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Lesbian Woman Denied Communion at Mother's Funeral

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posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 12:53 AM
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As her elderly mother was dying, Barbara Johnson lay next to her on the hospital bed, reciting the "Hail Mary." Loetta Johnson, 85, had been a devout Catholic, raising her four children in the church and sending them to Catholic schools. At her mother's funeral mass at the St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md., a grieving Barbara Johnson was the first in line to receive communion. What happened next stunned her. The priest refused Johnson, who is gay, the sacramental bread and wine. "He covered the bowl with the Eucharist with his hand and looked at me, and said I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin in the eyes of the church," Johnson told ABC News affiliate WJLA. Her older brother, Larry Johnson, couldn't believe what he had seen. "I walked to the side of the church to console her, because she was clearly distraught," Johnson told ABC News.

Larry Johnson said his sister, who has been in a committed gay relationship for 19 years, composed herself enough to give her mother's eulogy, but then he was shocked at what happened next. The priest left the altar, Johnson said, and didn't return until his sister was nearly finished speaking. Family members added that the priest failed to come to the grave site, and the burial was attended by a substitute priest found by the funeral director.




Family members added that the priest failed to come to the grave site, and the burial was attended by a substitute priest found by the funeral director. Larry Johnson and his sister were outraged at what occurred on "what would already have been the worst day of my life," he said. They want the priest, the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, removed from dealings with parishioners. They also believe he owes them an apology. "This isn't about gay rights and it isn't about Catholic bashing, it is simply about the conduct of a reprehensible priest," said Johnson. But the head of DignityUSA, a group that focuses on gay and lesbian rights and the Catholic Church, sees the incident as part of a wider problem. "The reality is, in some ways, it is very emblematic of the hierarchy's approach to gay people, transgender people," said Marianne Duddy-Burke. "There are little messages of rejection that happen all the time."

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What does everyone think about this? Does a Catholic priest have the right to deny communion to a lesbian woman at her mother's funeral? I find the act to be quite cruel and feel terrible for the woman, can't imagine being in that situation, and don't think a priest should pass such judgement at such a time.

During a funeral? To the daughter? Not the time nor the place. How about a little compassion and empathy towards another human being.
edit on 1-3-2012 by MysticPearl because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by MysticPearl
 


I have no comment as to what my own conduct would be regarding this, but I can testify that most denominations consider the sacrament of communion to be particularly worthy of sanctification. I used to attend a church which acknowledged my outward expression of faith, but because I was not a member of the church, and "covered" by them through submission, they would not permit me to take communion. I was not offended. In fact, I was impressed with their diligence. Communion is not understood by people such as them to be a public service, rather, it is reserved only for those who are also sanctified. People can not like it all they want, but it is the way it is. I wouldn't expect a Muslim/Buddhist/etc. church to receive me with the same favor and recognition as any of their members until I displayed evidence that caused them to be comforted enough to welcome me in, so why should the same be expected elsewhere? Especially in a transient ceremony.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:04 AM
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How does your sexuality come into play at a funeral?

I don't get it... was she basically flaunting the fact, or did the priest just know of her?

If the priest knew of her and did this, he should be kicked out.

If she was parading around et al, then... what to expect... I dunno, but it just seems really odd to me that this happens out of the blue.

Most likely the priest needs a kick in the arse... but you just cant tell.

edit : it sounds to me like this priest is a tosser... oh well.



edit on 1-3-2012 by mainidh because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:05 AM
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Catholics consider homosexuality a mortal sin. If the woman had made confession before the service and was in a state of grace then they can receive communion. If not, it should not have come as a surprise that she was not allowed.

Homosexuality is considered a mortal sin and a person practicing homosexuality would not be in a state of grace.


The requirement for sacramental confession can be dispensed if four conditions are fulfilled: (1) there must be a grave reason to receive Communion (for example, danger of death), (2) it must be physically or morally impossible to go to confession first, (3) the person must already be in a state of grace through perfect contrition, and (4) he must resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.


Source



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by Wolf321
Catholics consider homosexuality a mortal sin. If the woman had made confession before the service and was in a state of grace then they can receive communion. If not, it should not have come as a surprise that she was not allowed.

