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March 2nd, 2012
09:08 AM ET

Lesbian: 'Denied communion' at mom's funeral

(CNN)–CNN's Brooke Baldwin spoke to Barbara Johnson who says a priest denied her communion at her mother's funeral Mass at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland because she is a lesbian.

In response to Johnson's story going public the Archdioceses of Washington responded saying in a statement to CNN:

In matters of faith and morals, the Church has the responsibility of teaching and of bringing the light of the Gospel message to the circumstances of our day. When questions arise about whether or not an individual should present themselves for communion, it is not the policy of the Archdiocese of Washington to publicly reprimand the person. Any issues regarding the suitability of an individual to receive communion should be addressed by the priest with that person in a private, pastoral setting.

The archdiocese is looking into the incident at a funeral Mass that was celebrated by Fr. Marcel Guarnizo and will handle this as a personnel issue.

Read more about the story from CNN Affiliate WUSA.

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Content Partner • Homosexuality • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (413 Responses)
  1. LeeCMH

    Quote your holy scripture all day. I think the hateful Christian was mad at the fact that the Maryland legislature had just passed a gay marriage bill – in favor of gays. He spewed his demon venom on the closest victim of hate at hand.

    March 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Probably true.

      It must be frustrating for them to see the "status quo" shifting!

      For centuries their word was gospel, and to question their behavior was blasphemy.

      Now, they are starting to be held accountable, and they do NOT like it!

      March 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Masquer08er

      2000 years – no change in the rule. If a priest is not sure, he will administer the sacrament. What do you think about using your mother's death to make a point, though? This was an "in your face" dare to the church. They responded with consistency. They did what EVERYONE knew they would do.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      The priest committed a sin, by his own standards, by judging this lady. If there is a god, he is in trouble. god would not approve. And if he does, he is not worth worshiping.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Masquer08er

      "Not judging" refers to the disposition of the soul (what happens when you die). Christians (and anyone) SHOULD judge peoples behaviors. Many do not nderstand this concept. The idea procludes Catholics (for example) for saying anyone in particular is doomed to hell. That is for God to judge. We can, however, judge a person as not being in communion with the Church when they are publicly advocating abortions or involved in an continuing openly gay relationship.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  2. Masquer08er

    Its not like this is a new policy (it is 2000 years old). Why is this news? Why would you even GO to Catholic communion if you are a lesbian. I bet she hadn't been to confession either, which is required before communion. I have been to church services for (very)close relatives where my beliefs and theirs differ. I tried to be tolerant and respectful and did not participate in their communion service because I was not in communion with their beliefs. I think this "news" is someone trying to stir up trouble.

    March 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Is pointing out roaches in a restaurants kitchen stirring up trouble? Drawing attention to the action of bigots and holding them up for public ridicule is a requirement of all free people.

      Why do you think the church itself is back pedaling?

      They realize their special status and the benefits associated with it are at risk.

      Non Profits who want tax exempt status are forbidden from discriminatory actions, and I suspect this qualifies.

      It is a place of PUBLIC accommodation, and if it fails to conduct itself accordingly, it must be subject to civil penalties.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      I know priests who knowingly give communion to people who are in homosexual relationships. It's not like there is a hard and fast rule here. I also know priests who knowingly give communion to people that the RCC would technically consider adulterers. I'm willing to bet that some priests even knowingly give communion to women who *gasp* user birth control.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " I'm willing to bet that some priests even knowingly give communion to women who *gasp* user birth control."

      Well, considering that 90% or more of Catholic adults use or have used birth control, there should be very few adults in the communion line.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  3. Bo

    What about all those pedophile priests, do they get to take communion?

    March 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually, they GIVE it.

      It seems they want to pitch, and the altar boys much catch.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • RogerThat

      Yes they do as matter of fact. There is big difference though. Every time after they molest a child they repent. They never take communion without repenting first.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  4. jimtanker

    "According to Alnetonae, the ancient Brahmins had a kind of Eucharist called "prajadam." And the same writer informs us that the ancient Peruvians, "after sacrificing a lamb, mingled his blood with flour, and distributed it among the people." Writers on Grecian mythology relate that Ceres, the goddess of corn, gave her flesh to eat, and that Bacchus, the God of wine, gave blood to drink."

