Judge not.

Wow. As Catholic moments go, this one is, well, er:

Deep in grief, Barbara Johnson stood first in the line for Communion at her mother’s funeral Saturday morning. But the priest in front of her immediately made it clear that she would not receive the sacramental bread and wine.

Johnson, an art-studio owner from the District, had come to St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg with her lesbian partner. The Rev. Marcel Guarnizo had learned of their relationship just before the service.

“He put his hand over the body of Christ and looked at me and said, ‘I can’t give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin,’” she recalled Tuesday.

At her mother’s funeral. Classy, Fr. Guarnizo.

Now she and her family are trying to get him removed:

“You brought your politics, not your God into that Church yesterday, and you will pay dearly on the day of judgment for judging me,” she wrote in a letter to Guarnizo. “I will pray for your soul, but first I will do everything in my power to see that you are removed from parish life so that you will not be permitted to harm any more families.”

I would never do something like that. The priest was wronger than wrong — unless, of course, he’s also denying communion to the Gingriches — but my instinct in a case like that would always be to turn on my heel and never go back. If the Lord works in mysterious ways, He certainly has his own plans for Fr. McJudgey.

Wednesday nights belong to me, and so this night I shipped myself off to the big Elmore Leonard lecture at the War Memorial (our community center). I don’t often sit in a crowd of people and think, “I’m the youngest person here,” but I did tonight. Well, Leonard is 85 or 86 now, so I guess it all fit. He told all the stories, many of which I’ve heard before, about showbiz, mostly, and why so many of his work’s film adaptations suck. His favorite was “Jackie Brown” (my second-fave). “Out of Sight,” my first-fave, almost fell apart, but didn’t. And now, new life with “Justified,” which won a Peabody last year.

The event was staged as a conversation, with his longtime assistant/researcher, Gregg Sutter, guiding the show. Leonard forgets things from time to time, but the two have a good rhythm, and he (Leonard) always manages to squeeze a laugh out of his senior moments. It was a nice hour or so.

He said he didn’t like the idea of ending “Out of Sight,” the film, with Clooney. “It’s her story,” he told Scott Frank, the screenwriter. “It’s his movie,” Frank replied. Righty-o. That movie made the Cloonster a romantic lead.

Jeez, I’m beat. I’m aware the blog has been suffering of late, but until the end of April, I simply don’t have the time or energy to give it my all. But now that it’s March, that’s only eight weeks away! I will survive!

And now that we’re on the downslope of the week, I’m feeling a lot perkier.

Posted at 12:27 am in Current events |

59 responses to “Judge not.”

  1. Dexter said on March 1, 2012 at 1:36 am

    The lede here makes me feel bad for Barbara Johnson. This sort of issue is one of the hazards of living openly lesbian.
    Last week on Friday the man I have listened to on XM Radio for years now finally revealed “The Secret”.

    All the dedicated listeners sort of had this figured out, we thought…but the explanation is another angle to the story. The outpouring of love towards this man these past two days has been steady and strong. You can hear him on XM and Sirius stations, XM 105, 11-3, weekdays, The Ron and Fez Show.

    741 chars

  2. coozledad said on March 1, 2012 at 5:33 am

    In the instant he denied that woman communion, Guarnizo not only committed spiritual malpractice, he stupidly intruded upon her grief, which as the old Russians tell you, is the only thing in this world unequivocally yours. And it’s a bigger thing than folks like Guarnizo can ever know- much bigger than his shabby god of hungry fucking ghosts.
    He might as well have hissed Ich drinke deine seele aus! at her.
    If she’d obeyed the angels who told her, right there, to smash his mosquito’s septum into his face with the flat of her hand, it would have been the first time in his worse than useless life he understood him some Jesus.

