While the GOP presidential candidates have all earned their nominations for "Asshole of the Year," a new champion has emerged after Father Marcel Guarnizo of the Gaithersburg, Maryland St John Neumann Catholic Church walked out of a funeral to protest the inclusion of the deceased's lesbian daughter. One of the attendees brings us her first-hand account:
My friend Barbara, the daughter of the deceased woman, was denied communion at her mother's funeral. She was the first in line and Fr. Guarnizo covered the bowl containing the host and said to her, "I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church." To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick.
I will tell you a little about the woman who drove that priest from the altar. She is kind, she is smart, she is funny and she works hard promoting the arts. She pays her bills, she cares deeply for her family and she loved her mother and her mother loved her right back. And now she will never set foot in a Catholic church again and who can blame her?
As for me, I send my love and condolences to my friend Barbara and all of the other family members who were made to witness such an egregious display of prejudice in such an inappropriate setting. To Father Guarnizo, I say, "Jesus would weep."
Words can't express my outrage and disgust. It reminds me of the sanctimonious Middle Ages priests and bishops who arbitrarily decided who was good enough for God's love and deliberately clung to the political instead of the spiritual.
If you have the words to express your feelings, feel free to e-mail Father Guarnizo or the church's head pastor, Reverend Thomas G. LaHood. Ask them if this is a common occurance. Ask them who Jesus would deny comfort. Ask them what kind of a heartless son-of-a-bitch would even think about making life more difficult for a grieving woman at her mother's funeral. And then tell them to shove their sanctimonious holier-than-thou prejudice up their fucking asses.