    All of this was MANY years before the year 1CE.

    March 2, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  5. Sue

    Just one more case of malfeasance by a powerholder in religion. It's high time to deny religion any place in our society. Enough with the silly Christian fairy tales and rituals already, including the bloody vampire stuff ("communion").

    March 2, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • William Demuth

      I dig this lady!

      Militant is the new black!!

      March 2, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • jimtanker

      Not just vampirism but zombie cannibalism too.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • *facepalm*

      I've been to that church back in my believer days. They're more than a little wacky. I went once and never went back.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • William Demuth

      *facepalm*

      I was unaware you are a recovering theist!

      Congratulations on your escaping the cult!

      March 2, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Oh, I was quite the devout catholic for a while there, but that was some time ago. I haven't set foot inside a church outside of a wedding or funeral in many years.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  6. laura

    according to the catholic teachings there is but 1 judge! and the priest was in no position to judge her! shall we stone the youth who back talk their parents and cut off the hands of those that steal (laviticus) the church is losing site of the teachings of jesus and the foundation on which it was built!

    March 2, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • RogerThat

      I'm with you. They should have stoned her after the service.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • RogerThat

      It's all part of God's plan and his plan has a few stoning s every now and then.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • GodPot

      And yet it was your own Christ who said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

      I'm sure there are plenty of Christians who are still willing to go against their Lord's teachings and attack people they claim are their God's enemies when in fact they really are their own enemies and they are just using their Gods name to mask their vile hatred and wicked hearts.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • RogerThat

      And yet it was your own Christ who said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

      Well, actually Jesus never said that. Scribes inserted that parable into the Bible around the 11th century. Nobody said the Bible was perfect right? Okay, maybe someone has said that it's infallible. Anyway... I can pick and choose which verses I want to ignore.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  7. William Demuth

    This makes me laugh. Why do Christians hate the gay folk so much?

    Even a junior high school kid who might read the Bible would quickly begin to realize that Christ himself was gay.

    No Woman, lives with a bunch of other feminine men in “groups”, and hangs around with his brow beating mother who claims she is a virgin because his dad liked to work with other men’s wood, but apparently couldn't use his own with the ladies.

    Can any Christians offer any evidence that Christ himself was not gay?

    March 2, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    • Sorry, I'm still looking for proof that Jesus was not black.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • William Demuth

      @

      Nah, all those Latino statues have Jeebus with blue eyes, so he was definitely Aryan

      March 2, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Sue

      William, good points. I personally suspect Jesus went both ways. That's where he was really coming from with the "love everyone" stuff. Nothing divine about him but he was possibly like some of the ambidextrous rock stars of today, popular with groupies and other hangers-on of both sexes.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • William Demuth

      Sue

      Ah, a Iron Age David Bowie? Perhaps he did a "duet" with Budda?

      March 2, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Jonathan

      You are the one asserting a position. Hence it falls to you to provide the evidence that Jesus was 'gay'. Your 'evidence' is merely conjecture.

      We know these things about Jesus because they were written by eyewitnesses:

      1) Jesus was celibate. So if he was 'gay', he never acted on the impulses. He lead by example.
      2) Jesus spoke of marriage being between one man and one woman. His stance is undeniable.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • William Demuth

      Jonathan

      Silly boy! If it walks like a duck! Celibate in the Iron Age? HAHAHAHAHA

      No woman in his bed in a place where people had children at like 14?

      Your gaydar dosen't work well, so take some free advice.

      No showering with your clergy unless you have soap on a rope!

      March 2, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • GodPot

      "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved." John 13:23 King James

      "The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table." John 13:23 New Living Translation

      You can see how they are trying to whitewash anything that could even be remotely taken as "gay" from their book. Doesn't matter if it completely changes the meaning as long as it fits better into what they want their bible to tell them.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • RogerThat

      This makes me laugh. Why do Christians hate the gay folk so much?

      Because the Bible commands us to hate. So get off your high horse and do some hatin'.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • jimtanker

      I hate haters.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Nick Swardson

      Me too.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      jimtanker

      I hate people who hate haters.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Just Say'in

      @Jonathan
      You are the one asserting a position. Hence it falls to you to provide the evidence that Jesus was “real”. Your 'evidence' is merely conjecture.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • derp

      He was also a cross dresser who lived in the most nicely decorated cave on the block.

