Funerals are supposed to be a time of fellowship and celebration, where people gather together to mourn the loss and/or celebrate the life of a loved one. They’re a time for the community to give comfort, consolation, and hope to each other and to the family of the deceased, especially to the immediate family, where the loss is often most sorely felt.

Unfortunately, for some in the Catholic Church, that doesn’t apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who refuse to submit to celibacy as Catholic teaching (ridiculously, insultingly, delusionally, hypocritically, etc.) demands.

Check this out, via David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement:

A lesbian who was attending her mother’s funeral was denied communion by the attending priest because she is a lesbian, according to reports out of Maryland, the state that just passed a marriage equality bill into law. The priest reportedly denied the woman communion, then exited in the middle of the funeral, and claimed he was too ill to go to the cemetery to deliver the final blessings.

“I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church,” the priest, Father Marcel Guarnizo, a Vicar at Saint John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, reportedly said to the woman, identified only as “Barbara…”

Then, according to the original post authored by Ann Werner, a friend of Barbara’s:

To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick.

Because burying one’s mother isn’t difficult enough. . .

As I’ve pointed out before, communion — known as the Eucharist to Catholics — is sacred to LGBT and non-LGBT Catholics alike, who believe it to be the body of Christ. To use it as a weapon of punishment against LGBT people who have the courage to live and love openly and true to themselves is nothing short of reprehensible. And to do so to the daughter of a deceased woman at her mother’s funeral?!? Words simply cannot convey the depth of my disgust.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t remember Jesus ever turning anyone away. I guess “Father” Marcel Guarnizo must just think he knows better than the teacher he purports to serve.