    640 chars

  3. Linda said on March 1, 2012 at 6:29 am

    So, you wonder why this spiritual snubbing happened the this Johnson woman and not the Gingriches? Easy. In addition to the Gingriches having money and clout, which the church really respects, the now-Gingriches paid the church the honor of jumping through their dumb, bureaucratic hoops. It’s a way of bowing low, of acting as if the church had a legitimate right to vet who you love. And the church loves a good display of kowtowing, even when it has squat to do with real piety. Taking communion with my family has been something that I’ve done as an act of solidarity with my family at tough times like funerals. I’m not terribly religious, but having my mom see all her kids take communion has been comforting to her. I’m not sure I will any more now that she’s gone, but no family should have that denied to them because some cleric has something to prove. Shame on him.

    884 chars

  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 1, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Pastorally, if I “just learned” something about someone right before a funeral (a window of time filled with emotion and confusion under the best of circumstances), I would not act on that information under almost any circumstances. People want to tell me all kinds of stuff about other family members in the run-up to a funeral, and while I’m not a priest (nor bound by canon law, since my denomination barely has a polity, let alone binding church guidelines), I can say I’m certain that, unless this fellow was ordained last Tuesday, he’s been there, knows that, owns the t-shirt.

    And there’s his canonical out: if you are told a significant thing that you can’t verify or check out right before a funeral, you don’t mention it in a homily, you don’t re-arrange seating, you don’t bring it up at the graveside. That’s just pastoral common sense. So to do a public exclusion of communion under those circumstances, IMHO, is not pastoral scrupulosity, it’s grandstanding. I hope he has a spiritual director who is willing to get him to realize this, because I’m sure he’s got a bunch of folks too ready and willing to assure him of his steadfastness and purity of intention, and telling him how brave he was. But it was stupid, I believe no matter what your church’s stance on homosexuality.

    Having said that, I want to point out that this is the very issue the culture-war right has been raising for years, based on some comparable cases in Sweden & Norway. A pastor refuses to do a gay marriage or baptize the child of two non-participating lesbian parents who don’t want to speak any affirmations in the service, and the pastor is sued and/or fired for not doing so. The problem, of course, magnified by their being serving clergy in state churches. The Church of England is roiling with this issue right now, as they are heading for a situation where you will lose your job if you refuse to marry same-sex couples. What cultural/religious conservatives fear is a state intrusion into clergy roles & sacramental activity, and for that reason, I regret the woman’s campaign to get the priest fired. If I were that bishop, I’d consider it, until you hear that outcry, and now it surely won’t happen — unless the priest can’t keep his mouth shut and offers up another big fat stupid quote.

    2305 chars

  5. Deborah said on March 1, 2012 at 7:39 am

    That story about the judgmental priest is exactly the kind of thing that turns me even further away from organized religion while it turns my stomach too.

    I’m going to hear Margaret Atwood speak tonight, this must be literary week at nnc.

    241 chars

  6. coozledad said on March 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Of course these people aren’t fit to lick Obama’s shoes, and it’s distressing to hear them blurt those farty little noises they make, but it’s probably best to keep in mind just how dramatically his presidency has fucked with their “reasonable people” window dressing. About the best you can say is it’s stripping years away from their rancid lives, and bringing us slightly closer to the day when most of the fuckers who find this racist garbage funny are beastly dead:

    620 chars

  7. alex said on March 1, 2012 at 7:58 am

    My partner is a substitute church organist and just this last weekend told off some well-meaning fools at the Catholic church his family attends. It was one of those CHRP services where people dress up and do skits, and my partner was warned by one of the parishioners that a skit was about to be performed that he’d probably rather not see. As he was stepping out, another parishioner grabbed him and asked him why he wasn’t participating in the service. In front of the whole assemblage, he announced “For the millionth time, I was invited here to play music and I have absolutely no desire to participate as I have renounced my membership in this church until it stops persecuting gay people the way it’s about to do right now.”

