Yes, I am ranting.
Those who do their jobs get persecuted.
And those who love photo-ops and live TV coverage, and "spit and urinate" on what we believe in get away with their crimes!
After the hoopla that some canonists keep on second guessing about the whole incident, here comes the priest who denies everything and defends himself in public for what he sees is a persecution from the Archdiocese of Washington, for doing what is right in the reception of Holy Communion!
Here is Fr. Guarnizo's response to the suspension courtesy of Catholic News Agency.
Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s Response to the Eucharistic Incident
I would like to begin by once again sending my condolences to the Johnson family on the death of Mrs. Loetta Johnson.
I also feel obliged to answer questions from my parishioners, as well as from the public, about the incident on February 25th.
Here are the facts: On Saturday February 25th I showed up to officiate at a funeral Mass for Mrs. Loetta Johnson. The arrangements for the Mass were also not my own. I wish to clarify that Ms. Barbara Johnson (the woman who has since complained to the press), has never been a parishioner of mine. [Because Johnson is a lesbian, ultra-right wing Buddhist!] In fact I had never met her or her family until that morning.
The funeral celebration was to commence at 10:30a.m. From 9:30 to 10:20, I was assigned to hear confessions for the parish and anyone in the funeral party who would have chosen to receive the sacrament.
A few minutes before the Mass began, Ms. Johnson came into the sacristy with another woman whom she announced as her “lover”. Her revelation was completely unsolicited. As I attempted to follow Ms.Johnson, her lover stood in our narrow sacristy physically blocking my pathway to the door. I politely asked her to move and she refused. [She must be big!]
I understand and agree it is the policy of the Archdiocese to assume good faith when a Catholic presents himself for communion; like most priests I am not at all eager to withhold communion. But the ideal cannot always be achieved in life. [Boom!!! The exception cannot be the rule! Homosexual sex is not normal! Homosexual co-habitation is not normal! No matter how you put it, it is not the NORM and it is UNNATURAL! Nature itself will perish if the exception becomes the rule!]
In the past ten days, many Catholics have referenced canon 915 in regard to this specific circumstance. There are other reasons for denying communion which neither meet the threshold of canon 915 or have any explicit connection to the discipline stated in that canon.
If a Quaker, a Lutheran or a Buddhist, desiring communion had introduced himself as such, before Mass, a priest would be obligated to withhold communion. If someone had shown up in my sacristy drunk, or high on drugs, no communion would have been possible either. If a Catholic, divorced and remarried (without an annulment) would make that known in my sacristy, they too according to Catholic doctrine, would be impeded from receiving communion. This has nothing to do with canon 915. Ms. Johnson’s circumstances are precisely one of those relations which impede her access to communion according to Catholic teaching. Ms. Johnson was a guest in our parish, not the arbitrer of how sacraments are dispensed in the Catholic Church. [Well, the bishop of the archdiocese think Johnson is.]
In all of the above circumstances, I would have been placed in a similar uncomfortable position. Under these circumstances, I quietly withheld communion, so quietly that even the Eucharistic Minister standing four feet from me was not aware I had done so. (In fact Ms. Johnson promptly chose to go to the Eucharistic minister to receive communion and did so.) There was no scandal, no “public reprimand” and no small lecture as some have reported. [This is what these rabid anti-Catholics do: create a scene. Remember Carlita Celdran? She just need to do that in the Manila Cathedral to boost her pathetic walking tour. Is she issuing receipts? Is she paying her taxes? I DON'T THINK SO! Mayor Lim, that's a tip for you there.]
Details matter. Ms. Johnson was not kneeling when she approached for communion, she did not receive the cup as the press has reported she has stated. [Lying is so natural to her, eh?] It is the policy of St. John Neumann parish never to distribute under both species during funerals.
During the two eulogies (nearly 25 minutes long), I quietly slipped for some minutes into the sacristy lavatory to recover from the migraine that was coming on. I never walked out on Mrs. Loetta Johnson’s funeral and the liturgy was carried out with the same reverence and care that I celebrate every Mass. I finished the Mass and accompanied the body of the deceased in formal procession to the hearse, which was headed to the cemetery. I am subject to occasional severe migraines, and because the pain at that point was becoming disabling, I communicated to our funeral director that I was incapacitated and he arranged one of my brother priests to be present at the cemetery to preside over the rite of burial. [They are even lucky to have available priests for funeral rites in the cemetery! You rarely have it here in Metro Manila! In Mindanao, the EMHCs bless the tomb!!!] Furthermore as the testimony of the priest that was at the cemetery conveys, he was present when the Johnson family arrived, and in fact mentioned that being called to cover the burial rite is quite normal, as many priests for reasons much less significant than mine (rush hour traffic for example) do not make the voyage to the cemetery. He routinely covers for them. This change in plans, was also invisible to the rest of the entourage. Regrets and information about my incapacitating migraine were duly conveyed to the Johnson family. [The lesbian was "hurt" so she did not hear this.]
I have thanked the funeral director and the priest at the burial site, for their assistance that day. Mrs. Loetta Johnson was properly buried with every witness and ceremony a Catholic funeral can offer. I did not and would not refuse to accompany Barbara Johnson and her mother to the cemetery because she is gay or lives with a woman. I did not in any way seek to dishonor Mrs. Johnson's memory, and my homily at the funeral should have made that quite evident to all in the pews, including the Johnson family.
I would like to extend again to Ms. Johnson and her family, my sincerest condolences on her mother’s death. I would never intentionally want or seek to embarrass anyone publicly or increase anyone’s emotional distress during such a difficult time. I did not seek or contrive these circumstances.