      And he drinks merlot.

      March 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Terri

      OPEN UP THE BIBLE AND READ AND RESEARCH YOU MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING

      March 7, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  8. Louise Lynch

    The priest should be repremanded. Who is he or anyone else to judge anyone. This women was a member of the Catholic Church. Shame on the priest, and he calls himself a godly figure??? I will take this a step further. Consider the same women and god forbid she would die and wanted to have her funeral in the same catholic church. How would this bigot handle the request and who would preside. My cousin is a catholic priest and he has presided at every family funeral and I would want him at mine – now I'm not too sure. My cousin the priest is very politially connected in the catholic church and is on an agressive career path. I'm not so sure he woudl deny me communion if given the choice. So, bury me, not sure. I can guarentee we are better catholics than most bigoted catholic priests. And oh, forgot something, I hear most caholic priests like little boys and spend alot of money covering that up.

    March 2, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Masquer08er

      By most, do you mean > 50%, or the actual 4% of the active 110,000 priest between 1950 and 1992. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/04/07/mean-men.html
      Any abuse is bad (I had to say that to preempt some juvenile attack). Just get your facts straight

      March 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Just Say'in

      @Masquer08er
      Don’t forget all the priests who helped cover it up enabling the pedos to do it again. Cathies are neck and neck with the Mormons for laughing stock.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  9. BRC

    Organized religions- because even closed minded intolerant backwards thinking people need someone to hang out with on weekends. (This comment is mostly meant in jest, I know there are many people of faith who are paccepting of others, quite intelligent, and able to accept change, but I feel these people would have been the same even without there religion, and in some cases I believe they are good people in SPITE of their religion)

    March 2, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  10. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    Communion / Eucharist and much more:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    March 2, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • .....

      Hit report abuse on all reality garbage

      March 2, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • LeeCMH

      Jesus took tricks from the Levantine Magician bailey-wick. For example "resurrection" was achieved by sending into town someone to interact with the locals for a couple weeks. The Levantine would then arrive. The person sent early would then feign death, the Levantine would "resurrect" and both collect the money. They are called evangelists today.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Eric

      Or, everything was witnessed and attested to because it was true. You ought to try putting yourself in a Christian's shoes and walk a mile or two and discover what faith really is all about. Or is that too scarey a proposition for you?

      March 2, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • William Demuth

      Eric

      Every zealot says the same puke.

      I ain't wearing Christian shoes, I ain't wearing Jewish shoes, and I wouldn't let my dog even play with a Muslim shoe.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Eric
      There are millions of eyewitness reports of alien spaceships, sasquatches, yetis, loch ness monsters, ghosts, gremlins, etc ad nauseum.
      That doesn't mean they're real

      March 2, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • LeeCMH

      Don't forget Jesus and Mother Mary images on toast and highway underpasses

      March 2, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  11. hippypoet

    wow!

    i wonder how the priest or whoever found the balls to do this infront of the whole family?!?!
    god da.mn jesus christ thats fuc.ked up!

    i wanna know if the mother had respect for her and then if she did it just adds to the insult – if not, then well the victim should have seen this coming....and thats a backwards pun – cos she's a les.bo! lol
    no insult intended – the priest took care of that for me! but hey, at least he wasn't touch'n kids right!?

    March 2, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    My partner's family are all Portuguese Roman Catholics.
    One of her aunts is a lesbian, having been a long term relationship for over a decade.
    One of her uncles refuses to speak to his sister becuase of the "immoral abomination" that is her love.
    He married his first cousin.
    God told him that his sister's ho.mo relationship is evil, but his incestuous marriage is A-OK.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • William Demuth

      Ya gotta love them wild and crazy Portugese!

      There is an area called "Ferry Street" in Newark that is a HUGE enclave.

      Great food and fantastic ladies!

      March 2, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • captain america

      And canadian qu eers are relevant to US, Why? There's your sign

      March 2, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @William
      I have to agree about the women at least!
      Gorgeous, but volatile – a deadly and irresistable combination.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • BRC

      @Captain America,
      Probably becasue this article is about a church and not a US function or law. Because it is a discussion of principle and in no way related to geography.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • pervert alert

      Qu eers should be denied breathing air.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • BRC

      @alert,
      As opposed to other types of air?

