Updated Thursday, 1:30 p.m. EST
Father Marcel Guarnizo denied Barbara Johnson communion at her own mother's funeral because she's lesbian. Not ready to settle for a simple apology, Barbara has set out for the homophobic priest's collar.
After being told she couldn't receive communion because she is "living with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that's a sin," at her mother Loetta's funeral, the Archdiocese of Washington (D.C.) issued a form-letter apology to Barbara.
But that wasn't enough.
Johnson is now urging the Archdiocese to defrock Father Guarnizo not because it's a gay rights issue, but because the family believes the priest should no longer engage in pastoral work due to his public handling of the situation.
"We're urging the church to make that decision, so that this doesn't happen to anyone else, to any other families," said Johnson. "It's the right thing to do.I think everyone has their gifts, and my family believes performing the responsibilities of a parish priest does not fall under his list of gifts."
Should Father Guarnizo lose his collar of his communion denial?
So you’re a priest (okay, we realize that requires a certain suspension of disbelief, but stay with us). You're presiding over a funeral, presumably where people are devastated and possibly seeking solace over the loss of a loved one.
When the daughter of the deceased approaches the altar to take the Eucharist as part of Communion, would it even cross your mind to deny her?
Apparently, if you’re Maryland Catholic priest, Father Marcel Guarnizo, it would. His rationale? Well, duh, the daughter’s a lesbian. Of course she shouldn’t get communion! And, of course, this—being her mother’s funeral and all—is the perfect time to take a stand against gays and their right to participate in church customs.
Guarnizo told the daughter, known only as Barbara that “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church."
He went on to actually leave the altar as Barbara delivered a eulogy to her mother, then declined to go to the gravesite to give her mother's final blessing. He claimed he was sick.
Wow. Awesome show of compassion. Run, don’t walk, to become a parishioner at Father Guarnizo’s Saint John Neumann Catholic Church!
Also, way to ruin all of our confessional fantasies.