Homosexuality is considered a mortal sin and a person practicing homosexuality would not be in a state of grace.


The requirement for sacramental confession can be dispensed if four conditions are fulfilled: (1) there must be a grave reason to receive Communion (for example, danger of death), (2) it must be physically or morally impossible to go to confession first, (3) the person must already be in a state of grace through perfect contrition, and (4) he must resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.


Source


Huh... I was raised a roman catholic.. Never heard of it put that way.. Probably why I detest religion.

Oh well, still a tosser.


edit on 1-3-2012 by mainidh because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:10 AM
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Honestly I don't disagree with the refusal of communion. Obviously the priest believes in the sanctity of the act, and an openly homosexual person would normally be refused such (I am kindof making some assumption here, I'm not Catholic). This woman obviously knew that she was not living in accord with the Catholic faith, and that by church standards she should not be given communion. He stood by the principles and standards of his Church, and for that I cannot fault him. (This is a benefit of the doubt assumption for the sake of argument)

BUT his actions beyond that are completely unChrist-like. Even if his duty and conscience prevented him from granting communion, "protesting' a funeral of a faithful parishoner because a gay family member participates in the services is petty. Aren't we to love the sinner? Shouldn't human compassion be shown to all, irregardless of their faults and imperfections? I am sure he has taken confession from adulterers and thieves and (who knows?) murderers...Did he walk out on them as well?



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:12 AM
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reply to post by Dasher
 


To add;
The purpose of the sanctification is to magnify the disparity caused by what a particular church considers corrupt conduct. Again, I am not speaking for myself, but only as one who understands the mentality. The primary thought is that by emphasizing the separation caused by a corruption, the person who is "in sin" will be forced to observe their separation and return to the fold via repentance. Each church has it's own view and they have a right to it. To pretend like one can be a victim of such a thing is disingenuous at best. There is a particular function being fulfilled and it is generally not rooted in hate, it is generally rooted in compassion.

AGAIN! - This is not to say that anyone else should or shouldn't agree with that particular view or that it should go beyond civilized actions, but we should accept that it is this church's view.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by blamethegreys
 


Agreed. I see no reason he should have not attended to the graveside service.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:25 AM
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Yeah well,thats organised religion,and then they have the guts and gumption to link whatever they do,to the Entity, Lord Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and claim his blessing upon them. What a joke.I have to say,though,in the little Methodist church in the town a few miles from where i live,you could waltz in as a screaming queen,obviously gay as a 3c coin,and you WILL be served the Holy Communion.Not all denominations+churches are the same,unfortunately most are a travesty of what the Entity called Yeshua stood for,in his earthly incarnation +- 2K years ago.And when you take a long,incisive look at what the Catholic Church,the Papacy+ the Vatican is all about,its obvious that Yeshua/Jesus+his teachings+nature could not be further removed from that whole set-up. (NOT the average,decent individual Catholic church-goer,you find among Catholics,as in all faiths and denominations,kind and wonderful people who are assets to humanity)...but the Catholic Church upper structure is a different kettle of fish altogether-the Net is available,for research into this.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:45 AM
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It's nice of her to tell the news about it so that we may have some pity for her. Disgusting human



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 01:54 AM
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Originally posted by ImaMuslim
It's nice of her to tell the news about it so that we may have some pity for her. Disgusting human


I am quite sure she would not want anything from you! You are the disgusting person!



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 04:42 AM
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I was denied red wine once by a bottle store owner, i was having a bad day.

I'm sick of the hypocrites who say and do whatever they want, but when they walk into church, they expect to be treated as something different. It's a church, if she was a member, this wouldn't have happened. Since she clearly was NOT a member, how can she demand anything? Why did she even bother going to a church?

Same time, during the service was a VERY bad time to pull a move like that, priest should be slapped for stupidity and insensitivity. Surely he meets the family before a service?

Major fail on ALL sides, but the whinging woman really should grow up, no organisation HAS to treat members and non members the same way.

PS: a lot of politicians deny being catholic, yet images abound of them taking eucharist, so double standards too.
edit on 1-3-2012 by harryhaller because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 04:44 AM
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Just a small point. I've been to about twenty Catholic funerals in the last two years. The priest always talks to those gathered before Communion and says something like "We will now have Communion, a sign of our unity with Christ, His Church, and each other. If you are not of the Catholic faith, or are out of communion with the Church at this time, feel free to come forward, cross your arms over your chest and the priest will give you his blessing." It works just fine for the mourners from other religions, or Catholics with serious unconfessed sins, or other reasons.

