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Denying Communion: A Priest And A Lesbian Set Off A Catholic Culture Clash
Washington Post ^ | March 17, 2012 | Michael S. Rosenwald and Michelle Boorstein

Posted on 03/17/2012 9:11:21 PM PDT by Steelfish

Denying Communion: A Priest And A Lesbian Set Off A Catholic Culture Clash

By Michael S. Rosenwald and Michelle Boorstein March 17

The moment was fleeting.

Barbara Johnson reached out to receive Holy Communion at her mother’s funeral Mass last month at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg. The Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, standing before her, placed his hand over the offering bowl, denying her the sacrament.

Those mere seconds between Johnson, no ordinary Catholic, and Guarnizo, no ordinary priest, have touched off a heated controversy among Catholics across the country — another battle in the seemingly endless cultural wars that have invadednearly every corner of daily life, even funerals.

Conservatives have accused Johnson, an openly gay woman, of promoting a liberal political agenda at her mother’s funeral, of all places. The Archdiocese of Washington has accused Guarnizo, a Russian-ordained traditionalist with powerful friends, of intimidating parish staff after the incident and suspended him from his priestly duties. He, in turn, has essentially accused church officials of lying.

What’s clear, amid all the dissension, is that distinctly different beliefs about Catholicism turned a random meeting of a grieving woman and priest into a theological collision.

Their roots are similar: Both Johnson, 51, and Guarnizo, 42, grew up in the Washington suburbs, come from devout Catholic families and attended Catholic schools.

But Johnson is also a Buddhist who supports gay marriage and other progressive causes. Guarnizo, by contrast, once signed an elaborate document denouncing Catholic politicians who support “morally repugnant” ideas such as gay marriage and was known as a particularly intimidating protester in weekly demonstrations outside a Germantown abortion clinic.

Johnson is an arts educator who travels in liberal circles.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda; sin

1 posted on 03/17/2012 9:11:27 PM PDT by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish

Oh, why are they treating these gay Buddhists as though they are not Christians in good standing? /s

2 posted on 03/17/2012 9:18:56 PM PDT by raccoonnookkeeper (I keep raccoons in a nook!)
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To: Steelfish

The conservative Catholics will win this one.

3 posted on 03/17/2012 9:22:17 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Steelfish

Love all the snarky little asides strewn through this piece. The Post has been turned away from the rectory at St John Neumann, and we parishioners have refused to speak to them; looks like they only roped one injudicious woman into speaking to them. They’re really determined to play Woodward and Bernstein and find something really, really naughty, aren’t they?

Of course, they interviewed his arch-enemy, the late-term abortionist and friend-to-demons Leroy Carhart. Note that Carhart employs the word “intimidating,” to Father Guarnizo, to help strengthen the case against him. But the idea that this little 150 pound guy could intimidate anybody is absurd. Father Guarnizo and the protesters at Carhart’s evil clinic never approach Carhart or his facility. It is not surprising that Carhart has lied, and even less surprising that the Post included his lies.

4 posted on 03/17/2012 9:25:36 PM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: Steelfish
Why would a Buddhist want communion? Unless, of course, she wanted to start a political firestorm.
5 posted on 03/17/2012 9:33:59 PM PDT by Red RN ("Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." John Wayne)
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To: Steelfish

The Gay Buddhist is just looking for her 15 Flukes of Fame. I don’t know why this is news. Buddhists don’t do communion.

6 posted on 03/17/2012 9:34:07 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (The first lesson you learn as a pollster is that people are stupid. - Dem pollster, Tom Jensen)
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To: Red RN

I believe that this “lesbian” girl decided to provoke a confrontation. She may or may not have been coached on what to do by the gay activists. However, she decided, for whatever reason, to pick this fight at her mother’s funeral. She decided, for whatever reason, to force the issue of the communion, and then when denied, go into “liberal outrage” mode over the incident, so as to attract sympathetic media coverage.

The question should not be, how can a priest deny someone communion at her mother’s funeral mass. The question should be what kind of person uses her own mother’s funeral to make her political statement.

7 posted on 03/17/2012 9:37:12 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Steelfish

I agree with the Priest.if he knows she is living a life that is in conflict with Church teachings then he should deny communion.

8 posted on 03/17/2012 9:42:29 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: Steelfish
The 11th chapter of the First Episltle to the Corinthians describes the Lord's Supper, AND provides a warning that is not to be taken lightly. It is good that those that administer the Lord's Supper protect the table, and the people that would partake.

1 Corinthians 11:26-29
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

9 posted on 03/17/2012 10:07:40 PM PDT by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: El Cid

Amen & Amen!
We know obedience is better than sacrifice(1 Samuel 15:22b)
And we know the next verse says: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry.”.......(1 Samuel 15:23a)

Colossians tells us that our Lord Jesus was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Colossians 2:5-8)He He was obedient, and He was the sacrifice[for our sins]

Those verses that insruct us as to the order of the Lord’s Table[not our table] but His Table, let a man [or woman] examine himself [or herself].....

