Priest Who Denied Communion to Lesbian Placed on Leave

Rev. Marcel Guarnizo of Gaithersburg placed on leave after incident

Monday, Mar 12, 2012  |  Updated 10:38 AM EDT
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A Gaithersburg priest has been placed on leave after denying communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral in February.

A letter from an archdiocese official says that Rev. Marcel Guarnizo was placed on leave for engaging in intimidating behavior. The archdiocese had previously apologized for Guarnizo’s behavior.

Barbara Johnson, the woman who was denied the communion, has asked the archdiocese to remove the priest. The archdiocese issued a statement after the funeral saying that any action against the priest will remain confidential because it is a personnel issue.

Johnson’s family says they hope that action will ensure that others will not suffer the same treatment.

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