Fr. Guarnizo speaks March 15, 2012Posted by tantamergo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, horror, persecution, priests, scandals, sickness, Society.
Finally, after weeks of being pummeled from all sides, Fr. Guarnizo speaks. He is charged with committing some breach of priestly etiquette, and with being “intimidating,” when he denied allowing a woman to commit the gravest of sacrileges – receiving the Blessed Sacrament unworthily:
I would like to begin by once again sending my condolences to the Johnson family on the death of Mrs. Loetta Johnson.
I also feel obliged to answer questions from my parishioners, as well as from the public, about the incident on February 25th.
Here are the facts: On Saturday February 25th I showed up to officiate at a funeral Mass for Mrs. Loetta Johnson. The arrangements for the Mass were also not my own. I wish to clarify that Ms. Barbara Johnson (the woman who has since complained to the press), has never been a parishioner of mine. In fact I had never met her or her family until that morning.
The funeral celebration was to commence at 10:30a.m. From 9:30 to 10:20, I was assigned to hear confessions for the parish and anyone in the funeral party who would have chosen to receive the sacrament.
A few minutes before the Mass began, Ms. Johnson came into the sacristy with another woman whom she announced as her “lover”. Her revelation was completely unsolicited. As I attempted to follow Ms.Johnson, her lover stood in our narrow sacristy physically blocking my pathway to the door. I politely asked her to move and she refused.
I understand and agree it is the policy of the Archdiocese to assume good faith when a Catholic presents himself for communion; like most priests I am not at all eager to withhold communion. But the ideal cannot always be achieved in life.
In the past ten days, many Catholics have referenced canon 915 in regard to this specific circumstance. There are other reasons for denying communion which neither meet the threshold of canon 915 or have any explicit connection to the discipline stated in that canon.
If a Quaker, a Lutheran or a Buddhist, desiring communion had introduced himself as such, before Mass, a priest would be obligated to withhold communion. If someone had shown up in my sacristy drunk, or high on drugs, no communion would have been possible either. If a Catholic, divorced and remarried (without an annulment) would make that known in my sacristy, they too according to Catholic doctrine, would be impeded from receiving communion. This has nothing to do with canon 915. Ms. Johnson’s circumstances are precisely one of those relations which impede her access to communion according to Catholic teaching. Ms. Johnson was a guest in our parish, not the arbitrer of how sacraments are dispensed in the Catholic Church. [If a priest somehow knows that someone is in a state of grave sin, such as by being told by that person directly!, he has the right and duty to prevent the abuse of the Blessed Sacrament. Canon Law is made for man, not the other way around. This issue does not hinge on what the Canon says. It hinges on Sacred Scripture and Tradition, which state directly that those who are in a state of sin commit an even graver sin by receiving Our Lord in that state. In a sense, WE (if we should be so foolish as to receive the Blessed Sacrament in a state of serious sin) re-crucify Christ when we receive Him so unworthily. Ed Peters can argue till he's blue in the face, and Phil Lawler can claim it's "not clear" if this woman was in a state of "public sin," but none of that matters. This priest took the truly charitable course to defend both the sanctity of the Eucharist AND the woman's soul. Turns out, she received from the EMHC right next to him. Good grief - I wish he had stopped that, too. This woman was spitting on Christ on the cross. Apparently, she grew up in a "devout" Catholic household]
In all of the above circumstances, I would have been placed in a similar uncomfortable position. Under these circumstances, I quietly withheld communion, so quietly that even the Eucharistic Minister standing four feet from me was not aware I had done so. (In fact Ms. Johnson promptly chose to go to the Eucharistic minister to receive communion and did so.) There was no scandal, no “public reprimand” and no small lecture as some have reported.
Details matter. Ms. Johnson was not kneeling when she approached for communion, she did not receive the cup as the press has reported she has stated. It is the policy of St. John Neumann parish never to distribute under both species during funerals.