How did the priest know about her? She told him directly and said she wasn't planning on changing her sexual activities? Or, perhaps, she made it known throughout the community by obvious and open displays? Either way, Communion would not be allowed.

The rest of the priest's behavior? Other possible explanations maybe, I just don't know enough. I don't even know for sure why the woman was hurt. Was it because of criticism and non-acceptance of her homosexuality, or ?????



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 04:48 AM
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reply to post by MysticPearl
 


And nobody smacked the priest over the head. What a shame. Such a perfect moment to whoop a backward Catholic priests ass and nobody does it. I wonder if people are aware that the same priests would be calling for the death of people merely decades ago, but since humans have evolved their state of mind, they know they can't get away with that, so they mask their violent beliefs any way they can.

But then again...they are of the Catholic sect...batdung insane people.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by ImaMuslim
It's nice of her to tell the news about it so that we may have some pity for her. Disgusting human


Ah but you see, you are the disgusting human. Just because you went through some things...and can only comfort yourself by pointing a finger at those without guilt...does not mean you are right. It means that the people who know a few things not taught by crazy Imams or crazy Priests, can look right through you and see your self-hatred. I would advise you to stop posting your hateful diatribe, lest you want one of the people that knows a few things to analyze your behaviour :-)



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 04:54 AM
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Clearly she should not have gone to her own mothers funeral because that was being held in a church and she does not belong in a church because she is a lesbian!

Organised religion should be banned!

The Catholic Church is the most hypocritical organisation on the planet!

Priests abuse children and then go to church and receive communion but she should not be allowed to because she is a lesbian? What rubbish!

I am pretty sure there are catholics all over the world that go to a church in which they are not members when they are travelling for whatever reason and they receive communion!

Perhaps her family should have more sense and arranged to have the funeral from the town hall or a circus tent!

Give me break!
edit on 1/3/12 by wiser3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 04:57 AM
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reply to post by wiser3
 



The Catholic Church is the most hypocritical organisation on the planet!


Some Muslim sects would give the Catholics a run for their money. Like the idiot above demonstrates.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 05:02 AM
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Originally posted by Wolf321
Catholics consider homosexuality a mortal sin. If the woman had made confession before the service and was in a state of grace then they can receive communion. If not, it should not have come as a surprise that she was not allowed.

Homosexuality is considered a mortal sin and a person practicing homosexuality would not be in a state of grace.


The requirement for sacramental confession can be dispensed if four conditions are fulfilled: (1) there must be a grave reason to receive Communion (for example, danger of death), (2) it must be physically or morally impossible to go to confession first, (3) the person must already be in a state of grace through perfect contrition, and (4) he must resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.


Source


This is totally incorrect, a fact i only learned myself this week (thanks to ATS prompting some research!). Homosexuality is seen as a sin but there are no mortal sins - no sin is worse than any other and committing sins doesn't preclude an individual from God's love. I actually found that rather remarkable considering some of the responses you occasionally see from some self confessed Catholics and Christians. All sin is equal and all can be forgiven.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 05:41 AM
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My mother is denied communion and is no longer classed as a Catholic because she got divorced. She was not allowed to take communion at her brother's funeral.

Why did she get divorced? Because her husband beat her.

In Catholisism it's more accdeptable to be unhappy and get battered every day than take yourself and your kids away from harm.

Gotta love that for a religion!

So it's not just an argument about what they believe (or make up) what is or isn't a sin, its just about doing something they deem to be 'uncatholic' that stops you being classed as one and getting communion.

Just to note again that beating your wife is ok but your wife leaving you because of that is not.

Damn it makes me more and more angry when i think that is acceptable to some people.
edit on 1-3-2012 by Nammu because: adding



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 06:06 AM
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reply to post by Nammu
 

In that situation it should be very easy to get an annulment, then there will be no problem with communion. ( I'm assuming she got remarried, because divorce by itself, doesn't pose a bar to Communion.)




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