10 posted on 03/17/2012 11:18:47 PM PDT by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: Steelfish
OK people, this is my kind of story. We see the church was challenged in public, the priest made the right call, and now we will see what the church does. Why has the priest been suspended? Do we really need any investigation? Will the church buckle under pressure? Will someone politically connected pull their tithe? Will Pelosi or Biden give the church a call?

This is the kind of stuff going on daily but not always in the headlines. What I'm seeing is the conservative church being edged out and replaced by luke warm socialist Catholics that use the Church as a ruse to get more food stamps and welfare. A cardinal or the pope should make an example out of Hugo Chavez or Pelosi or any one of 20 Kennedy's and cut off the Sacraments until they publicly repent.

11 posted on 03/18/2012 12:02:09 AM PDT by chuckles
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To: chuckles
It was a SETUP!

The daughter approached Fr. Marcel and introduced her Gay "Lover". Fr. Marcel advised her not to take communion. The daughter bypassed him and took communion anyway from the other priest there who did not know the situation.

Fr. Marcel has been thrown under the bus by the Archbishop. A letter removing him from giving communion was on the table before they spoke.

There is far more to this story that the Washington Post does with it's horribly biased reporting.

Read Fr. Marcel's letter here:

12 posted on 03/18/2012 2:15:01 AM PDT by sr4402
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>> ideas such as gay marriage

I don’t care who engages in civil contract, but to advance ‘homosexual marriage’ as a meaningful term is asinine. Marriage is a Holy sacrament between one man and one woman.

“It was written...”

13 posted on 03/18/2012 2:25:21 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Newt/Sarah 2012)
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To: Steelfish

He did the right thing. I would be denied Communion in a Catholic Church because I’m Protestant.

14 posted on 03/18/2012 2:57:20 AM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (You have entered an invalid birthday)
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To: El Cid

Your example is misleading without the verses that precede it. The main complaint was that the wealthy would make a spectacle of it and eat nice meals as part of the pomp and display to show they were “favored”. It is an admonishment that they should all show up as equals under the Lord. It has nothing to do with one being “worthy” of partaking in the Lord’s Supper - Jesus Himself hung with the sinners because the sick needed doctoring, not the healthy. Being in communion with Him has more potential to be helpful to them and zero potential of being harmful to Jesus - He isn’t the Muslim “god” who needs to be defended from men by men.

17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!

15 posted on 03/18/2012 4:17:45 AM PDT by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Ching ching. Last Catholic funeral I went to the priest announced that anyone who was not Catholic could not receive communion, though we could get a blessing. Didn’t seem like a big deal to me.

16 posted on 03/18/2012 4:55:43 AM PDT by Hootowl
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To: Steelfish

The next step will be for Holder and the ACLU to file a lawsuit against the priest for a bias crime.

17 posted on 03/18/2012 5:13:54 AM PDT by Hacksaw (It's too bad Rick had to kill Shane (Walking Dead))
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To: ottbmare
Dear ottbmare,

“It is not surprising that Carhart has lied,...”

No, it isn't surprising at all. At least in my mind, murder is much worse than lying, so, in for a penny, in for a pound.


18 posted on 03/18/2012 5:19:03 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Steelfish

So two liberal Jews are gonna tell us Catholics how to run things?

19 posted on 03/18/2012 6:17:14 AM PDT by representativerepublic (...loose lips, sink ships)
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To: representativerepublic
So two liberal Jews are gonna tell us Catholics how to run things?

Of course they are. Because they're journalists, you see; they went to J-school, live in Washington DC, and know the fashionable restaurants. They're more sophisticated than you and I can possibly imagine, superstitious rednecks that we are.

20 posted on 03/18/2012 6:29:23 AM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: Steelfish
To Johnson’s family, turning her away from Communion was “disgusting” and violated their view that a Catholic’s relationship with God is a personal matter, not one that can be determined at a glance by a priest. (The archdiocese, in fact, apologized for the “lack of pastoral sensitivity” she encountered.)

From the article above.
The Johnson family obviously taught their daughter well about how to tread the path to hell.
A Caholic's relationship with God IS a personal matter but PULBIC BEHAVIOR at Mass and in life is NOT a personal matter no matter how much one babbles about one's personal sexual orientation.
The priest has the authority to withhold communion; he always has had the authority and always will.

21 posted on 03/18/2012 6:39:36 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Hootowl

I don’t find it a big deal not to get Communion at even a Catholic funeral. I get Communion at my own Church.

22 posted on 03/18/2012 6:53:03 AM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (You have entered an invalid birthday)
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To: Steelfish
The Archdiocese of Washington has accused Guarnizo, a Russian-ordained traditionalist with powerful friends, of intimidating parish staff after the incident and suspended him from his priestly duties.

This is why many mainline denominations are dying off. They stand for nothing but the same mealy-mouth political correctness and popular psychology one can get from any sitcom. If the catholic church doesn't get its feet under it on these issues, it faces a bleak future.

Passing your responsibilities off to government and looking to the masses for direction flies in the face of what serving God is all about.

23 posted on 03/18/2012 6:59:05 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: Steelfish

This whole incident is goofy. Everybody knows that only Catholics commune in Catholic churches. I, a former Lutheran and now a Nazarene, attended a catholic seminary for three years. The eucharist is off limits unless you are Catholic. What is so hard for this Buddhist woman to understand?