      March 2, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • pervert alert

      Qu eers are a waste of any air.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Qu eers are a waste of any air

      March 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • CalmDog

      @pervert alert – Jump on out of the closet, Boy. Stop tapping that foot. We all know how you swing so get out there and be fabulous.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • pervert alert

      You will see Muslims kissing pigs on the lips, before you see this little black duck kissing its own gender. The best location for a qu eer is not a closet, it is a tomb, preferably before they have influenced some innocent youth.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  13. William Demuth

    When your father dies, burn his corpse, or let it rot where if fell, but do NOT empower that evil organization in ANY way.

    It's a cabal of closeted gay child buggerers.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  14. jimtanker

    You can get a box of 1000 Jesus cra.ckers on Amazon for only $17. I'm going to get me a box to snack on at the next Superbowl.

    http://www.amazon.com/Communion-Wafers-1000-Broadman-Press/dp/0805470859

    March 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    • Kind of a waste of money. They are just wafers if not consecrated and not particularly appealing at that.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Truth

      What's the point of your post? Is that a goofy idea that has nothing to do with Christianity or Christ? Yes. People do goofy things on all sorts of things so I don't really understand what your point is. If that is how you're going to judge Christianity then I'm afraid you're sorely misguided.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • jimtanker

      It has everything to do with xtianity. About how silly that this zombie worshiping, canibal cult is.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Mmmmmmm... Soylent Saviour

      March 2, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • William Demuth

      You can get a thousand Jeebus Krackers at any church in Georgia for free.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Truth

      @jim – Sorry but I disagree, this silly thing has nothing to do with Christ or what Christianity stands for. You must really hate Christians to be stooping this low.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • William Demuth

      Jim

      I was thinking I could modify an air rifle to shoot them.

      It might be fun to see what Mormons think about getting communion against their will.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • jimtanker

      WD – LMFAO!

      @truth,

      I dont hate xtians. I pitty them for having such a narrow world view that they cant enjoy everything that life has to offer because they are so mentally oppressed about their afterlife.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  15. Truth

    Regardless of your position of gays, shouldn't she stlll have received communion? We ALL have sinned and continue to do so on a daily basis and we aren't denied communion. I might personally disagree with ho.mos.exuality, however I think it's wrong to deny her communion, what if the priest told you that you couldn't partake in communion because of your sins?

    March 2, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • jimtanker

      Of course, because xtians are supposed to love their enemys right? So every xtian should love gay people.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Truth, I would like to here you expound upon 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

      March 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • William Demuth

      Nah, its just that gay priests hate lesbians.

      Nothing more than a cat fight, and my money would be on the butch chick.

      She should have kicked him in his "crucifix"

      March 2, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Truth

      @mike – Would Jesus have denied communion to her? Would he have denied communion to a prost.itute such as Mary?

      March 2, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • 1Rhema

      No. She shouldn't have recieve communion. Reason being, she was still in sin, knowingly, but not willing to repent & turn-away from it. Another thing about communion is that it is not for an unbeliever. No nonchristian has the right to partake in communion. I Corinthians 11:29 states, "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."

      The Lord Jesus was wounded for our transgression, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, & by His stripes healing is made available to Christians. My point is that the priest did her a favor by not giving her the communion elements. I do believe that he should've addressed her beforehand though.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • BRC

      @Truth,
      I don't think we've ever agreed before, so I feel the need to comment here. No, I agree with you that Jesus would not have denied her communion, I think if you follow the principles attributed to Jesus, whether he's real, fake, divine or just a good guy from 200 years ago, he would have set aside any judgement and done what he could to aid the berieved. THAT, is why I have no problem with faith, and no tolerance for religion.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Eric

      Do you even have an understanding of what communion represents to a Christian? Do you understand at all what the argument here actually ought to be? I don't think most who are responding here have any inkling of what communion really is. The comments only serve to highlight the amount of prejudice and intolerance there is against Christians.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • William Demuth

      Eric

      Frankly, I suspect I know more of your cults rituals than your entire family combined, but feel free to take a shot at explaining the phsics behind transubstantiation for me.

