Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In the name of the Father

I'm going to open the floor to comments from my Catholic friends on this one.  The story comes from Xfinity, written by Brian Rademaekers:

A lesbian woman and others were in disbelief after a Maryland priest refused to give her Holy Communion at her mother’s funeral service.

The Washington Post reports that The Rev. Marcel Guarnizo denied Barbara Johnson Communion during her mother’s funeral service at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md. The church is a member of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. 

“He put his hand over the body of Christ and looked at me and said, ‘I can’t give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin,’” she told the Post

Guarnizo apparently learned about her relationship just before the service, and Johnson attended the Feb. 26 funeral with her partner of 19 years.

The priest also left the altar during Johnson’s eulogy for her mother, and did not attend the burial service afterward. 

Now, Johnson and her family are calling for Guarnizo to be removed from the church and sent a letter to the priest decrying his actions.

Johnson received a letter Feb. 28 from a high-ranking member of the archdiocese apologizing for the incident, which was described as violating policy.
Johnson told the Post she was comforted by the letter, but that she would not be satisfied until Guarnizo was removed.

While the incident has outraged members of the gay community, some Catholic bloggers have defended the move.

Rev. Guarnizo, you do understand, this was the woman's mother's funeral over which you were presiding, am I wrong?

Kindly Rev Guarnizo
Would it have killed you to just let her take communion and dealt with your feelings about what you consider to be her sins a little later on?

I really need to know why a church official - no matter what the religion, how large the faith - would feel it's ok to hurt someone like that in the name of Jesus Christ.

I'll now stand back and have it explained to me.  Who's first?


Seek Up, Grasshopper said...

Wow. As though everyone else getting communion that day were completely without sin.
I'm the last person that should be opening her mouth to try to explain christians who don't act like christians.... Maybe the priest was pms'ing.

Anonymous said...

There's always at least two sides to every story...are you brave enough to post this one? http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lesbian-denied-communion-at-her-mothers-funeral-is-also-a-buddhist

Mark said...

Of course I am brave enough! Your link is posted and I followed it to the lifesite news page. I understand that conservative members of a faith are not as willing to accept the views of others, and I also understand that it is possible to be a follower of the tenets of Buddhism and still follow a Christian religion. I don't know that I can go along with depicting the woman as a radical rebel. And I don't know what else is going on here, except that we know for sure that she had just lost her mother and I think a little compassion was in order. But thanks for the viewpoint! As I always say, I can't learn anything from myself; that's why I listen to others.