    731 chars

  8. beb said on March 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I guess we all have our separate Morning Outrages. Nancy’s is pretty outrageous. The judge who sent the racist joke about Obama is inexcusable/ He needs to be impeached and removed from the bench. My morning outrage is a report, linked by Eschaton.com, that the UD DA’s in New York and Chicago (The sainted FitzPatrick) are disinclined to bring criminal charges against anyone in MF Global because they don’t think they can make a case stick. For cryign out loud – clients of the firm were robbed of $ 1.2 billion and they can’t find an criminal wrong-doing? Of course key plays, like the executive who’s job it was to keep client money separate from the corporate money, won’t talk without immunity from prosecution. Well, d’uh! She’s probably guiltier than sin. But why not go after Corzine, the CEO for failure to perform fiduciary duties. He’s the freaking Chief Executive Officer everything flows down from him. Hold him responsible for not holding his subordinates responsible.

    It’s an overcast misty morning but we dodged any freezing rain, so…it’s a good day.

    1079 chars

  9. deb said on March 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Alex, props to your partner for walking out. That deserved a round of applause.

    Jeff TMMO, I’d bet a large stack of American dollars that the priest *will* offer another big fat stupid quote, because you’re right — it’s grandstanding. To paraphrase Elmore Leonard, it’s not about her. It’s about him.

    304 chars

  10. coozledad said on March 1, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Breitbart’s ass done filed for a divorce.
    They must have asked Davy Jones if there was anything about the world he would have changed.

    135 chars

  11. Julie Robinson said on March 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

    At our church we invite all to our table, praying that they will be blessed by the love God is sharing with us.

    Most churches wouldn’t be able to hold Sunday services if they kicked out all their gay musicians. What a horrible scene for your partner, Alex. My condolences to you both.

    287 chars

  12. Peter said on March 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I did a little research on the Internet yesterday about the priest (take that, Representative Morris!), and a lot of his defenders brought up the point that the woman approached him before the service and introduced him to her female lover.

    Well, if that’s true that wasn’t the smartest move, but if it bothered the priest THAT much he could have asked someone else to run the festivities.

    I understand the need for a corporate behemoth to have the employees toe the company line, but dogma aside, sometimes you have to cut people some slack, if for no other reason than it makes you look even worse than you already are.

    Many years ago, a priest said during a sermon that church isn’t a hotel for saints, but a hospital for sinners. The Bible says we all fall short of the glory of God, or in mid-century TV terms, we’ll all have some ‘splaining to do.

    I guess you have to nip female homosexuality in the hud, but tolerate pederasty until the lawsuits pile up.

    Oh, and Alex, props to your partner.

    1014 chars

  13. Maggie Jochild said on March 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Andrew Breitbart is dead. I am sorry for those who loved him and hoped he would find peace in this life.

    105 chars

  14. Julie Robinson said on March 1, 2012 at 9:42 am

    To me, the real sin here was committed by the priest, who failed to reach out to someone in pain. Instead of providing balm for that pain, he probably alienated her from the church forever.

    189 chars

  15. Maggie Jochild said on March 1, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I attended Friends Meeting the weekend after Matthew Shephard was murdered, and when one of the gay men in Meeting rose to speak, the hush was greater than usual. It was the only time I ever saw him rise to speak. In a choked voice, he said he had been struggling since the news of the murder, and finally had turned to reading the Midrash. He read an account of when the Hebrews fled Egypt, how the Red Sea parted to allow them through, but when Pharoah’s army vengefully pursued them, the waters closed over them and destroyed them. All the angels were watching these events unfold, and as the Hebrews were saved, they burst into jubilation, dancing. But then one angel noticed Yahweh was not celebrating, and in fact was weeping, and asked in dismay “Why are you not dancing at saving of our people?” Yahweh replied “How can I dance when my people are drowning?”

    He reduced many of us to tears with this story, and it changed me permanently. I am not a christian and only an uncomfortable deist, but I know the only way badly damaged people have ever changed, in my personal experience, is through love and forgiveness. It’s fine when I need to dance instead of forgive, I know that. Still, I reach for kindness when I can manage it, for my sake and that of those who love me.

    Tell them when they are wrong, clearly and forcefully. Let them know when they have injured you. And ask that their their ability to hurt others be interrupted, in a public forum. But do not celebrate their death or eventual degradation. I believe that for myself. (Except for Cheney and my older brother.)