      I suspect it will be interesting!

      March 2, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • BRC

      @Eric,
      You cannot speak for what communion means for all Christians, as different sects have different interpretations and meaning for each ritual. What's mroe important, you can;t speak fo rany other person, as to what their faith means to them. Your opinion on Christianity, and the priests opinion on Christianity, don't matter in this case. A woman turned to her religion, to support her faith in a time of need. The man representing her religion failed her (it is up to her to determine how that affects her faith). I think anyone that any Christian who looks at what Jesus message was said to be, and any other person who just looks at what the right thing to do for someone who needs comfort is, instead of focusing on absurd man made rituals, would see that the priest was very much at fault here.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • jimtanker

      And with over 38,000 different denominations of xtianity out there (all taking something different from the same book mind you) who has it right?

      I would suggest NONE OF THEM.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Eric, Amen brother

      "Consider an illustration. Imagine that one of the board members of the local G.ay, Les.bian, and transgender community Center announces "I've had a religious experience and now I believe that ho.mo.s.exuality is a sin." As the weeks go by, he persists in making that as.sertion. Imagine that the a board member of the Alliance Against Same-Se.x Marriage announces. "I discovered the my son is g.ay and I think he has a right to marry his partner." Mo matter how personally gracious and flexible the members of each group are, the day will come when each group will have to say, "You must step off the board because you don't share a common commitment with us". The first of these communities has the reputation for being inclusive and the second for being exclusive, but, in practice both of them operate in almost the very same way. Each is based on common beliefs that act as boundaries, including some and excluding others. Neither community is being "narrow" - they are just being communities.

      "Any community that did not hold its members accountable for specific beliefs and practices would have no corporate ident.ity and would not really be a community at all. We cannot consider a group exclusive simply because it has standards for its members. Is there then no way to judge whether a community is open and caring rather than narrow and oppressive? Yes there is. Here is a far better set of test: Which community has beliefs tat lead its members to treat persons in other communities with love and respect - to serve them and meet their needs? Which community's beliefs lead it to demonize and attach those who violated their boundaries rather than treating them with kindness, humility and winsomeness? We should criticize Christians when they are condemning and ungracious to unbelievers. But we should not criticize churches when they maintain standards for membership in accord with their beliefs. Every community must do the same."

      March 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • BRC

      @Mike,
      We should however criticize members of communities when they are needlessly insensative to other members of their own community.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      BRC please read the post before commenting on it... yes to the end of it

      We should criticize Christians when they are condemning and ungracious to unbelievers. But we should not criticize churches when they maintain standards for membership in accord with their beliefs. Every community must do the same.

      Who are you to determine "needlessly" how dare you push your beliefs on me (sarcasm)

      March 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • BRC

      @Mike,
      I read your entire post, I just don't agree with it. If I have a tennis club, with 15 people, and one of them is can't play as well as is required for membership, the club has the right to vote them out. But if that vote happens, and just as I'm about tell fred he's getting kicked out, we find out his Mom just died, I'm going to wait a few days to give him the news, because on the rarest of occasions I can exercise a thing tact. The Church has every right to hold whatever backward belief t wants, but I would think that for an organization that prides itself on love and compasion they would look past some difference to try to be there for it's members when they needed it.

      Even better, it if was MY tennis club, we wouldn't kick Fred out, we would work with him to help him get better. (mind you, I don't think there is anything wrong with being a lesbian, but the point is they could have been more supportive). And remember through all of this, I am an atheist, and I hate communities, and generally want nothing to do with groups clubs or organizations. Yet I STILL would treat people better then this priest did (and as discussed below, I actually blame him mor ethan the church).

      March 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      " because on the rarest of occasions I can exercise a thing tact. The Church has every right to hold whatever backward belief t wants, but I would think that for an organization that prides itself on love and compasion they would look past some difference to try to be there for it's members when they needed it."

      First, death is not a rare occasion but moving forward... Did the Chruch allow the funeral to proceed and graciously receive the responsibility of burial for the mother? I agree communion should have been better explained for the Church members only, like in your example, fred didn't even get to vote.