24 posted on 03/18/2012 12:51:27 PM PDT by MarilynBr
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To: trebb
Re: 15

I disagree. You are conflating several points, in this passage of 1 Corinthians 11, and thereby missing some of the message. And also slipping in an islamic slur, which seems superfluous. God doesn't need anyone to defend Him, but it is for the believers to be zealous of His Word, and to be on guard for heresies that will slip into the Church, unawares. In the Fifth Chapter of this First Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul warns the Church of this self-congratulating air of 'tolerance'.

1 Corinthians 5
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us...
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

and in 2 Thessalonians 3
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us....

and in Matthew 7
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

But returning to these verses in 1 Corinthians 11
Verses 16-19 speak of divisions and heresies within the Church.
Verses 20-22 speak of one source of those divisions being the indulgent behavior of the wealthy members of the church who partake in a gluttonous manner while engaging in the communal 'love feast', while poorer members of the church had relative 'scraps' for their lunch. I agree that this behaviour is not worthy of the Church, but it is not describing the Lord's Supper.
Verses 23-26 describe the memorial of the Lord's Supper, and in verses 27-29 he gives the warning to those who would engage in the Lord's Supper unworthily.

Jesus came to save sinners - and not the self-righteous (who don't think they need saving) - and we are to love sinners as we were all once lost sinners. But that being said, the Church leaders should guard the administration of the Lord's Supper (our memorial of His death), knowing that those that partake without repentance and faith -- are heaping up upon themselves hot 'coals of juniper' (Psalm 120).

Below are a couple of other references that communicate the same message of warning:

Westminster Confession, Chapter 29. VIII
Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament; yet, they receive not the thing signified thereby; but, by their unworthy coming thereunto, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore, all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Him, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table; and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto.

John Calvin
27. Therefore he who shall eat this bread unworthily. If the Lord requires gratitude from us in the receiving of this sacrament — if he would have us acknowledge his grace with the heart, and publish it with the mouth — that man will not go unpunished, who has put insult upon him rather than honor; for the Lord will not allow his commandment to be despised. Now, if we would catch the meaning of this declaration, we must know what it is to eat unworthily. Some restrict it to the Corinthians, and the abuse that had crept in among them, but I am of opinion that Paul here, according to his usual manner, passed on from the particular case to a general statement, or from one instance to an entire class. There was one fault that prevailed among the Corinthians. He takes occasion from this to speak of every kind of faulty administration or reception of the Supper. "God," says he, "will not allow this sacrament to be profaned without punishing it severely." To eat unworthily, then, is to pervert the pure and right use of it by our abuse of it. Hence there are various degrees of this unworthiness, so to speak; and some offend more grievously, others less so. Some fornicator, perhaps, or perjurer, or drunkard, or cheat, (1Co 5:11,) intrudes himself without repentance. As such downright contempt is a token of wanton insult against Christ, there can be no doubt that such a person, whoever he is, receives the Supper to his own destruction. Another, perhaps, will come forward, who is not addicted to any open or flagrant vice, but at the same time not so prepared in heart as became him. As this carelessness or negligence is a sign of irreverence, it is also deserving of punishment from God. As, then, there are various degrees of unworthy participation, so the Lord punishes some more slightly; on others he inflicts severer punishment.
28.... If you would wish to use aright the benefit afforded by Christ, bring faith and repentance. As to these two things, therefore, the trial must be made, if you would come duly prepared. Under repentance I include love; for the man who has learned to renounce himself, that he may give himself up wholly to Christ and his service, will also, without doubt, carefully maintain that unity which Christ has enjoined. At the same time, it is not a perfect faith or repentance that is required, as some, by urging beyond due bounds, a perfection that can nowhere be found, would shut out for ever from the Supper every individual of mankind. If, however, thou aspirest after the righteousness of God with the earnest desire of thy mind, and, trembled under a view of thy misery, dost wholly lean upon Christ’s grace, and rest upon it, know that thou art a worthy guest to approach the table — worthy I mean in this respect, that the Lord does not exclude thee, though in another point of view there is something in thee that is not as it ought to be. For faith, when it is but begun, makes those worthy who were unworthy.
29. He who shall eat unworthily, eateth judgment to himself. He had previously pointed out in express terms the heinousness of the crime, when he said that those who should eat unworthily would be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord Now he alarms them, by denouncing punishment; for there are many that are not affected with the sin itself; unless they are struck down by the judgment of God. This, then, he does, when he declares that this food, otherwise health-giving, will turn out to their destruction, and will be converted into poison to those that eat unworthily He adds the reasons because they distinguish not the Lord's body, that is, as a sacred thing from a profane. "They handle the sacred body of Christ with unwashed hands, (Mr 7:2,) nay more, as if it were a thing of nought, they consider not how great is the value of it.They will therefore pay the penalty of so dreadful a profanation." Let my readers keep in mind what I stated a little ago, that the body is presented to them, though their unworthiness deprives them of a participation in it.

25 posted on 03/18/2012 3:39:49 PM PDT by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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