Barbara Johnson, Maryland Lesbian Denied Communion At Mother's Funeral, Speaks About Incident
A Maryland lesbian who was denied Communion by a Catholic priest while attending her mother's funeral is speaking out about her experience.
CNN's Brooke Baldwin spoke to Barbara Johnson, who confirmed previously reported details of the incident. "I approached [Father Marcel Guarnizo of Gaithersburg's Saint John Neumann Catholic Church] to receive communion, and at that moment, he placed his hand over the bowl containing the Eucharist and looked into my eyes and said, 'I cannot give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.'"
Johnson, 51, now says that Father Marcel also left the altar as she was delivering her eulogy. Though Johnson has reached out via an email, the priest has yet to apologize.
Meanwhile, as The Washington Post is reporting, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has since apologized in a statement, noting that the priest has an obligation to "handle such a situation pastorally by discussing the consequences of such sin with the person privately before actually denying them Communion."
As Johnson noted, "My family are very appreciate of all of the outreach we've received. However, we believe the only reason to be talking about this still is because we would not want any other family to go through what was the worst experience on the very worst day of all of our lives...we feel that it is important that Father Marcel is removed from parish life."