During the two eulogies (nearly 25 minutes long), I quietly slipped for some minutes into the sacristy lavatory to recover from the migraine that was coming on. I never walked out on Mrs. Loetta Johnson’s funeral and the liturgy was carried out with the same reverence and care that I celebrate every Mass. I finished the Mass and accompanied the body of the deceased in formal procession to the hearse, which was headed to the cemetery. I am subject to occasional severe migraines, and because the pain at that point was becoming disabling, I communicated to our funeral director that I was incapacitated and he arranged one of my brother priests to be present at the cemetery to preside over the rite of burial. Furthermore as the testimony of the priest that was at the cemetery conveys, he was present when the Johnson family arrived, and in fact mentioned that being called to cover the burial rite is quite normal, as many priests for reasons much less significant than mine (rush hour traffic for example) do not make the voyage to the cemetery. He routinely covers for them. This change in plans, was also invisible to the rest of the entourage. Regrets and information about my incapacitating migraine were duly conveyed to the Johnson family.
I have thanked the funeral director and the priest at the burial site, for their assistance that day. Mrs. Loetta Johnson was properly buried with every witness and ceremony a Catholic funeral can offer. I did not and would not refuse to accompany Barbara Johnson and her mother to the cemetery because she is gay or lives with a woman. I did not in any way seek to dishonor Mrs. Johnson’s memory, and my homily at the funeral should have made that quite evident to all in the pews, including the Johnson family.
I would like to extend again to Ms. Johnson and her family, my sincerest condolences on her mother’s death. I would never intentionally want or seek to embarrass anyone publicly or increase anyone’s emotional distress during such a difficult time. I did not seek or contrive these circumstances.
But I am going to defend my conduct in these instances, because what happened I believe contains a warning to the church. Such circumstances can and will be repeated multiple times over if the local church does not make clear to all Catholics that openly confessing sin is something one does to a priest in the confessional, not minutes before the Mass in which the Holy Eucharist is given.
I am confident that my own view, that I did the only thing a faithful Catholic priest could do in such an awkward situation, quietly, with no intention to hurt or embarrass, will be upheld.
Otherwise any priest could-and many will-face the cruelest crisis of conscience that can be imposed. It seems to me, the lack of clarity on this most basic issue puts at risk other priests who wish to serve theCatholic Church in Washington D.C.
As to the latest allegations, I feel obliged to alleviate unnecessary suffering for the faithful at St. John Neumann and others who are following the case.
I wish to state that in conversation with Bishop Barry Knestout on the morning of March 13, he made it very clear that the whole of the case regarding the allegations of “intimidation” are circumscribed to two conversations; one with the funeral director and the other with a parish staff member present at the funeral. These conversations took place on March 7th and 8th, one day before the archdiocese’s latest decision to withdraw faculties (not suspend, since Cardinal Wuerl is not my bishop) on the 9th of March. I am fully aware of both meetings. And indeed contrary to the statement read on Sunday March 11th during all Masses at St. John Neumann, both instances have everything to do with the Eucharistic incident. There is no hidden other sin or “intimidation” allegations that they are working on, outside of these two meetings. The meetings in question, occurred in our effort to document from people at the funeral Mass in written form a few facts about the nature of the incident. We have collected more than a few testimonies and affidavits, testifying to what really took place during the funeral liturgy.
My personal conversation with both parties in question were in my view civil, professional and in no way hostile. I respect both individuals in question and really do not know the nature of their grievance.
On March 13, I asked Bishop Knestout about detail on this matter but he stated that he was not at liberty to discuss the matter. I would only add for the record, that the letter removing me from pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Washington, was already signed and sealed and on the table when I met with Bishop Knestout on March 9, even before he asked me the first question about the alleged clash.
In the days to come I look forward to addressing any confusion about the above conversations if the Archdiocese or the persons involved wish to talk about it publicly or privately.
I am grateful for all the good wishes and prayers I have received. And sincerely, having lost my own mother not long ago, I again extend my condolences to the Johnson family. I finally wish for the good of the Universal Church, the archdiocese, my parish and the peace of friends and strangers around the world, that the archdiocese would cease resolving what they call internal personnel matters of which they cannot speak, through the public media.
