February 29, 2012
Priest denies lesbian Communion at mother’s funeral
Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post has an absolute must-read story about a lesbian who was denied Communion at her mother’s funeral.
Barbara Johnson was at St. John Neumann Catholic Church with her partner, and the Rev. Marcel Guarzino learned of her relationship just before the service. When Johnson went up to take Communion, the priest reportedly put his hand over the bread and said he wouldn’t give it to Johnson because she lived with a woman. He then left the service while Johnson delivered the eulogy and didn’t attend the burial or find a replacement priest.
Boorstein reports on a letter that Johnson sent Guarzino and one Johnson got back from the D.C. archdiocese in return:
This story is obviously a talker and it’s immediately been followed by debate—and good Catholics are on opposite poles on this one. Boorstein follows up on that here.
Denying Communion might have been within the priest’s discretion—in fact, I think that it probably was—but I agree with the apology from the archdiocese.