GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) - A Gaithersburg priest who was suspended after a funeral Mass at which he denied a woman Communion because she is a lesbian is defending his decision.
In a statement to the conservative website CNSnews.com, the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo says Barbara Johnson introduced another woman as her "lover" without being asked during a Feb. 25 funeral for Johnson's mother. He says "openly confessing sin" should be done in a confessional and not before Communion. He says he then quietly withheld Communion.
Guarnizo says the incident was a "warning" to the church. He says he's confident he did the only thing a "faithful Catholic priest could do."
The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/xR1hcj ) reports the Archdiocese of Washington cited allegations Guarnizo intimidated parish staff in announcing his removal last weekend. Guarnizo denies that account.