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Priest Defends Decision To Deny Communion To Grieving Lesbian

3/16/2012 11:50 AM ET

A suspended Maryland priest has defended his decision to deny a lesbian communion during her mother's funeral last month.

Father Marcel Guarnizo released a statement to CNSNews.com, breaking his silence for the first time since the Feb. 25 at a Gaithersburg church.

"I am confident that my own view," he said, "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."

Guarnizo was suspended after he denied the sacrament of communion to Barbara Johnson, who was accompanied by her partner for the funeral of her mother, Loretta. Guarnizo said Johnson introduced the woman as her lover, something Johnson denies.

"I never introduced him to my partner," she said. "I was a woman grieving the loss of her mother. I did not bring this on anyone. I have never been denied communion in my life."

by RTT Staff Writer

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