A lesbian who was attending her mother’s funeral was denied communion by the attending priest because she is a lesbian, according to reports out of Maryland, the state that just passed a marriage equality bill into law. The priest reportedly denied the woman communion, then exited in the middle of the funeral, and claimed he was too ill to go to the cemetery to deliver the final blessings.
“I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church,” the priest, Father Marcel Guarnizo, a Vicar at Saint John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, reportedly said to the woman, identified only as “Barbara,” in this piece by Ann Werner at Addicting Info:
My friend Barbara, the daughter of the deceased woman, was denied communion at her mother’s funeral. She was the first in line and Fr. Guarnizo covered the bowl containing the host and said to her, “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church.” To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick.
I will tell you a little about the woman who drove that priest from the altar. She is kind, she is smart, she is funny and she works hard promoting the arts. She pays her bills, she cares deeply for her family and she loved her mother and her mother loved her right back. And now she will never set foot in a Catholic church again and who can blame her?
It is time for Christians of all stripes to stop and think about the teachings of the Jesus they proclaim to love so deeply and revere so much. I spent twelve years in Catholic school and the Jesus I was told about would never have turned away anyone for any reason and certainly not on the occasion of burying a parent. Fr. Guarnizo has a lot to learn about Christianity and the Catholic Church has a lot to learn about the teachings of Jesus if behavior of this sort is tolerated.
Father Marcel Guarnizo is an anti-choice activist who has delivered speeches about abortion, like the one we located below, which calls abortion clinics — one, in particular which he mentions by name — a “veritable death camp.”
Father Guarnizo did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
Hat-tip: Aaron Baldwin
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