Lesbian: Priest denied Communion at mother’s funeral

WASHINGTON – A lesbian from the District says a priest would not allow her to take Communion at her mother’s funeral last Saturday because of her sexual orientation.

Barbara Johnson, 51, says she was stunned by the rejection and wants the priest removed from his ministry, The Washington Post reports.

Johnson tells the Post that the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo told her he couldn’t give her Communion during the service in Gaithersburg, Md. because she lives with a woman, and “in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.”

The Archdiocese of Washington has issued a statement saying the priest’s public reprimand of Johnson was against policy and that the matter is being reviewed.

“When questions arise about whether or not an individual should present themselves for communion, it is not the policy of the Archdiocese of Washington to publicly reprimand the person,” the statement said, according to the Post.

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