I remain my bishop’s and my Church’s, and above all Christ Jesus’obedient servant,
Very truly yours,
Father Marcel Guarnizo.
A few things I should have noted previously. Fr. Guarnizo is not a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. He
has had faculties there, but he was not of that diocese. He “belongs” to the Diocese of Moscow, Russia. Where, incredibly, he would probably get much more just and respectful treatment. So there is no suspension, for the Archdiocese of DC has no right to suspend him. They simply pulled his faculties. Fr. Guarnizo would be much better off elsewhere, anyways.
Two videos of Fr. Guarnizo in action:
A sermon on abortion, communism, and the entire attack on the left on our most important institutions:
As I’ve said before, a message has been sent, at least in Washington, DC, and likely far beyond. Don’t ever deny the Blessed Sacrament to anyone.
What this election means March 15, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, sickness, Society.
From an unexpected source, a major Hollywood producer, an essay on what this election means. We are at a cross-roads; either we elect someone else, and strive to return to the principles on which this country was founded and has operated for over two centuries, or we re-elect this terrible man and continue the long slide into the abyss:
My fellow patriots,
As we sit in our comfort-laden abodes, sipping our lattes or pink lemonades and either wishing the snow would be gone for another year or baseball season would start so there was something interesting to do, the world continues to move forward. But as we seek other interests, we are not listening to the sounds emanating from the world around us. If you would listen carefully you would recognize the woeful sounds of America gasping for its very breath of life and its inner soul.
Yes, the sounds are there. We just don’t listen. We only hear (or see) what we want. As the country gasps for clarity of purpose, we the people figure someone or something else will come along and fix the problems for us. I don’t think so. The warning signs have been there for a long time. A very long time. It is my humble opinion that, during these turbulent times, we find ourselves in the dilemma of our lifetimes. As a country we have been either asleep or just too comfortable in our own cocoons to realize the depth of our plight.
An event took place in 2008 that changed the world we live in. It changed the face of America, it changed the direction of our moral values, it changed how we view the future and how we see ourselves as human beings and it changed the make up of our basic freedoms that we so irreverently tossed aside for entitlement freebies and empty promises by the engineers at the helm.
Thus, I have some questions; As we sit at the precipice of financial collapse from debt and entitlements, how much time do we have? Can we reverse course? What can we as individuals do? Who best to bring us back from the brink? Or are we too late?
The latter question first … are we too late? No. Not really. That is the one thing we do as Americans … once awakened from a slumber and the realization sinks in that we are in a pot of dirty soup up to our noses and some bunch of dirt bags are throwing in more slop to hopefully drown us in our own spittle, we fight. We fight hard and will win in the end because we always have.
It’s in our DNA. The sad part is we have to get to the point of losing everything before we stand tall and state unequivocally, “No more. Stop the madness. Stop it now!” [Is it still "in our DNA?" I'm not so certain. Many decades of wealth transfer schemes and creeping socialism have had a telling effect. We don't have the same moral fiber and willingness to work we once did, collectively. Certainly, many do, but not nearly so many as just a short time ago]
The event I speak of, of course, was the presidential election of 2008. We put a man in office, a man not really qualified to be a dog catcher, much less the most powerful man in the world. We refused to listen to what he was saying. We missed the first gasp of incredulity when he promised to transform America. Oh, we bought into the cliched slogans of “hope and change.” We liked his smile, his ability to read from a teleprompter, his super-friendly demeanor and his charismatic oratorical skills. Yeah, we jumped in with both feet thinking the country would show the world we had found our mojo and racism was gone forever.
Once again, our ears failed us. Our eyes failed us. We failed to hear that horrific sucking sound of our falling into the vortex of calm voices pushing us ever so gently but with assured and deft platitudes, into the hell of our own making.
