Barbara Johnson attended her mother’s funeral at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland on Saturday and was refused communion by the priest presiding over the service. Father Marcel Guarnizo disagreed with Johnson’s relationship with another woman and reportedly told Johnson, “I can not give you communion because you live with a woman.”
Johnson is a lifelong Catholic and former Catholic school teacher.
9 News Now reported:
According to Barbara, things got even worse, because after first refusing to give her communion, and then walking off the altar when Barbara was giving her eulogy, Father Marcel refused to go with Barbara’s mother’s body to the cemetery in Aspen Hill. Barbara says she was told that Father Marcel had suddenly become ill.
In a written statement, the Archdiocese of Washington conceded that Father Marcel had acted improperly, saying, “Any issues regarding the suitability of an individual to receive communion should be addressed by the priest with that person in a private, pastoral setting.”
Johnson shared with the news station: “We don’t get a do-over. This was her one moment to pass from this earth.”