Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Priest in lesbian-Communion dispute no longer in Washington ministry

Catholic World News - July 10, 2012

Father Marcel Guarnizo, who became the focus of a nationwide controversy when he refused to administer the Eucharist to an avowed lesbian, is no longer engaged in priestly ministry in the Washington archdiocese.

Barbara Johnson lodged a highly public protest after Father Guarnizo refused to give her Communion at her mother’s funeral. Before the funeral, Johnson had introduced to the priest as a lesbian, also introducing her lover. The Archdiocese of Washington later apologized to Johnson for the priest’s behavior.

In March, Father Guarnizo was placed on administrative leave by the Washington archdiocese. Church spokesmen claimed that the move was prompted not by the incident involving Barbara Johnson, but by the priest’s intimidating behavior toward parishioners. Father Guarnizo denied that charge, insisting that he was being punished for his decision to withhold Communion.

Now the archdiocese has revealed that Father Guarnizo “is no longer in minister in the Archdiocese of Washington.” Officially incardinated as a priest of the Moscow archdiocese (although he is a native of the Washington area), Father Guarnizo had been serving in Washington under a temporary arrangement, and the “assignment period has ended,” the archdiocese explained.

Father Guarnizo reportedly remains in the Washington area. Barbara Johnson said that it “gives me great comfort” that the priest is no longer engaged in public ministry.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($33,441 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,559.25
96% 4%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: soulful018583 - Jul. 16, 2012 5:52 AM ET USA

    The priest didn't follow the rules, which is why he was removed. From the article, it seems this priest had other issues not elaborated on in the article.

  • Posted by: Niklas - Jul. 11, 2012 11:26 AM ET USA

    This is such an incredible scandal. I hope the Holy Father will intervene.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 10, 2012 6:19 PM ET USA

    Of course, Ms. Johnson is pleased-why shouldn't she be? The Archdiocese, on the other hands, should be ashamed of itself. Hopefully, Fr. Guarnizo will find a diocese that isn't ashamed to follow the rules!

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29
An Appointment that Francis Should Withdraw August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8