But I am going to defend my conduct in these instances, because what happened I believe contains a warning to the church. Such circumstances can and will be repeated multiple times over if the local church does not make clear to all Catholics that openly confessing sin is something one does to a priest in the confessional, not minutes before the Mass in which the Holy Eucharist is given. [Because most of our bishops AROUND THE WORLD are not doing their jobs! Because most of our priests and deacons AROUND THE WORLD are not doing their jobs! Heck, even "Catholic Philippines" is a witness to this! Pro-contraception Miriam Santiago was accorded the honor to celebrate her wedding anniversary in the primatial church in the Philippines! Yeah, I know. This is not of the same gravity as that of Johnson's but still, you see the signs of slackers on the job!]
I am confident that my own view, that I did the only thing a faithful Catholic priest could do in such an awkward situation, quietly, with no intention to hurt or embarrass, will be upheld. [I guess Cardinal Wuerl and his auxiliary bishop would not have done the same. Even if they had been informed that this lesbian is active in her lifestyle, they would have "lovingly" and "pastorally sensitively" given Ms. Johnson Holy Communion and willingly and consciously defiled the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!]
Otherwise any priest could-and many will-face the cruelest crisis of conscience that can be imposed. It seems to me, the lack of clarity on this most basic issue puts at risk other priests who wish to serve the Catholic Church in Washington D.C. [And around the world!]
As to the latest allegations, I feel obliged to alleviate unnecessary suffering for the faithful at St. John Neumann and others who are following the case.
I wish to state that in conversation with Bishop Barry Knestout [ugh!] on the morning of March 13, he made it very clear that the whole of the case regarding the allegations of “intimidation” are circumscribed to two conversations; one with the funeral director and the other with a parish staff member present at the funeral. These conversations took place on March 7th and 8th, one day before the archdiocese’s latest decision to withdraw faculties (not suspend, since Cardinal Wuerl is not my bishop) on the 9th of March. I am fully aware of both meetings. And indeed contrary to the statement read on Sunday March 11th during all Masses at St. John Neumann, both instances have everything to do with the Eucharistic incident. There is no hidden other sin or “intimidation” allegations that they are working on, outside of these two meetings. The meetings in question, occurred in our effort to document from people at the funeral Mass in written form a few facts about the nature of the incident. We have collected more than a few testimonies and affidavits, testifying to what really took place during the funeral liturgy. [Yet he was hurriedly suspended without getting all the facts straight first! Heck, there are priests who are known to be living in a state not worthy of their vocation, and they still are active in the ministry! Double-standard? Hell yeah!]
My personal conversation with both parties in question were in my view civil, professional and in no way hostile. I respect both individuals in question and really do not know the nature of their grievance. [They are supporters of the homosexual lifestyle Father! And maybe they hate you for being a faithful Catholic priest and not politically correct!]
On March 13, I asked Bishop Knestout about detail on this matter but he stated that he was not at liberty to discuss the matter. [Because Cardinal Wuerl said so?] I would only add for the record, that the letter removing me from pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Washington, was already signed and sealed and on the table when I met with Bishop Knestout on March 9, even before he asked me the first question about the alleged clash. [Because Cardinal Wuerl wants to! Remember, he'd dine and wine with pro-abortion Catholics and even give them Holy Communion no matter what!]
In the days to come I look forward to addressing any confusion about the above conversations if the Archdiocese or the persons involved wish to talk about it publicly or privately.
I am grateful for all the good wishes and prayers I have received. And sincerely, having lost my own mother not long ago, I again extend my condolences to the Johnson family. I finally wish for the good of the Universal Church, the archdiocese, my parish and the peace of friends and strangers around the world, that the archdiocese would cease resolving what they call internal personnel matters of which they cannot speak, through the public media.
I remain my bishop’s [Not Cardinal Wuerl, take note. :)))] and my Church’s, and above all Christ Jesus’obedient servant,
Very truly yours,
Father Marcel Guarnizo.
Now you know why the motto and inspiration of this blog is from a quote from Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
Some die-hard fans of some of these priests would throw at you quotes from saints about disrespecting bishops and priests.
Oh yeah. Don't get me wrong. I would NEVER CALL OUT a priest or anyone without reason.
But most of the time, there are times you need to.
Remember the narcissistic priest who cannot leave his TV Masses at a Mall?
Remember how he publicly ridiculed the Traditional Latin Mass?
How an archbishop who is a padawan of a notorious world-renowned liturgist would publicly support the spread of traditional liturgy when in fact in his old diocese, he supported, whole-heartedly, the training of new dissident theologians and liturgists who hold Wiccan Masses?!?
Even a priest who is a known apologete, defender of the Church, actually has a very bad temper and foul mouth and uses Tupperware as a ciborium for Holy Mass?
The list goes on and on...
If the fans of bishop A reads my comments against Father B, they would not mind. They'd comment and support your views.
But when you comment something against Bishop A......Boy, Hell hath no fury than a die-hard fan being scorned!
Where is the Truth then?
Personality-based? Political correctness?
This is the case with the Communion controversy at Washington Archdiocese.
We just don't know what is right and wrong anymore.
As long as you don't hurt feelings, that is ok.
Will Jesus do the same thing?
Remember how he publicly cursed the Pharisees and scribes.
The persecution of the Church will intensify, remember that. We are living the vision St. John Bosco.
And the persecution will come not only from the outside, but also from the inside. And for this case, IT IS A CARDINAL!!!
We only have the Eucharist and our Lady to save and support us!