Gaithersburg Priest Faces Backlash After Denying Communion

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (CBSDC) Father Marcel Guarnizo is facing backlash this week after questionable behavior at a funeral this weekend.

Barbara Johnson says she was denied communion by Father Guarnizo because the priest learned of her sexual orientation shortly before  her own mother’s funeral at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Saturday.

Johnson, a lifelong Catholic, says when she stepped forward to receive the Eucharist, Father Guarnizo covered the plate and said “‘I can not give you communion because you live with a woman.”

According to Johnson, after communion the priest also left the altar during her eulogy and didn’t return until she was finished.

To make matters more difficult, Johnson claims that Father Guarnizo did not escort her mother’s body to the cemetery after the service, which is customary. Johnson says she was told that the priest  had suddenly become ill.

The Archdiocese of Washington wrote in a statement that Father Guarnizo acted improperly during the funeral.  “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.”


  • Andy Lang

    The Archdiocese’s response simply means that Father Guarnizo should have humiliated the grieving daughter privately, rather than publicly, thus sparing the church public shame.

  • Liz

    If the priest treated her like this publically,…. I would be scared to know how he would deal with her privately.

    His actions were dispicable. I wish this woman peace.

    • f. carer

      she needs to leave the church..look for would take fallen woman into the church

  • Chris Vogel

    Typical of the Roman church: their vanity, malice, and wilful ignorance are, and always have been, boundless. Odd they call themselves “Christian”. Still, better than the old days; modern secular governments do not permit their traditional responses to difference: torture and mass murder.

    • f. carer

      She left the priest no choice….she can always find another churcg that will take her kind

  • R Fantelli

    Kudos to Reverend Guaranizo for upholding Christian , Bible based values. OK Catholics lets see the rest of you dig into the Bibles and see how justified Rev Guarnizo was in refusing her communion. REad your Bible,. CAthoolics. SEe the truth !F

    R Fantelli
    Paxton MA

    • f. carer

      She wants blood wants the priest run out of town and horse whip …becasue she is gay and suffered much. You think this lisband is not holding hard feeling towards catholic church, after all our church will not marry her kind…and now Liz is paying back us back!!!!

      Rember adam and Eve,,,not Sally and Jane…lady?

    • Fair Care

      This “religious” man works for an interrnational organization that allowed “men to lay with boys” for decades. No wonder those of us with common sense can’t see past the hypocrisy. You must have missed the sections of the bible that refer to kindness.

  • Kait Skyler

    R. Fantelli- F. Carer- My God is a God of Love, and yes I read my Bible. I believe in a Jesus who practices Love and would not deny this woman communion. Should He also deny it to you for judging and to all the other so called sinners in church? Read matthew 7:1 and while you are at it, if this is such a sin, why is it never mentioned in the Gospels and yet judging is? Why is love of others an over riding theme? What if you go to Heaven and this woman is there or what if she goes and you don’t? No wonder so many people do not care for Christians and Christianity.

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