Father Marcel Guarnizo was officiating at a funeral service for Loetta Johnson in a D.C. suburb Saturday when he decided that it was his duty to deny Loetta’s daughter Barbara communion. Because Barbara is a lesbian—and not just any lesbian, either—a lesbian with a live-in girlfriend.
According to Reuters, Barbara said the priest told her “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman… in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.”
The Catholic Church says that it does indeed consider homosexuality a sin, but it does not permit priests to “publicly reprimand” worshipers during communion.
Plus, this was a service for Barbara’s dead mother. We’d recommend some sensitivity training for Father Guarnizo.
Now Barbara isn’t just looking for an apology from the priest or from the Catholic Church. She wants him fired—defrocked. “We’re urging the church to make that decision, so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else, to any other families,” Johnson said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Just to add a little touch of gay sass, Barbara added: “I think everyone has their gifts, and my family believes performing the responsibilities of a parish priest does not fall under his list of gifts.”