    1608 chars

  16. coozledad said on March 1, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Mike Nesmith chimes in:
    “That Breitbart has stepped beyond my view doesn’t cause me the sadness that it does many of you,” he continued, “I won’t miss him, but I won’t abandon him to mortality. I will think of him as existing within the animating life that insures Wolf Blitzer. I will think of him and his family with that gentle regard in spite of all the contrary appearances on the mortal plane. Breitbart’s spirit and soul live in my heart, in Shirley Sherrod’s heart, and those who, with me, struggle to remember the good times, and the healing times, that could have been created for so many, including us. I have fond memories.

    Is that good enough?”

    670 chars

  17. Deborah said on March 1, 2012 at 10:01 am


    Divorcing or dead???

    Edit: oh I get it now

    64 chars

  18. Maggie Jochild said on March 1, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Excellent, Coozledad. Just excellent.

    38 chars

  19. adrianne said on March 1, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Regarding the idiot priest – the cardinal in charge of the D.C. Archdiocese has made it clear that “public shaming” of someone in denying them the sacraments is wrong, wrong, wrong. So not only is that jerk immoral on the face of his horrible act, he’s acting in defiance of his cardinal.

    288 chars

  20. Little Bird said on March 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

    A few years ago at a cousins wedding, the family refused communion to one of the guests. She was informed ahead of time of the reason. Which was the ceremony was in a Lutheran church (Missouri Synod) and she was baptized Baptist. Technically, according to doctrine they were in the right. So since then I have refused to partake in communion when at church with them on the grounds that I can’t. I was baptized and confirmed in the ELCA. Drives ’em nuts. But they can’t complain, else air to being hypocrites.
    Refusing someone, anyone, communion, for any reason, is asking for a scene

    592 chars

  21. coozledad said on March 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Maggie: I’ve been trying to get Mike on the phone to work up a line of bereavement cards. He doesn’t return my calls.

    117 chars

  22. adrianne said on March 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Best comment so far on Breitbart’s death: Rick Santorum was “visibly shaken” when he learned of it this morning. No conservative blowhard to carry Rick’s water any more.

    169 chars

  23. Scout said on March 1, 2012 at 11:07 am

    All of this political partisan moralizing and wearing of religion on sleeves crap that has become the centerpiece story of practically every news cycle is getting old fast. It is unforgivable that someone suffering the loss of her Mother should have been treated that way. I truly doubt Jesus approves of this. While there is always a certain faction who will applaud the “convictions” of someone who behaved this way, in the long run religion is the loser as most sentient beings will abhor this kind of inhumanity.

    Interesting thing about the passing of Breitbart was that nobody believed it until UCLA Med Center confirmed. That being said, he was really young and I feel sympathy for his family as they suffer the loss.

    727 chars

  24. Icarus said on March 1, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The priest was a jerk. Don’t know which flavor of christianity this one was, but so many catholics take communion without having been to confession in decades. communion is supposed to be the body and blood of Jesus, who was a guy who went around telling people to be really nice to one another. Would someone like that really deny himself to any child of God? Methinks its about power, not policy.

    If anyone is really bored and wants to read my two rounds with a priest at my wedding, http://www.mysteries-of-life.com/2012/01/losing-battle-but-winning-war.html

    PS: if its not cool to self-promote, please delete the comment

    635 chars

  25. Malvolio said on March 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    If I were this Guarnizo jackass, I’d get ready for a pink slip. The Cardinal that is his boss is obviously disgusted with his outrageous behavior. If the jerk had such moral misgivings, he should have arranged for the parish pastor, Fr. LaHood to officiate at the funeral Mass. If I’d have been in that Communion line, I would have returned to my seat ostentatiously. In the Catholic Church, there is the Sacrament of Penance.

    643 chars

  26. beb said on March 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I was shocked by the death of Andrew Breitbart, (from natural causes as 43?) but can’t work up any sympathy for him. He was the scum left behind after you wiped up the santorum. He was the vile of Karl Rove. He practised such a hurtful and deliberate form of lying that they’re going to have to dig a new level of hell just for him.