We found that the dreaded four-letter word that could burn the eardrums of a sweet mother or even a hard-hearted father did not start with the letter ‘F.’ No, no … that would have been too simple. There are worse four-letter words that not only burn the eardrums but they singe the soul. They change life as we know it. They create an environment of hell on earth. And alas, sometimes they come wrapped in the promises of easy living, free lunches forever and fun times at the social picnic. But as the wrappings are peeled away and truth is revealed, and we see the four-letter words that imprison us with our own trappings. They become clear and defined. They are “fear and envy” and the worst four letter word of all, “hate.”
Hate fuels the fear, the envy, and we bind ourselves to the adversary by falling into the trap of each of them. We can never lose our awareness that those who perpetrate the lie and the hate by using their best tools of fear and envy and class warfare are alive and well and doing their very best to take our basic freedoms away from us. The word and its implications need to get lost from the lexicon of the American landscape. I realize that will be hard for the Left in America as it is what feeds their motivations and goals.
Another part of the ongoing dilemma is that the President surrounded himself with self-proclaimed Marxists, socialists, communists and progressives. Why? Is the answer that he embodies some or all of those ideological characteristics? I think so. Each of them arrived with an agenda to turn America into the vision of themselves and the despicable goal of changing America into a European style state of fear and class warfare. Sadly, we see it happening before our very eyes, but we refuse to stand up and make our presence and our voices known. That must change. We have to get involved. If we sit still for the usual emanations from Washington, D.C. and say nothing, do nothing, we will be nothing. Who to blame? Only ourselves. [It does feel that the fire, the great desire to do something and change things, that was present in the run-up to the 2010 election is missing. I think that is largely due to the fact that a bunch of Repubniks were elected (but not enough), and nothing has changed. Their leadership and effectiveness has been abysmal. The energy could not be sustained. See my previous comment[
Now we are confronted with the possibility of changing the mistake the country made in putting Obama in the highest office in the land by electing a new POTUS. But will we? Will the majority fall on their faces while groveling at the feet of the feed-lot proprietor? [Nice turn of phrase] Will our defenses be pushed aside by the desire to partake of the entitlements the proprietor doles out as temporary freebies and the empty promises of a better life if only we will give our souls and our minds to this false benefactor? Or will we stand up to the forces of promises of easy living and more and more entitlements? It won’t be easy, but it is necessary, or we won’t live in the America we grew up in.
There is still more at the link. Quite an impassioned plea. I share most of the opinions expressed above. But I am much less sanguine at the prospects of getting this guy out of office than I was 6 or 9 months ago. He’s a disaster, but there is such an awful obstacle to overcome in a media that is utterly, completely in the bag for this guy.
We must pray as we have not prayed before. We must also get active – doing things. We’re going to have to work and fight if we want to defend our rights. And especially the rights of the Church.
A couple of prayers for the family March 15, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, priests, religious, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
There is no element in our culture more under assault than the family. From no-fault divorces, to the re-definition of marriage, to infidelity, porn use (but I repeate myself), fornication, contraception, the very meaning of what it is to be a family has changed beyond recognition in the past few decades. Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, recognized this trend well before many others, and composed some prayers for families. The first – Crusade for the Family Prayer:
Mary, Mother of God, at your request, Jesus worked His first miracle. He changed water into wine for the wedding guests at Cana in Galilee.
Over the centuries you have not ceased to obtain countless signs and wonders for the poor, exiled children of Eve.
We therefore ask you to intercede with your Divine Son for the miraculous graces which the modern world so desperately needs:
- For the conversion and reconversion of whole nations to Jesus Christ and His teachings on marriage and the family.
- For the heroic preservation among Christains of their faith in the indissolubility of marriage, marital fidelity and the loving acceptance of children, as the bedrock of the Christian family.
- For the courage of martyrs in all of us followers of Christ, that we may witness to His power to overcome the powers of darkness that are bent on destroying the human family and the moral law.
Mary, Mother of the Holy Family, and Mother of our families, pray for us. Amen.
Next, Prayer to be said by parents on behalf of their children:
Lord God, who has called us to holy matrimony and has been pleased to render our union fruitful, thus making glad the sublime state of life wherein Thou hast placed us, by a certain likeness to Thine own infinite fruitfulness; we heartily recommend to Thee our dear children; we entrust them to Thy fatherly care and all-powerful protection, that they may grow daily in Thy holy fear, may lead a perfect Christian existence and may be a soruce fo consolation, not only to us who have given them life, but also and chiefly to Thee, who art their Creator.
