GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- A Maryland-based priest is garnering heat in the blogosphere today after allegedly denying communion to a lesbian parishioner attending her mother's funeral.
As The New Civil Rights Movement blogger David Badash is reporting, Father Marcel Guarnizo of Gaithersburg's Saint John Neumann Catholic Church reportedly covered the bowl containing the Eucharist as the woman, who is identified only as Barbara, approached him.
"I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church," he is quoted as saying.
Badash quotes from an Addicting Info blog written by Ann Werner, who also notes, "To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick."
Werner also notes, "I will tell you a little about the woman who drove that priest from the altar. She is kind, she is smart, she is funny and she works hard promoting the arts. She pays her bills, she cares deeply for her family and she loved her mother and her mother loved her right back. And now she will never set foot in a Catholic church again and who can blame her?"
Other bloggers seem to agree with Badash's assessment of Guarnizo. On Restore DC Catholicism, one reader notes, "We need to have a mass protest against this HYPOCRITE! He is one of these reactionary evangelical zealots who believe the pulpit is a place to condemn others and control public policy."
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WUSA video interview with Barbara Johnson