    332 chars

  27. Deborah said on March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Ok, a bit of levity, off topic: I’m a graphic designer and I like cats so this was perfect for me (purr-fect): http://www.buzzfeed.com/animals/cats-as-fonts

    156 chars

  28. Malvolio said on March 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    The Breitbart story reminds me of Lee Atwater and his alleged deathbed conversion (Apparently Atwater was scared incontinent of eternity in Gehenna.) Breitbart is a product of Atwater’s brand of post-nuclear politics, a spiritual descendant without the evil power, and Atwater is the wraith conjured every time some GOPer hagiographer invokes the great Raygun Morning in America, when everything in America turned to shit. It’s not far from Atwater and Willie Horton to the Breitbart/O’Keefe war on ACORN and the Great Black Panther Scare of 2008.

    I meant to share this the other day for the birthday cake discussion. PC or no PC, I think Our Gang was a fracking riot.

    889 chars

  29. Sherri said on March 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I’ll have more respect for Catholic priests denying communion to folks when they deny it to Scalia, Thomas, and the other Catholics on the Court who never saw a death penalty case they thought worth overturning.

    211 chars

  30. Icarus said on March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    whoops, re=read and see that it was a Catholic priest. Also found this follow up on it


    189 chars

  31. Julie Robinson said on March 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Beb wins the thread early! The scum after the santorum–priceless.

    Deborah, I have to pass that along to all the cat lovers in my life. Have you seen the Japanese cat Maru on youtube?

    186 chars

  32. LAMary said on March 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Speaking of cats, I love this video.


    110 chars

  33. Bitter Scribe said on March 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I’m sorry for Breitbart’s family and friends. But considering how pissed-off he looked in every picture and video I’ve ever seen of him, maybe he will, per Mark Twain, have a better time in the graveyard.

    208 chars

  34. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    No one should die at 43, but look at the sad and sorry legacy Andrew Breitbart leaves behind and it’s tough to find a deep well of sympathy. He was a nasty, brutish, vicious man whose ideological jihads were always aimed at minorities. ACORN no longer exists because of him and his protege, the weaselly James O’Keefe, and now Shirley Sherrod will not get the satisfaction of seeing him brought down by his deceptively edited video depicting her as a racist.

    He was a minor player, yeah, but thanks to the rightwing noise machine, he did a lot of damage to people who did not deserve it. He’ll be eulogized as a warrior fighting for his cause, but he was the worst kind of coward.

    683 chars

  35. Malvolio said on March 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    The Blunt amendment expired by being tabled in the Senate:


    Olympia Snow proobably felt unbound voting against the odious measure.

    Meanwhile, Manchin, Casey, and, naturally, Ben Nelson voted for it.

    Koch Bros. Konspiracy is suing the Cato Institute. The Cato Institute is incredibly misnamed, misappropriating the 18th Century publication Cato’s Letters, intended to promote the ideas of John Locke.

    728 chars

  36. Jolene said on March 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I give Casey a break on this, as he has been a pro-life Catholic all along, but generally supports the president. Nelson and, especially, Manchin, though, are the two most useless people in the Senate. Seems like every time I look up I see Joe Manchin on TV explaining wht he is against the Democratic position on any given issue. If he is going to vote like a Republican, why doesn’t he just become one?

    404 chars

  37. Malvolio said on March 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I wouldn’t give Casey any leeway on this at all, Jolene, because the Blunt Amendment was far more of a frontal attack on ACA than anything to do with pro-life issues.

    166 chars

  38. Bitter Scribe said on March 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    That WaPo site that Malvolio/Caliban linked to makes a big deal about how they corrected themselves to say Cato is “libertarian,” not “conservative.” That’s the most unneccessary correction since the Chicago Sun-Times apologized for running Wednesday’s horoscope on Tuesday.

    286 chars

  39. Malvolio said on March 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Obama UAW speech excerpt, for anyone that hasn’t seen it.