      The second part of your post does not make any sense. The woman was never kicked out, they graciously allowed the funeral and burial, and supportive of the family. A better question already asked is "how dare you exclude fred from taking part in voting, just because he does not meet the standards of the office"

      "Yet I STILL would treat people better then this priest did"
      I don't think you do, look how you are treating people here

      March 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • BRC

      @Mike,
      I said nothing against the church (this time) I spoke against the Priest, who, if you read the larger article, did NOT carry out teh funeral. he walked away druing the eulogy and refused to escort the casket to the grave. He turned his back on teh woman's mother , who was NOT a lesbian, because he disagreed with the daughter's lifestyle. In what way is that caring for people effectively, how is that graciously carrying out a funeral?

      You say that I wouldn't treat people better than that because " look how you are treating people here". How do I treat people here? I am unabashed at pointing out innacuracies or falsehoods, but I work very hard to make sure that my posts are respectful, and polite. I have always stated that I believe all PEOPLE should be allowed to have their faith unhindered, I simply disagree with organized religions. Yes, I have on a few rare occasions taken cheap shots at people who were being deliberately stupid and or racists, fair enough; but other than that I welcome you to find a post where I've been unduly mean (not accurate mind you, mean). Also, I never excluded Fred from the vote, but you know he wouldn't win it.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Primewonk

      BRC nailed it. This was – or should have been – about the mother who died. Not about the daughter. This cretin of a priest ruined it.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      BRC,
      if you read the larger article, did NOT carry out teh funeral. he walked away druing the eulogy and refused to escort the casket to the grave. He turned his back on teh woman's mother , who was NOT a lesbian, because he disagreed with the daughter's lifestyle. In what way is that caring for people effectively, how is that graciously carrying out a funeral?

      On this point, I agree, the short article makes it sound like since communion was administered that the funeral was proceeding.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  16. William Demuth

    Why would a self respecting lesbian step foot in a church?

    To indulge your dead mothers support of a cult that believes you're a heathen who is in league with Satan?

    Fool. Perhaps now she will see the cult for what it is and stop pretending compromise is possible.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  17. SG

    On the other hand... Maybe this will give Barbara Johnson the little "a ha" moment she needs to realize that she is getting worked up over nothing. Once you realize that the arbitrary dogmas of any particular religion / sect / cult are meaningless, you will have no need to participate in their empty rituals.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  18. Emminencia

    The Pastor has nothing to fear. He is only carrying out his command from his God. Nothing wrong with him leaving the sanctuary either.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • jimtanker

      No, if he is carrying out his commandment form god then he should be kiIIing this person.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  19. Russ

    27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
    (1 Cor.11)

    March 2, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Brad

      My understanding of the sacrament of Holy Communion is that it was instituted by Christ for the forgiveness of sins and requires an honest desire to repent. It is unfortunate that being a lesbian is regarded as a sin that one would have to repent from. Hopefully that will change.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • BRC

      @Russ,
      Even in the passage you've given, it speaks of the person examining themselves, not being judged by someone else. The priest was out of line. And while I'm not particularly phased by death (people die, it happens), even I am not so callous as to make the day someone loses their mother more difficult than it already is. I am far more educated on the Old testament than the New, but I'm pretty sure some of Jesus's key points are love and compassion. I think he would have felt that the right thing to do would have been for the Priest to set his own feelings aside, even if "God" agreed with him, and do whatever he could to comfort the greiving. Just my take, I am afterall one of those horrible atheist types that hates people.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Eric

      Brad, no where did Jesus state that communion was for forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness of sins only comes from Jesus, not from your daddy or from any priest. Communion, whenever it is done, is for us to remember exactly what Jesus did to obtain salvation for us. But we are to make sure that we are "right" with God before participating. On this basis the priest refused this woman communion. It also shows that if this woman considered herself to be a Catholic then she ought to have known that she needed to sit down and speak with a priest before the funeral about communion.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Brad

      Eric-

      I confess. I'm Lutheran and our understanding of the two sacraments we recognize is that both were instituted for the forgiveness of sins. We do look at Matthew 26:27-28 in that light: "Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins'". The Catholic perspective may be different.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Corinth

      @ Russ,You nailed it right on with that passage from the scriptures.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Russ

      @ BRC:
      yes, the priest was insensitive – and should have talked to her in advance. i was simply noting the passage that i'm sure had some bearing on the priest's convictions; something many overlook.

      but note: in the same letter Paul says "love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth" (1 Cor.13:6), and here he also says to be careful not to drink judgment on ourselves (1 Cor.11:29). have you considered that by the priest's own definition, refusing communion was possibly the most compassionate thing he could do?

