What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Rev. Marcel Guarnizo

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…Barbara Johnson arrived at The St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland to attend the funeral service of her 85 year-old mother.  At the point in the service when communion was to be issued by the Reverend or Priest whom was officiating the service, Ms. Johnson (a lesbian woman) was denied by Reverend Marcel Guarnizo.  Rev. Marcel Guarnizo…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??  Ms. Johnson, an art studio owner and teacher from Washington, DC stood there in disbelief as Rev. Guarnizo refused not only to give her the sacramental bread and wine, but he also left the altar while Ms. Johnson was delivering her mother’s eulogy, and didn’t return.  Furthermore he refused to attend the burial and didn’t find another priest to replace him…all because Ms. Johnson is a lesbian and lives with a woman.  The Archdiocese officials issued a statement stating that the priest’s actions were against “policy” and that they would look into it as a personnel issue.  Other Catholics whom were asked said they could not recall another recent occasion when a priest has refused to administer the sacrament to a gay Catholic.  They also said the refusal by Rev. Guarnizo seemed at odds with the strong stand against denial of communion to Catholics enunciated by The Archbishop of Washington, DC’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl.  So with all of these officials stating there isn’t anything against giving communion to a gay or lesbian individual…that means the decision was all yours Rev Guarnizo.  You personalized your views and painted a broad brush over the proceedings.  You sir, turned what was already a traumatic day for Ms. Johnson into your very own soap box moment…and that Rev. Guarnizo was wrong!  You said because Ms. Johnson lives with a woman in the eyes of the church, that is a sin…and I understand that…and I’m no Priest, but I remember hearing or reading that: no sin is greater than the other.  So that means anyone who sins (in your eyes) isn’t worthy of communion?  So anyone who has been divorced…NO COMMUNION?  Anyone who has eaten a grape at the grocery store…NO COMMUNION?  Anyone who has ever used a swear word at a sporting event…NO COMMUNION?  I guess you see where I’m going with this.  If we use your standards on who should or shouldn’t receive communion then their wouldn’t be many of us “WORTHY”.  Or was that just a smoke screen to mask your real feelings about gays?  Whatever the case…your decision was wrong…and I hope the next time…if there is a next time…that you’re overseeing communion, you remove your personal feelings and just continue on with the service!!  Rev. Marcel Guarnizo…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???!!!!!     


Friday’s Forum: Dating Ex-Cons


Dear toughtalkdc,

I’ve met a nice man and I am interested in him.  I have one hesitation.  He was incarcerated for 13 years, about 3 years ago.  He’s so nice and respectful, and he was honest about his time in prison – but it concerns me.  Not for the obvious reasons like he would steal from me or become violent.  I’m wondering about homosexual tendancies.  He hasn’t shown any, but he was locked up for 13 years!!  Can a man REALLY go that long without sexual contact?  Even if it’s with another man?  Maybe he didn’t like it, but he did it because he needed some sort of physical contact.  I don’t know!  And I’m scared to ask.  Isn’t that offensive?  Or should I ask him?  I’m completely confused about this and it’s not something I can talk about with my friends or family.  None of them even know his past.  I really like him, but I have this lingering question in my head that just won’t go away.


Good Morning Anonymous!!

Where do I start first?  You have found a man that you really like and your hang up is not that he spent time in jail, but if he engaged in any homosexual behavior while he was incarcerated?  I implore you to communicate with this man!  And please be very sincere when you do so!!  You have to talk to him, express your questions to him, and open up a dialog between you all.  You said he hasn’t exhibited any tendencies, so don’t jump to conclusions.  Just because you may have seen a few movies or heard a couple of songs and heard a few stories, now you think it’s impossible for a man to do any length of time without engaging in homosexuality.  That’s just not true!!  Most men practice masturbation and use memories of ladies or pictures and letters sent to them to satisfy their needs!!!  Every man that does time doesn’t run to the arms of a man for sexual gratification!!  If those are your concerns then maybe you both should go and take a HIV test…Together.  Because just like you have questions about what he has been doing for the 13 years prior to him meeting you, he may have similar questions about your past sexual history as well.  And even though you’re saying right now, “I know who i have been with and I have never been with anyone like that”, it’s not just about you.  It’s also about your partner’s history…and their partner’s- partners history!!  And with all of the behavior that’s going on in society, he has the right for concern also!!  You mentioned your family and friends not knowing about his past, and I don’t think it’s any of their business to know his recent circumstances.  His past is just that…HIS PAST!!  So if he feels like sharing that information with them …then he will.  But don’t allow others into your personal business.  I’ve learned from experience, the more people you allow into your relationships… the more opportunities there will be for them to interject their opinion when it wasn’t asked or needed!!!  So my advice to you is to sit down and communicate your feelings to him.  If he is all that you say he is, and he really cares about you, he will answer whatever questions you may have.  And if he isn’t willing to do that….then he isn’t willing to have you!!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!