    Locke was no libertarian, in the current sense. He was actually the first postulant of what we now consider small r republicanism as a viable means for people to govern thehmselves. His masterwork Two Treatises of Civil Government bears no kinship nor resemblance to the Norquist Drown it in the bathtub libertarian approach (which in my opinion is thinly diguised greedy nihilism). These people are aiming for a nasty brutish and short life in a Hobbesian world for their serfs, in which they acquire wealth by unbridled means and machinations to the detriment of their fellow citizens. Locke’s ghost could be Marley to these bastard’s Scrooge. And when they cloak their bloody-fanged avarice in Christian garments, they do worse damage to the words and spirit of thir Lord and Savior.

    1014 chars

  40. JWfromNJ said on March 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I’m going to take an unpopular stand here. I also think this is a classy enough group that we can have an intelligent disagreement without a typical internet flame war.

    The priest was within his rights and following church doctrine to deny her communion. Was it poor timing, yes, but not as bad timing as refusing her at the altar. She didn’t do herself any favors by throwing down the gauntlet and introducing her partner (as such).

    I have always been a staunch supporter of gay rights, gay marriage, and most of all equal protection under the law. None of those things apply in a Roman Catholic church. I “served” in Catholic school from 1st grade until 11th grade. It wasn’t uncommon to see people discreetly sit out communion. I also know that one church can be very different from another, same for the priests.
    A former priest of mine used to use the term, “cafeteria Catholicism,” for people who would cherry pick what rules to follow, and plenty of Catholics vote that way also. I also know people who would shop priests – the one who baptized my children wasn’t from my parent’s parish. This was her mother’s church and priest. Why push the limits on that day?

    She had to have some respect for the distinctions the Catholic church makes about communion – their belief is it’s the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. That may not have stopped my Lutheran wife from taking communion in our church, but it was her choice. She also didn’t walk in and announce she wasn’t a Catholic in good standing. And leave Newt and wife 3 out of this. My aunt was denied communion for being divorced in the 1970’s – she changed parishes and eventually religions. I was also raised to believe communion in Protestant settings was at best symbolic and at worst totally invalid. It was my choice to partake or not when attending my in-laws church, but my choice was and is personal.
    It may be that an Episcopal church would be a more welcoming fit for her – but she knew the ground rules going in. Not every Catholic church would treat her that way and I would hope that if she is a devout Catholic she has a comfortable place of worship that values her, or at least recognizes her footing.
    It may be that an Episcopal church would be a more welcoming fit for her – but she knew the ground rules going in. I wouldn’t bring a sack of cheeseburgers to my good friend’s house for Shabbat.

    2435 chars

  41. Ralph Hitchens said on March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    That story in the Post shocked and dismayed me. The Catholic Church has some ‘splainin to do.

    Re. Elmore Leonard’s film adaptations, “Get Shorty” was most definitely a fine, very funny movie, in my opinion. (Also shows that one can be a Scientologist and also an outstanding actor!)

    287 chars

  42. Kaye said on March 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    JW, I respect your position and agree with some points. However, Icarus’s link at #30 points out Fr Guarnizo had several earlier, less public, opportunities to take action and failed to do so. It was nice to learn others stepped in to offer communion and to perform the graveside service.

    290 chars

  43. Sue said on March 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    JW, my understanding is that he did deny her communion at the altar. Also left the altar when she got up to deliver the eulogy. Also took off without staying for the graveside service and left the funeral director scrambling to find a replacement.
    I think I disagree with you that he was within his ‘rights’, if we both agree he is serving as Christ’s representative on Earth.

    379 chars

  44. James said on March 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm


    Why was introducing her lover provocative? Is there something wrong with that? Shouldn’t we be mature enough to accept that people love in different ways?

    Is your argument that homosexualality is against church doctrine, so he was in hs rights to deny her communion? Is that what the Church has become, a petty system where people use rules nd regulations to deny solace for their fellow humans?

    To paraphrase the bible: Jesus puked.

    452 chars

  45. Deborah said on March 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    JW, I guess the way I would look at it is the woman may have been partaking of communion out of respect to her mother, because her mother would (may) have wanted her to do that. For the priest to publicly do what he did is inexcusable. He should have said something about it when he met the woman beforehand. He could have taken her aside then and told her what his views were so she wouldn’t have had to go through that publicly. There would have been so many other ways to handle it than the way he did it.