      March 2, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • BRC

      @Russ,
      No, I hadn't considered that, becasue it wasn't. The most compassionate thing he could have done, while still mainting his unreasonable criticism of someone elses lifestyle, would be to give her the communion, help her through the day, then later, after a week or two when she came for a service, talk to her privately about her lifestyle, tell her taking comminuoin while in sin is a sin, and ask if she wishes to confess/talk/whatever. THAT would have been much more compassionate, and in keeping with the absurd rules he feels allow him to marginalize another person's way of life.

      Here' are some quesitons for you. If you read the whole articel, he left the altar when the daughter was delivering her eulogy, and then refused to escort the casket to the grave. The mother who died wasn't a lesbian, didn't this priest have a duty to see to the proper burial and eternal rest of one of his parishoners. Did he not shun his duties to a woman of faith because he was uncomfortable with another person's way of life. Do you still think he did the right thing there? As someone who I'm assuming actually believes in Jesus, do you think he would have approved?

      March 2, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Corinth

      People tend to overlook the fact that communion is NOT a ritual. It rests upon each individual as verse 28 says to examine oneself before taking part in it. It is not being holy and righteous, it is about being able to examine oneself spiritually and truthfully to see if there is any sin that prevents them from having that communion with God in their life.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • BRC

      @Corinth,
      Is it a standardized action that takes place with perscribed frequency during the practice of people's religious beliefs (yes to all); then it's a ritual. And from what you jsut said, it is up to the INDIVIDUAL to decide whether or not to take communion, not teh priest. If the person is wrong, so be it (we're human, we make mistakes), but that's on them to sort out before they die, NOT on the preist to sort out when they feel like it. How about this, how many other people there do you think had commited sins since their last confession, but were still allowed to take communion? I;m going ot bet bunches of them. The preist was in the wrong, and his actions are insensitive and off base.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Russ

      @ BRC: as I said before, I think this priest made several mistakes. reading the Gospels, you find Jesus to be incredibly gentle with those labeled "sinners" and incredibly hard on the religious right. but – as with the woman caught in adultery in John 8 – after he has run off all hypocritical accusers, he still calls sin what it is. "go & sin no more."

      you have openly admitted to being an atheist. understand that the Catholic Church (of which I'm not a member) regards communion as something insti'tuted by Christ which represents a relationship with him – something for which they believe Jesus defined the parameters. since this woman entered a Catholic Church to be a part of their service of worship, she shouldn't be surprised that they follow the doctrine they believe in – namely, that someone openly unrepentant of what the Catholic Church teaches is sin should not partake of communion.

      so, even though the priest's method needs correction, i think your main objection is with Catholic doctrine. at the end of the day, the Church still teaches what it teaches, and even a gentler response would still trouble you. am i right?

      March 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • BRC

      @Russ,
      Actually no, that's not really what I'm saying. Yes, I whole heartedly dissagree with even the existence of the Catholic Church (though they are good for a laugh), something my Catholic wife and I have frequent conversations about (interestingly enough, I know WAY more about the tennets of her faith than she does). I obviously dissagree with the Catholic church's stance on hmoosxeuality, and I think their belief in transubstantion (in church you are genuinely supposed to believ that the waifer becomes flesh and the wine becomes blood) is down right ridiculous; but that is not the point of my objections here.

      My statement is that the Priest is a crappy priest, and a worse human being. My point, is that no matter what the church says, he should have done the right thing as a PERSON, allowed her to take communion, and provided her with comfort. Had he one that, even if the Catholic Church said she shouldn't have it, then I would have thought very highly of him. He didn't, and I find him to be a bigot, and a coward, for abondoning a woman in her time of need, and abandoning a follower whose soul he is supposidly responsible for (no, I don't believe in souls, but supposedly he does, and he refused to walk the mother to her grave).

      March 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • jimtanker

      @BRC&Russ

      This is funny watching you guys discuss this stuff. It's like two nerds arguing over which version of Star Trek is better. LOL.

