Md. Priest Defends Denial of Communion to Lesbian - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Priest Defends Denial of Communion to Lesbian

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, 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 ( ) reports the Archdiocese of Washington cited allegations Guarnizo intimidated parish staff in announcing his removal last weekend. Guarnizo denies that account.



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