    508 chars

  46. JWfromNJ said on March 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Ok, the article linked to from the Washington Post read differently than the one I read yesterday on MSNBC and one from the AP that said he had informed her prior to ther service that she could not receive communion and also detailed a disagreement over the family’s desire to have two eulogies. Given what is stated in the Post alone I am incorrect, but if it was discussed prior to services I stand by my earlier remarks.
    And please don’t think I endorse or support the church’s doctrine or this priest’s action as an individual. I know where I stand as a person, how I choose to worship (or not). In secular and civic matters I am a huge supporter of equal protection and equal rights. I also know those things cease at the door of many churches and organizations.

    768 chars

  47. Jakash said on March 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    If this priest also denies communion to every heterosexual couple that he knows that live together, perhaps he would have a point. At least he’d be consistent. If the number of people in a Catholic Church on any given Sunday who are not technically allowed to receive communion that day isn’t substantial, I’d be surprised. Anyone who missed Mass the previous Sunday and has not confessed that sin is technically not supposed to receive communion. (Or at least that’s the way it used to be — Malvolio can correct me if I’m wrong.)

    Regardless of the communion issue, there is NO justification for leaving during the eulogy or refusing to preside at the cemetery.

    At any rate, JWfromNJ, even the Archdiocese has evidently said that the priest was wrong, according to its standards. That’s not good enough for you?

    823 chars

  48. Malvolio said on March 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    JW: Mebbe so. But the priest had no conceivable way of knowing whether or not Ms. Johnson was at that moment in a state of Grace. It was not his place to assume that she had not been in a Confessional and had her “sins” forgiven. I was taught in theology classes and, earlier, in catechism, that the act of receiving the Eucharist was in itself an act of atonement for sins. It is not and has never been a Mass celebrant’s perogative to make spot judgements about which Communicants are in a proper state of grace to receive the Sacrament.

    It also appears from other incidents that Guarnizo is an attention-craver of the sociopathic narcissist sort. He’s got the “lack of empathy” component down pat. No basic human decency, which is a large part of following Jesus’ teaching. The clergyman FUBARed his job badly enough to get his ass fired. Whenever I see some rightwing zealot cleric pull unChristian shit like this, I think about J2P2 forcing Robert Drinan, S.J. to retire from Congress and it pisses me off, and embarrasses me in my committed Catholicism. I could as well have accused the priest on the spot of sinning in his actions toward the bereaved woman, and insisted that he put down the consecrated hosts and wine. Citizens arrest by Canon Law. Edit: I’m thinking of John 8:7.

    Ralph: Well, Minority Report proved Scientologists can act, too. I liked Get Shorty a great deal, in large part because of Delroy Lindo (who I’ll watch in anything), Gandolfini, Hackman, Dennis Farina, John Gries (from back in the days of The Pretender), DeVito, and Ms. Russo. I mean, what a great cast. Seriously, Elmore Leonard fans that don’t make time for Justified are missing something extremely enjoyable. The dialogue is characterized by Leonardian language of the arch, kinda formal, King James flavor Mr. Leonard writes for his villains. And practically everybody in Justified is a villain of some sort and degree. Timothy Olyphant is outstanding as Marshall Raylan Givens, and Walter Goggins is better as Boyd Crowder than he was as Shane in The Shield. Any Justified neophyte should at least go back to the last season to get into it, so as not to miss Margo Martindale as the supremely diabolical Mags Bennett.

    2264 chars

  49. Little Bird said on March 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I haven’t figured out how to link using my phone, but I just read two interesting articles (here I’m using the word interesting to mean you will be sputtering mad by the time you’re done reading them) over at the daily what.
    The first one is about Rush and his woman hating, and the second is about a school principal that bullies her gay students.
    I figured if anyone could dialog about either topic, it would be this group.

