Skip to comments.Inside Sources Provide New Info on Priest Censured for Denying Lesbian Communion
Posted on 03/02/2012 6:35:44 PM PST by ottbmare
GAITHERSBURG, MD, March 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of international press coverage of a priests decision to deny a lesbian communion, and the womans subsequent demands that he be removed from the parish, a source close to the incident contacted LifeSiteNews with new information that he says will set the record straight. Among other things, the new information indicates that the woman did actually receive Communion at the Mass but from an Extraordinary minister rather than the priest.
Fr. Marcel Guarnizo of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was reprimanded by the Archdiocese of Washington this week after denying communion to Johnson at her mothers funeral. Johnson had informed the priest before the Mass that she was a lesbian, and was denied communion when she presented herself in line.
In a statement issued last week, the Archdiocese said that Guarnizos actions were against diocesan policy, and that any issues regarding the suitability of an individual to receive communion should be addressed by the priest with that person in a private, pastoral setting.
LifeSiteNews spoke today with Diego von Stauffenberg, a source who is close to the incident and who revealed detailed information about the nature of Fr. Guarnizos actions at the funeral. According to Stauffenberg the priest was confronted by Johnson for the first time moments before Mass began.
She was reportedly agitated by the fact that the funeral was being presided over by Fr. Guarnizo, who is well known for his outspoken defense of Church teachings. The priest has been on the front lines of local pro-life activism, leading prayer vigils at Dr. LeRoy Carharts late term abortion facility in Germantown.
Johnson initially came into the sacristy to discuss the details of the two eulogies that were supposed to be delivered, but left abruptly and returned with her brother and another woman, whom she introduced as her lover.
Following this introduction, Johnson made a second abrupt exit, this time with her lover reportedly blocking the door in an apparent attempt to prevent any further conversation between Fr. Guarnizo and Johnson.
The priest proceeded with the Mass, but decided to remind the congregation before Communion of what is required to be properly disposed to receive. Stauffenberg reports that when Johnson approached for Communion anyway, Fr. Guarnizo turned her away in a manner so discreet that the Extraordinary Minister standing a few feet away did not know what had occurred. Johnson then crossed over to the Extraordinary ministers line and was given communion.
Moreover, says Stauffenberg, media reports that Fr. Guarnizo refused to be present during Johnsons eulogy are inaccurate. Johnson had told Channel 9 News that Fr. Marcel left the altar, and did not return until I finished my eulogy.
She also told the National Catholic Reporter that Fr. Guarnizo not only did not attend the burial, but also did not make an effort to find another priest to do so, and that it was the funeral director who took the initiative in contacting another priest.
The truth, according to Stauffenberg, is that Fr. Guarnizo suffers from migraines which are triggered by stressful situations. He had a migraine during the funeral, and discreetly left after the first eulogy ended, looking for water to revive himself. When he returned to the sanctuary, Johnson was about five minutes into a eulogy that lasted around fifteen to twenty minutes.
After the Mass was over, he accompanied the body in procession down the aisle and out the door to the hearse, where he informed the funeral director that he would be unable to make the 11 mile drive from the Church to the cemetery on Aspen Hill. He personally arranged for the funeral director to contact another local priest, Fr. Paul Sweeney, who joined the family at the cemetery.
"Mrs. Johnson was given a Catholic funeral with all of the formality and all of the respect that the Catholic Church has to offer, said Stauffenberg.
Most of the substantial details offered by Stauffenberg have been corroborated by another source who also contacted LifeSiteNews, but who wishes to remain anonymous. In addition, an email circulating in the Diocese which claims to have originated from a group of people who met with Father shortly after the incident says the following:
Fr knew the lady was a practicing lesbian because she came into the sacristy and introduced her lover to Fr just before the Mass. He quietly denied her communion (so quietly that the Euch minister next to him didnt realize that he did), and the woman promptly went to the other line and received communion anyway! He left to use the restroom (he was getting a migraine) between the eulogies, but did finish the ceremony and escorted the casket out. He made arrangements for there to be another priest at the gravesite and there was. He felt that it was a matter of conscience to deny her communion since he had been informed that she was an active homosexual by her own admission.
Another statement from the Archdiocese about the incident was published yesterday in the Washington Post. The statement noted that no one is entitled to the Eucharist, and that any person who obstinately perseveres in manifest grave sin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion.
The statement also said that situations which called for denial of communion ideally would be handled by discussing the consequences of such sin with the person privately before actually denying them Communion.
This is not the first time in his year at St John Neumann that Father Marcel has drawn the disapproval of local homosexuals. Last fall he delivered some lengthy, closely-reasoned, compassionate, but firm homilies in which he clearly stated that homosexuality is a disordered condition. Many did not like hearing this.
Addenda: St John's was jammed tonight for the First Friday and Stations services. Many visitors from another church in town came tonight to show support, donning blue to identify themselves. The senior pastor thanked them warmly.
This has been a ghastly week for the parish as the phone lines and email have been jammed with hate-filled communications. I am told that religious formation classes had to be cancelled this week because of the onslaught.
Apparently the Washington Post sent one of its minions to track down Father Marcel, but I am gratified to report that he returned to DC empty-handed and has been reduced to posting a (rather flattering) YouTube video of Father Marcel.
The priest was only doing his job. If the lesbian doesn’t like the church’s rules, she should look for another church.
God bless the Satan attacked priest.
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I nominate the excellent Knights of Columbus to physically guard the honorable Father.
The time may be rapidly approaching in our society at large, where their role may have to be much more than ceremonial.
Homos are among the most vile, vindictive and hate-filled of human beings.
I just finished my rosary & evening prayers. As always, I prayed for priests but mentioned Fr Marcel by name.
