Priest Who Refused Lesbian Communion at Her Mother’s Funeral is Placed on Leave from Church

The Archiocese of Washington has placed Father Marcel Guarnizo on administrative leave over his actions toward Barbara Johnson, a lesbian who says she was "humiliated" at the funeral of her mother, the Washington Blade reports.

GuarzinoGuarnizo refused to give Johnson Communion because she lives with a woman. During Johnson's eulogy, Guarnizo reportedly walked out, and refused to accompany the casket to the burial.

The Blade says Bishop Barry C. Knestout, chief of staff to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, told all of the Archdiocese's priests that Guarnizo was under investigation for "intimidating behavior":

…“I write to inform you that effective today, Father Marcel Guarnizo’s assignment at St. John Neumann Parish is withdrawn and he has been placed on administrative leave with his priestly faculties removed until such time as an inquiry into his actions at the parish is completed,” Bishop Knestout said in his March 9 letter.

“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.”