    427 chars

  50. JWfromNJ said on March 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    @Little Bird – we’re equally adept an topical and off-topic discussions here

    76 chars

  51. Malvolio said on March 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    When I was just a little Catholic hundreds of years ago, I despised going to Confession, because it seemed to me to be something better handled by prayer, and it was medieval. Any way, the nuns would march us all from School to Church every Friday pm and we’d confess our sins. What those may have been for a bunch of normal 3rd graders you may imagine on your own. My parents usually went Saturday pm to do Penance. It dawned on me that I could tell Sister Baby Huey I went with my parents on Saturdays, and tell my parents I had gone on Friday with my schoolmates. Last time I entered a confessional, and never got caught. My objection, as young as I was, was theological in essence and also my finding no scriptural support for Penance. When Jesus heals the sick and lame in the NT, He never asks anybody to catalog their transgressions. He bids them to repent and be saved. I think I share this objection with Martin Luther. Since college and as an adult, I have always had friends that were priests with whom I could share a brewski and discuss my recent failings, which seems a civilized way to deal with Penance.

    Here are links Little Bird:


    Jabba Limbo called Sandra Fluke, the witness Arson Issa turned away, a slut on the radio.

    And the principal that told a student assembly that anyone of them that was gay or preggers was going to hell:


    It’s TN, she’ll keep her job.

    1584 chars

  52. moe99 said on March 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm


    I’m surprised no one has jumped on this piece of shit federal judge.

    234 chars

  53. beb said on March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Moe, I did mention the judge in passing in my post @8. I was more outraged at the thought no one at MF Global is going to be prosecuted. I guess I was feeling blase’ because this is hardly the first high official to pass around racist anti-Obama “humor.”

    254 chars

  54. JWfromNJ said on March 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    How are you doing Moe?

    22 chars

  55. Little Bird said on March 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    The principal resigned!!!!

    26 chars

  56. brian stouder said on March 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Moe – agreed about the judge. And indeed, as folks pointed out upthread, Uncle Rush using his mid-day radio show (and the public airwaves) to attack that 24 year old college student as a “slut” for two days in a row genuinely puzzles me.

    I really cannot see the up-side for the Republicans in congress, for promoting birth control thing as a “national issue”; if things were done rationally, the Republicans in congress would condemn that malevolent lip-flapper and move on – rather than taking up the Rubio-Blunt amendment. And what will happen tomorrow? Will the Republicans in the House condemn (or even distance themselves) from the blathering of that Viagra-popping (on a fraudulent prescription, no less; but only when vacationing in the Domincan Republic!), Oxycontin-snarfing, black-hearted, spineless coward?

    Or – will they continue this stampede over the ideological cliff like the lemmings they appear to be? If there is no difference between the House Republicans and that ridiculous rabble-rouser on the radio, then one begins to wonder what the real difference is between the domestic politics within the US and, say, a theocracy like Saudi Arabia (or for that matter, Iran).

    The sheer deafening pitch of the rapidly expanding misogyny within the Republican party is genuinely stunning. How does this pay off? Those people have pollsters and all the rest; can they not see that more women than men VOTE? Do they not understand that they already do poorly with women voters, and they stand to do a lot worse? Is this some sort of a political suicide pact that they’re acting out, wherein they know they’re going to lose, but they want maximum “purity” when they do?

    Aside from all that – it is good to see you posting, Moe.

    edit – Little Bird, well – I’ll take it! It would have been more satisfying if the principal had been sacked (with alacrity), but – good enough.

    1903 chars

  57. Sue said on March 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I saw the clip of Rush talking about the sex tapes. Did any of you watch it? Did you notice his face?

    118 chars

  58. Linda said on March 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Jeez Louise, does anybody who took off to the Dominican Republic with somebody else’s Viagra scrip (WHEN HE WAS SINGLE) have the brass balls to call anybody else a slut? Maybe he’s just jealous that somebody else will have their sex-enabling scrips paid for by their insurer. And in their own name!

    300 chars

  59. JWfromNJ said on March 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    There was a bomb scare at Rush’s place in Palm Beach today. It turned out to be a “business opportunity,” but I was thinking it was the Canadian mail order Oxycontin delivery a few days early.

    192 chars