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Priest Who Refused To Give Lesbian Holy Communion At Her Mothers Funeral “Removed”

Last month  Father Marcel Guarnizo at. John Neumann Catholic Church refused to give Barbara Johnson communion at her mothers funeral she was a lesbian.

Now comes the news after Johnsons horrible treatment and humiliation that Guarnizo has been removed from the church and placed on administrative leave pending a formal investigation, according to a letter from the Archdiocese of Washington to all of its priests.

“I write to inform you that effective today, Father Marcel Guarnizo’s assignment at St. John Neumann Parish is withdrawn and he has been placed on administrative leave with his priestly faculties removed until such time as an inquiry into his actions at the parish is completed.

This action was taken after I received credible allegations that Father Guarnizo has engaged in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry,” he said in the letter. “Given the grave nature of these allegations, and in light of the confusion in the parish and the concerns expressed by parishioners, Father Guarnizo is prohibited from exercising any priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington until all matters can be appropriately resolved, with the hope that he might return to priestly ministry.”

Barbra Johnson had said that  Guarnizo  “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.’”

Shortly after the original incident, the Archdiocese of Washington issued a statement saying Guarnizo’s action violated church policy and Archdiocesan officials would look into the matter saying 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.”



Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact:

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2 thoughts on “Priest Who Refused To Give Lesbian Holy Communion At Her Mothers Funeral “Removed””

  1. “Removed?” That’s Catholic speak for “We’ll reassign you when this little incident blows over.” Everyone knows that. These people are masters at protecting their own, no matter what they have done. The Vatican is nothing but the base for a Catholic version of the Mafia.

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