Monday, 27 February 2012

Priest Denies Communion To Lesbian Parishioner At Her Mother's Funeral

A Maryland-based priest is garnering heat in the blogosphere today after allegedly denying communion to a lesbian parishioner attending her mother's funeral.

As The New Civil Rights Movement blogger David Badash is reporting, Father Marcel Guarnizo of Gaithersburg's Saint John Neumann Catholic Church reportedly covered the bowl containing the Eucharist as the woman, who is identified only as Barbara, approached him.

“I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church," he is quoted as saying.

Badash quotes from an Addicting Info blog written by Ann Werner, who also notes, "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."

Werner also notes, "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?"

Ann Werner went on to write:

"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."

Read more: and

UPDATE (1/3): More on this news story:
Who do you think is right? Essentially Fr Guarnizo is simply upholding the teaching of the Catholic Church. Do you think that Ann Werner is correct in her assesment? How could this situation have been avoided? What do you think would have been a better way for the priest to have handled this?

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