Behold, O Lord, in what a world they must pass their lives; consider the cunning flatteries whereby the sons of men everywhere endeavor to deprave their minds and hearts with false doctrine and wicked example. Be watchful, O Lord, to help and defend them; grant us the Grace to be able to guide them aright in the paths of virtue and in the way of Thy Commandments, by the righteous pattern of our own life and practice, and our perfect observance of Thy holy law and that of our Holy Mother the Church; and in order that we may do so faithfully, make us certain of the great danger that awaits us at the hands of Thy Divine Justice. Nevertheless all our efforts will be unavailing, unless Thou, O Almighty and Merciful God, shalt make them fruitful by Thy heavenly blessing.
This Thy blessing, therefore, we humbly ask of Thee, from the bottom of our hearts, trusting in Thy great goodness and mercy hitherto shown unto us; we ask it for ourselves and for the children whom Thou hast been graciously pleased to give unto us. We dedicate them to Thee, O Lord, do Thou keep them as the apple of thine eye, and protect them under the shadow of Thy wings; do Thou make us worthy to come at last to Heaven, together with them, giving thanks unto Thee, our Father, for the loving care Thou has had of our entire family and praising Thee through endless ages. Amen.
As a personal aside, I will soon be putting down the excellent, wonderful, can’t recommend it enough Catholic Prayer Book by Fr. John Hardon. This book has been at my side since my conversion. I have loved it, and used it constantly, daily, for years. It is falling apart. But, I’ve been meaning to switch to Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance’s prayer book for some time, and plan to do so this week. I may use both, I’ll see. There are many prayers, especially regarding intentions for Mass, that I dearly love in Fr. Hardon’s book. I need to get into Fr. Lasance’s book and see how it works, especially for Mass. But if anyone wants a general Catholic prayer book, a book to use every day, I cannot recommend Fr. Hardon’s Catholic Prayer Book enough.
UN consultant – ban Dante’s Divine Comedy from schools March 15, 2012Posted by tantamergo in Dallas Diocese, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Liturgy, persecution, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
After all, we don’t want the little secular pagans we’re growing to be reminded of eternal Truth, or anything that might repudiate the cultural mores of the self-anointed elite:
Dante’s Divine Comedy should be banned from schools as a racist and Islamophobic text rather than esteemed as one of the greatest achievements of Western poetry, according to a human rights organization that acts as a consultant for the United Nations.
“We do not advocate censorship or the burning of books, but we would like it acknowledged, clearly and unambiguously, that in the Divine Comedy there is racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic content,” said Valentina Sereni, president of Gherush92, according to the Telegraph. “The Prophet Mohammed was subjected to a horrific punishment – his body was split from end to end so that his entrails dangled out, an image that offends Islamic culture,” Sereni also said.
Well, we certainly don’t want to offend muslims! They might blow something up, or behead someone! But Christians – they’re fun to persecute! They never fight back!
When I wrote sometime back that islam is becoming the de facto state religion in much of the formerly Christian west, some disagreed. But nature abhors a vacuum. Secular paganism will not appeal to many, if not most people. Something will replace it. And the cultural elites are so terrified of the moral certitude and willingness to die for their beliefs held by some extremist muslims, that they are willing to toss all their purported desire to remove religion from the public square aside when it comes to islam. And so what we have is a dual-natured phenomenon, where, yes, sexular paganism (not mispelled) is the “religion” of the elites and Christianity is overtly persecuted, but at the same time islam is given special treatment and the sensitivities of the followers of the false prophet mohammad catered to, due to the reflexive cowardice of the culture and its elites. It’s incredible to watch, the Orwellian double-think in action, as those who purport to hate religion (but really, just observant Christianity) and want a totally secular society cater to a specific religion and give it special privileges.
As Ace said – this is “cultural diversity:” leftist paganism and islam.
And Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?”