Lesbian Barbara Johnson Says Father Marcel Guarnizo Denied Her Communion At Her Mother's Funeral
~ Father Marcel GuarnizoLesbian Barbara Johnson Says Father Marcel Guarnizo Denied Her Communion At Her Mother's Funeral
It all started on Saturday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg (Maryland), where friends and family had gathered to say goodbye to Barbara's mother, who died last week after a brief illness.
Just a few minutes before the funeral began, Father Marcel Guarnizo, who was presiding over the service, apparently learned that Barbara was involved in a romantic relationship with another woman.
A lifelong Catholic and former Catholic school teacher, Barbara says she hadn't even considered that her sexual orientation would be a problem with Father Marcel until she stepped forward to take communion.
"He said, 'I can not give you communion because you live with a woman,'" Barbara says.
Though shaken by Father Marcel's actions, Barbara says she tried to compose herself to give her mother the dignified funeral she deserved. So a few minutes later, Barbara began her eulogy.
"At which time Father Marcel left the altar and didn't return until I finished my eulogy," Barbara says.LinkVIDEO PLAYER
Updated: Wednesday, February 29D.C. archdiocese: Denying Communion to lesbian at funeral was against ‘policy’Archdiocese of Washington sends apology to lesbian who was denied communion
Late Tuesday, Johnson received a letter of apology
from the Rev. Barry Knestout, one of the archdiocese’s highest-ranking administrators, who said the lack of “kindness” she and her family received “is a cause of great concern and personal regret to me.”
“I am sorry that what should have been a celebration of your mother’s life, in light of her faith in Jesus Christ, was overshadowed by a lack of pastoral sensitivity,” Knestout wrote.
“I hope that healing and reconciliation with the Church might be possible for you and any others who were affected by this experience. In the meantime, I will offer Mass for the happy repose of your mother’s soul. May God bring you and your family comfort in your grief and hope in the Resurrection.”
Johnson called the letter “comforting” and said she greatly appreciates the apology. But, she added, “I will not be satisfied” until Guarnizo is removed.Apology