      ITS ALL FICTION!!!

      March 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • BRC

      @jimtanker

      My friends all believe DS9 is he bes Star Trek ever, but I think it's widely accepted that The original is the better show, Piccard is teh better captain, Voyager was kind of mistake.

      I agree with you on the fiction front, but I hate it when people's belief in fiction causes them to mistreat other people. It is a character flaw, but I will debate anyoen for hours if it's on a matter of principle.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • jimtanker

      I'll concede the point on that then BRC.

      I have never seen DS9 though. Is it that good?

      March 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Corinth

      BRC, You have to understand that verse 28 is very clear about what an individual needs to do. So the onus is on each individual to examine oneself before taking part of this which is called HOLY. If it is denigrated to something of a ritual then it has lost its essence and does not have any value if the individual is not willing to examine oneself before they take part in communion. This is not something unique to the catholic church, there are some other churches that also encourage their participants to examine themselves before they take the communion, some of them clearly tell the congregants that they free to avoid the communion upon self examination.

      This does not belong to the secular world/media to comment, it belongs to the catholic church in this case to decide what they hold as being truthful/sacred in the service of their Lord and Savior.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Russ

      @ jimtanker: I enjoy discussing & learning from those with whom i may disagree. i think it's integral to honest discussion.

      @ BRC: yes, he failed – even by his own Church's standards. however, *by* his own Church's standards, it would have ultimately been dehumanizing for her if she received communion on false pretenses. though you have your objections (as I have mine) to transubstantiation, it supposedly tells a Church member the truth about who God is and who you are as a person. in particular, it does so by speaking of the nature of your relationship to the Author of Existence.

      for a Catholic priest to go against what he believes God has taught would be the ultimate dehumanizing & self-deceiving act. ironically, i think the very thing you say would be right to do *as a person* they would say is utterly dehumanizing for a person – and therefore not loving. but again, I'm not Catholic...

      March 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • BRC

      @jimtanker,
      IF you're a fan of Star Trek, yeah, it's pretty good. it's got more back story, and a broader range of interactions (more diverse plots). If "meh, it's something worth watching when it's late and I'm bored." I'd stick to The original and next generation (Netflix has them all).

      March 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • BRC

      @Corinth,
      A ritual can be holy, they are not exclusive principles. i realize the church may prefer the work Holy, or Sacrement, but changing the word doesn't change the meaning. The woman made her choice, the priest made a choise that wasn't his to make (perhaps you could answer if you think other people who had sinned since their last confesion took communion that day?) Yes, the church can make whatever rule or decision it wants, but the rest of the world is perfectly well allowed to point out when those rules are ill formed, and unnecessarily harm the members. I feel that happened hear, and I voiced that opinion.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • BRC

      @Russ,
      Looking at it from that one direction, in the analysis of the Priest acting as he did because he felt the church had taught him that truly was the best way to act (despite the fact that it didn't, because of a number of fallacies associated), then yes, my complaint would be with the Church for providing such instruction. But, you can't hope to change a church, they've made that abundantly clear. You can hope for people to improve though.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 2, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • It sure does!

      Yeah, it turns them into heartless deluded bastards like this twat who choose add insult to injury at a moment of pain like a mother's funeral, instead of being supportive and caring.

      Religion is just another abstract ideology that, like Communism and conservatism, gets between people and their humanity.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      March 2, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      J has yet to back up his statements with references and the Wikipedia article and a simple Google search contradicts his statement.

      Complementary Therapies in Rehabilitation: Evidence for Efficacy in Therapy by Carol M. Davis 2008 ISBN 1556428669 page 363

      March 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Yeahright

      "Wikipedia article and a simple Google search contradicts his statement."

      Yo moron, wiki is a poor resource and is unreliable because it can be edited. Try again.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful

      March 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful"

      Sorry dude you've been proven wrong by the experts.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      To it that takes the Lords name in vain. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting

      March 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      powerful
      Productive

      March 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven
      powerful
      Productive"

      LOL More desperation from the xtians. Proving my post is right. LOL!

      March 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Yeahright, fine, agreed, but that does not put credit to J statement and discredit the book cited.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.