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Lesbian Denied Communion By Priest Who Quits In Middle Of Mother’s Funeral

by David Badash on February 27, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,News,Religion

Post image for Lesbian Denied Communion By Priest Who Quits In Middle Of Mother’s Funeral

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.

Germantown – 40 Days for Life – Fr. Marcel from Michael Martelli on Vimeo.

Hat-tip: Aaron Baldwin

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{ 14 comments }

ryandun101 February 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm

OMG…. have her come to my house…I'll give her communion…. shame on the priest….. what part of love thy neighbor did he not get… don't use a funeral as a political standing ground…. this priest should be removed from office ….shame on him! My heart and prays to the women denied…. as a minister myself I am offended that the priest did this… my blessings and prayers to all…

nottooold February 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Is he secretly a member of the Westboro Baptist Church?

Ben February 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

What kind of sick belief system is violated by treating people with basic human dignity?

Terence@queerchurch February 28, 2012 at 9:39 am

This is outrageous, In claiming to be upholding the Catechism, Fr Guarnizo is displaying woeful ignorance ot it, on at least three counts. (See http://queeringthechurch.com/2012/02/28/in-denyin… for an explanation)

If acting contrary to the Catechism is necessarily sinful, then by his own standards he is himself in sin. That is why he needs to apologize. The theory of confession states that not only must we repent and confess our sins – but also that for absolution, we must make reparation to those we have injured. The hurt in this case cannot be undone – the least that will suffice is a public apology.

tdavis18 February 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I can't say the priest wasn't justified in refusing communion as since she is a lesbian and lives with a woman she creates scandal. Not only that but there aren't enough facts here, was "Barbara" a devout Catholic? Was "Barbara" a open and unrepentant active homosexual? Was "Barbara" an advocate for same sex marriage? Was "Barbara" an advocate for the non-sinfulness of homosexual acts? If the answer is yes to any of those except the first one then communing her would have caused scandal per the Catechism:

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."87 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,88 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

Now that being said the priest shouldn't have refused to go to the graveside to deliver the blessing; that much is inexcusable.

moshaughnessy63 February 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm

The Episcopal Church is ready to welcome all, especially those who have been driven away by their original faith communities. Integrity/NYC-Metro will help anyone find a church home.

ks2problema February 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

I'll bet he'd give communion to some mafia don — and probably bury him in holy ground — if the family kicked in enough dough.

rosecraig4 February 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

This is what I e-mailed Fr. Marcel I joined this group to share my story. I have to split it up a bit. sorry.
I have never shared this in cyberworld but I guess the time has come. Thank you for reading.

Dear Fr.Marcel,
I personally thank you for your courage, if what I have read on the internet is
in fact truth.
Approximately 18 years ago, a priest denied me absolution due to my current
lifestyle that I told him about. I was absolutely devastated. My faith meant
everything to me and he was being honest even though he knew it would hurt. The
other priests in my parish would have "sugar coated" my situation. I can't go
into all the details here. I was hysterical. I don't know how I drove home
crying as I was. I did not run to the nearest newspaper or Television station
with my story.

rosecraig4 February 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I ran to Jesus. I repented. I cried. I sobbed and talked to
Him. In the midst of my angst, an overwhelming sense of peace came over. My
tears stopped and I knew Jesus was right there. I knew what I had to do. My
own pastor did not understand. I was supported by my parish. I give thanks to
that priest, now deceased, for standing up for the truth. He truly saved my
soul. I can't wait to meet him in heaven. I also give thanks that I did not
give in to my pride. You see, my motto was "NO ONE or Church can tell me what
to do"…God does indeed work in mysterious ways. I have been praying for you
and for the woman and all involved.

rosecraig4 February 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

For those of you who have commented, this might not make sense and will be hard to understand. I never knew that my story might someday need to be said. But I have to tell the truth. Only a handful of people in my life have told me the truth about my decisions and lifestyle. I hated each and every one of them. However, somewhere deep down I knew they were right. I have been given many opportunities to chip away at my pridefulness. Still to this day. Yet, God in His mercy loves me. LOVES YOU. We just have to reach out. Even a little bit.

David Badash February 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm

If you truly believe in Christ then you believe it is not you place nor this Pastor's place to judge. Something that you decided was wrong for you doesn't mean it is wrong for anyone else. That's an important distinction you need to remember every day. He was wrong. His archdiocese has said so. Period.

jerryball February 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Yikes! As soon as that priest opened his prissy mouth I knew he is Gay. Shame on this Pharisee! Perhaps he was waiting for the $50 bill to pass his palm before he gave 3 hail Mary's and finished the Communion.

Here's one for ya, Father Guarnizo. Let's see you hang your head in shame.

Matt 15 8 to 9 These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.

Conservative and Extremist 'Christians' are driving people from Jesus in droves. The stench of their hypocrisy is like a dump on an August day. As sad as it makes me, I can't blame folks for running. But the Pharisees don't and never did speak for Jesus.

Matt 23 13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Pharisees — members of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity. A self-righteous person; a hypocrite. Shame on ya, Father Guarnizo.

arthuride March 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Marcel is not an American (Maryland-based) Roman Catholic priest. He is a visitor. His home diocese and church is in Moscow, Russia.

sacerdotus March 18, 2012 at 3:17 am

We need more priests like Fr. Marcel who are orthodox. Even Jesus in John 6 did not bend His "tough" teaching on eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood just to make people happy and prevent them from going away. Truth is truth and changes for no one. This lady was wrong in politicizing her mother's funeral and the Holy Eucharist. She is not allowed to communicate with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament because she is living in mortal sin and arrogantly makes it public. See my blog for more info http://sacerdotvs.blogspot.com/2012/03/lesbian-de

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