Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DC Chancery Shows Disdain For Good Priest Who Follows God's Laws

In doing so, the DC Chancery also displays (once again) Canon Law and the eternal salvation of souls.  My fellow blogger "a Washington DC Catholic" alerted me to the statement issued by Archdiocese of Washington regarding Father Guarnizo's actions this past Saturday.  Please refer to his blog post for the statement and for the text of Canon 915.

This will be long, so I'll put the jump break here.
The other blogger repeats a comment he made on yet another blog known as "Deacon Greg's blog".  In the comment section on that blog was a comment posted by an eye witness to the exchanges between Father Guarnizo and the two women, particularly before the Mass.  That witness' statement corresponds with another account that I was told.  I'll quote the entire comment now. (It's by DvS at 1:29pm today)

  • Fr. Hayden, with all due respect, what gives you the right to comment (and criticize a fellow priest) on a situation that you have only heard second hand? Considering “you have been there yourself” you should know better. I happen to know “First hand” that Barbara went into the sacristy before the mass and introduced herself as a lesbian in an active lesbian relationship… introducing her partner as “her lover” (her words). She left the sacristy before Fr. could have the “private discussion” you talk about. Barbaras “Lover” blocked his way out of the sacristy when he attempted to speak with her further.
    Before communion, Fr. clearly announced the “rules” for receiving communion to all present (as is common at most weddings and funerals). These “rules” have been consistent for ages and should be nothing new to Catholics… in a nutshell they consist of: you must be Catholic, in a state of grace, have made a good confession since your last mortal sin, believe in transubstantiation, observe the Eucharistic fast, and, finally, not be under an ecclesiastical censure such as excommunication. A mortal sin is any sin whose matter is grave and which has been committed willfully and with knowledge of its seriousness. Grave matter includes, but is not limited to, murder, receiving or participating in an abortion, homosexual acts, having sexual intercourse outside of marriage or being in an invalid marriage etc… After this announcement, Barbara decided to go up to receive the Eucharist anyways. Fr. discretely whispered to her that she could not receive… Whats the problem?
    As per the so called “Eulogy”, it was described as such by Barbara and her ex sister in law (enough said). “Having been there yourself” Im sure you can imagine having to explaining the difference between a few short words of remembrance and a Eulogy to the daughter of the deceased (who clearly does not like you) before the funeral mass? Im sure you can also imagine how that person may not have liked what you had to say and stormed out of the sacristy not giving you the chance to have your “charitable talk”?
    The only “misguided decisions” I see are 1) that Barbara insisted on receiving the Eucharist after it was made clear that she could not 2) that you and Deacon Greg are so quick to throw a fellow religious under the bus.
    Dont you think there’s enough ill-informed finger pointing going around already Fr.?

From DvS's comments we learn that the two women presented themselves as a lesbian couple to Father before the Mass.  When Father tried to have further discussion with the daughter, her "partner" blocked his path.  We further learn that Father did announce the Church's regulations for receiving Holy Communion.  It's quite true that such recitation often occurs at weddings and funerals for the benefit of non-Catholics in attendance.  Moreover, Ms Johnson called herself a "lifelong Catholic"; surely she would have known that she was living outside the state of grace.  Therefore, the archdiocese's claim that there needed to be a discussion "in a private pastoral setting" rings rather hollow - a bit of a red herring.  You'll also not find that in Canon 915 as a requirement upon the priest prior to denial of Holy Communion.

Ms Johnson knew what she was doing.  She was trying to force Father between a rock and a hard place.  This is quite typical of those who are living outside the dictates of what might remain of their consciences - an attempt to quell those consciences in a flagrant show of bravado to compel good people to bend to their wills.  Father could not do so without committing sin himself and scandal to all others in attendance.  The shame is upon her, and the sad circumstances of her real bereavement do not mitigate her responsibility in this matter.  While I entertain no wild hopes of Ms Johnson's acknowledgment of that fact, I am profoundly disappointed in the chancery's blindness towards these matters.

I regret to remind one and all that the DC prelates are almost legendary in their refusal to take seriously their responsibilities under Canon 915.  Indeed, as one watches the parade of dissident Catholics who have received Holy Communion with not only their approval but in many cases their overt invitations (John Sweeney, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Carol Keehan, Ted Kennedy, etc) it is no wonder why they come down so heavily on Father Guarnizo.  His act of honoring Canon law and the eternal realities behind it puts to shame the actions of archdiocesan officials over the years in their disregard to the Church's laws.

So what drives the chancery's disdain of Church law?  Could it be all the hate emails that they must have received over the past few days?  I myself have received quite a sampling of the worst examples of progressive potty-mouths.  I know that St John Neumann Church had their email boxes flooded with hate mail and other pieces of filth that will flow from those who condone perversion.  So maybe they're afraid of more "mean things" being said?

Or maybe they're trying to curry favor or get some money?  Did someone wave some dollar bills under some chancery bureaucrat's nose if they threw Father under the bus?  I think a big clue to that will be to see how the archdiocese acts when it comes time to petition Maryland's "gay marriage" bill to referendum.  How many "snags", "slow-ups", etc will happen?

I will have more on this later.


  1. I'm a confirmed Catholic and I've never been to a wedding or a funeral (or to any Mass) where the priest made any sort of announcement like this.

    Really, it's not up to a priest to refuse Communion to someone who seeks it. If someone receives Communion and they aren't in a state of grace, then that's between that person and God.

  2. I've heard it quite frequently at the special occasions. Moreover, in the programs a detailed explanation is always provided. Your second sentence, in light of Canon 915, is simply factually incorrect.

  3. The priest made an announcement at my wedding that only Catholics in a state of grace could receive Communion. I've also heard it said at Christmas and Easter masses (for those twice a year Catholics.)

  4. To this blogger, your are so well informed. I agree with you. And I state that even if Father Guarnizo had made an appointment to meet with BJ, she would not have showed up and would not bind her mind and soul to what was being asked of her. THE WONDERFUL ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON IS NOT WALKING THE DOGMA OF THE CHURCH AND THE TRUTH OF JESUSCHRIST, YOU ARE CORRECT, WITH VOTES FOR SAME SEX UNIONS, WHERE WILL THIS ARCHDIOCESE GO? LEFT OR RIGHT?? I MEAN WHERE WILL THEY STAND?? AND I ADD, WITH THE HHS MANDATE, HOW CAN CARDINALS AND BISHOPS NOT PRIZE THEIR FAITHFUL PRIESTS IN PUBLIC. THOSE THAT UPHOLD THE CHURCH´S TEACHINGS.



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