The Post has more on Guarnizo here.

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Showing 3 of 191 comments
WAKEUPcall
Apr 5, 2012 12:47 PM CDT
It is exactly the right thing what this priest did namely he denied communion to a lesbian which in our Catholic church is considered as "living in sin"! She should convert to another Christian church which does promote relationships other than a marriage between two opposite sexes. I never understand why people in our church are getting upset about faith factors like True Marriage, Pro-Life and even about the priesthood itself. Get it, the Catholic Church is based on an array of church laws and proceedings that are dating back to Christ himself. Jesus would have given the woman something to eat, well yes, he wood have, but he also would have said to her "Go and sin no more"! You like it or not, but people that live a lifestyle that is considered a sin in the Catholic Church should change to another denomination or religion if they can't take the fact that they CANNOT RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION! If they still get a way with it by standing in line to receive it they still will not have any benefits because the Holy Spirit will not be able to anoint them because they live in sin! Doesn't matter how many times they are cheating themselves.....it's just for nothing. I totally agree to the priest and for what he did or didn't do, knowing that she was a lesbian living with a partner of the same sex!
Antone123
Mar 2, 2012 6:55 AM CST
Just another priest who forgot what his religion was all about. Christ would have given her Communion. dip shit!
America_Firster
Mar 1, 2012 5:34 PM CST
Expect consequences for your actions. If you choose to violate natural and religious laws, by being bent towards unnatural desires, you can be considered to be alienated for your misdeeds. Time changes but the protocols of behavior in society doesn't. By the way, when your over at a friend's house for a party, do you act up and prance around half-dressed and become an attention whore just so that you can get peoples attention?! NO! The same principal applies to scared gatherings and in places of worship. If you refuse to follow rules, then you can expect to be banned from it. Homosexuality has always been frowned upon and will always will. Get used to it.