Matt C. Abbott
A lesbian's wrath
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By Matt C. Abbott
March 1, 2012

From a Feb. 29 story at LifeSiteNews.com:
    A parish priest in Maryland, who denied communion to a woman who identified herself as a lesbian, has been publicly rebuked by the Archdiocese of Washington. Barbara Johnson attended her mother's funeral last Saturday and introduced her lesbian partner to the priest before Mass.

    Father Marcel Guarnizo of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, covered the Host as she approached and told her, 'I can't give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the Church, that is a sin.'

    Afterwards, she wrote him a letter telling him, 'I will do everything in my power to see that you are removed from parish life so that you will not be permitted to harm any more families.'

    Auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout wrote a formal letter of apology telling Johnson, '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.'
So how did Father Guarnizo find out about Johnson's lesbian lifestyle? That's a bit murky, although one individual emailed the following to Deacon Greg Kandra (excerpted):
    I just wanted to let you know that there is a lot more to this story than has been published. I was in a meeting with Father Marcel and heard the whole story. The woman in question brought her lesbian partner into the vesting sacristy just before the funeral Mass and made sure to introduce her partner to Father Marcel, introducing her as her 'lover.' He told her then that she should not present herself for Communion...He speaks very softly when giving out Holy Communion, almost whispering 'Corpus Christi' — and did not publicly denounce her but rather said in a whisper that he could not give her Holy Communion.

    Father Marcel has a very active role in the very public and weekly vigils at Carhart's late term abortion clinic in Germantown. He has been a staunch and vociferous defender of life. It is my belief that this is a calculated attempt to discredit him. (Remember, same-sex marriage will be signed into law this week in Maryland.)
It appears to me that Father Guarnizo is being thrown under the bus by the archdiocese, and it's a shame.

I fear the persecution will only get worse.

I asked (via email) Father Richard Perozich of the Diocese of San Diego to comment on the story. He responded:

"If a person is in a sexual relationship outside of a Church marriage, [is] unrepentant and unconfessed, the reception of Holy Communion would be a sacrilege. The pastoral sensitivity is to inform the person before Mass that they can approach for a blessing. If they were to come anyway and attempt to receive, a blessing would be in order instead of Eucharist."

Regarding homosexuality, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
    Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (2357)

    The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (2358)
© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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