This is spiritual warfare....I ask all FReepers to cover this priest in prayer.
Yes, God Bless him.
I wish the Diocese of Washington would publicly state that politicians who claim to be Catholic, and voted for abortion, and come to communion in the Diocese will be refused the Sacrament.
They know who they are, and we do too.
The Church would not lose a single Catholic by doing this as these people are not Catholic anyway.
Great idea! We should all be praying for Fr. Marcel to be protected!
There seem to be fewer and fewer priests with the courage of Fr. Marcel. Many will be deterred from leading faithfully because of what Fr. Marcel is suffering now as a result of his correct call. The good news is that Jesus has prevailed over Satan already. We need to have the faith and courage that Fr. Marcel has shown.
God bless you, Father Marcel!
I long for the days when CINO politicians are excommunicated, or at least forbidden to receive the Eucharist. They have led so many astray.
I don’t think a priest can even give communion to a protestant, even if the protestant’s religion has it’s own form of communion. Something about the priest’s soul itself being in danger should he do so. As a Christian, I can respect that belief, and so wouldn’t dream of asking a priest for communion. Yet a heretic feels it’s an appropriate request and feins insult when denied? It’s not the heretic being persecuted in this story - it’s heterosexual family values and Christianity that’s being attacked.
This won't be the end of it. Wish the church had backed him up rather than apologized.
" If you Forgive the sins of any, they are Forgiven them; if you RETAIN the Sins of any, they are Retained.
The only time Jesus breathed THE Holy Spirit literally from his mouth. Even before the Day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts.
Exactly! I don’t understand why the priest was reprimanded.
When my own father passed on, I was a non-practicing Catholic married to a Protestant, and I’d married in a Protestant church. At my father’s funeral, the priest gave instructions on who could and who could not receive communion, so I did not get in line for communion. Of course, the priest knew nothing about me or my situation, so I would’ve received communion if I’d gotten in line. But I wanted to respect the rules of the church my father attended, so I stayed in the pew.
If the woman in this story wanted to receive communion so badly, without any regard for the rules, she could’ve done so. The priest would not have known about her situation if she hadn’t told him. But, no, instead, she decided to politicize her mother’s funeral and start trouble.
Your respectfulness is appreciated and you and I would agree should perhaps be common sense (I wouldn’t receive in your denomination without being in full agreement with your pastor and my Church teaching) - he fears for his own infernal punishment because if you don’t know and believe, as Catholics do, that that waifer is truly Jesus Christ in an unbloody form (though it looks at tastes as bread, yes), from the same sacrifice of 2000 years ago (a mystery)re-presented, then you would be deeply offending Jesus and not YOU, but the PRIEST would be at fault for doing that, if he knew and gave it to you anyway. There are some special circumstances....
Imagine this poor woman - she knew she was spitting on Christ in receiving Him, and did so anyway.
She’s in a bad way!!! I have prayed for her to repent and seek Confession. He was looking out for her soul - and she side-stepped him and sank it. Now the extraordinary minister (a formalized assistant to give the Eucharist, not transubstantiate it nor say Mass), may be feeling guilty, though it was not that person’s fault as the woman was sneaking.
How can this woman see straight under so much sin? Pray for her.
The priest may be in hot water publicly, but Jesus adores his love for Him. It’s the poor woman that needs prayers from Jesus to shower her with the graces she needs to see His Face and Sacred Heart.
I read that statement by the DC diocese in the Post, here’s a link:
If I was the priest, and if it went down like it has been reported, I reckon I would want a little more after they jumped on him. As it stands of now, the DC diocese looks like a bunch of fools. They used some pretty strong words about his actions, are they going to say anything further about it?
This is the discese that takes every chance to make sure that everyone knows abortion really isn’t too big a deal when you get right down to it, because of all the public Catholics who live there most of the time. They are allowed to facilitate abortion, while publicly proclaiming that it is a right, while also claiming they are Catholics in good standing, and the Cardinal lets them. It only gives one impression: isn’t too big a deal when you get right down to it. I wonder if the Cardinal simply doesn’t dig some priest going against the current when he is floating on down.
Persevere Father Marcel persevere
I dont think a priest can even give communion to a protestant, even if the protestants religion has its own form of communion. Something about the priests soul itself being in danger should he do so. As a Christian, I can respect that belief, and so wouldnt dream of asking a priest for communion. Yet a heretic feels its an appropriate request and feins insult when denied? Its not the heretic being persecuted in this story - its heterosexual family values and Christianity thats being attacked.
To expand on the special circumstances - a military chaplain can and frequently does give communion to non-catholics (or catholics for that matter - two of the chaplains I served with were not catholic, yet had no difficulty with giving communion to me). On base it is easy enough to find a chaplain of your own faith, or close enough. In the field it is frequently impossible!
Hospital and (I believe) airport and shipboard chaplains also have the authority to do so.
I do not know if the good and worthy men in those positions have to be granted dispensation to do so or not, there is a retired Army chaplain here on the boards who may be able to shed more light on that side of things (I will try ping him once I remember who he is!)
I did ask, years ago, as I thought the same as you. The good Father who welcomed me into the Church just smiled and said “Which is more important? Your soul or mine?”
So, if I were to molest children like LIBs like to do and I told the priest before Mass that I was going to receive Communion; the Washington Archdiocese says it’s OK. Huh?
Canon 915 states, “Those who are excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and OTHERS WHO OBSTINATELY PERSIST IN MANIFEST GRAVE SIN ARE NOT TO BE ADMITTED TO HOLY COMMUNION”. (Emphasis mine) So, unless the Sxth Commandment (Adultery)has been altered by the Archdiocese, sodomy is a grave sin and they are wrong to suspend the priest. The layman who gave the woman Communion should have been suspended.