(Sigh...) It goes on and on. An article on the Washington Post Blog on Sunday discussed the Archdiocese's letter suspending Fr. Guarnizo for actions "unrelated" to refusing Communion to Buddhist lesbian Barbara Johnson at her mother's funeral Mass last month. Fr. LaHood, pastor at St. John Neuman where Fr. Guarnizo was serving before his removal read the letter on Sunday at Mass; then, according to the Post, said, "I realize this letter is hard to hear. Please keep mind that this is a first personnel issue, dealing with issues of ministry in the church. Father Guarnizo will have every opportunity to present his position."
Really? Excuse my cynicism, but I've seen how bishops allow priests to "present [their] positions." Fr. Guarnizo is now being accused of "intimidating" somebody at the parish. Wow! Nice little two-step there. All the revelations coming out about lesbian activist Barbara Johnson has made it hard to hoist Fr. Guarnizo on that petard, so the Archdiocese chooses a more general accusation that is hard to define or refute. What was his "intimidating" behavior?
Did Fr. Guarnizo lose his temper and make somebody feel bad? Gosh, I've had priests' "intimidate" me with angry responses when I gently challenged their liturgical abuses. One leaned over and contemptuously said in my ear, "You're full of it, Honey." He then stomped off giving me the single digit salute over his shoulder. Hmm...I should have accused him of sexual harassment, but it didn't occur to me. Do you think his bishop would have suspended him? So what did Fr. Guarnizo do, roll his eyes at some loony-tune comment? Did he kick a can in the parking lot that scared a liberal wimp? -- They have such tender feelings.
As one who's been accused of "violence" by liberal dissenters for daring to disagree with them, I give Fr. Guarnizo the benefit of the doubt. This looks more and more like the same game-playing used to suspend other good priests. Fr. James Haley in the Diocese of Arlington got it for bringing Bishop Paul Loverde bad news about his homosexual priests. About a year later, Fr. Joe Clark was suspended by the same bishop because he corrected a deacon who mishandled the Precious Blood during Mass.
Was Fr. Clark given a chance to "present his position?" Hardly. He was called in to what he thought was a private meeting so the bishop could hear his side of the story, "his position" so to speak. Instead of a private meeting he found the bishop, the diocesan lawyer, and the vicar for clergy. He was then handed a letter of suspension, dated the day before. Was he given a chance to give his side of the story? Nope! Bishop Loverde already had his mind made up. Liberal deacon good; orthodox priest bad. To make a long story short, the case ended up in Rome where it was decided there was right and wrong on both sides, but Bishop Loverde was instructed to reinstate Fr. Clark.
Forgive me if I'm a little skeptical that Fr. Guarnizo will be treated fairly without an intervention. Cardinal Wuerl is not known for his orthodoxy. And, let's face it, when the Barbara Johnson story started to unravel, the archdiocese needed to find another pretext for dumping a troublesome priest. So all those pro-aborts who hate Fr. Guarnizo for fighting Leroy Carhart, the late-term abortionist in Gaithersburg, and all the homosexual activists who hate him and all orthodox Christians for opposing their sinful lifestyle can join hands in a victory dance. Thanks, Cardinal Wuerl, for giving another PR victory to the enemies of the Church.
Any faithful Catholics who continue to put their money in the basket for the Archdiocese of Washington need their heads examined. And Catholics need to know that the regular collection is taxed for the diocese. So find another way to support your parish. Write your checks to the electric or phone company for a portion of the parish bill. Buy the flowers that grace the altar every weekend. Maybe your parish has a development fund that is exempt from the diocesan tax. But stop feeding bishops who kick you in the teeth by removing the priests who actually believe what Holy Mother Church teaches and act on it.
And by the way, Cardinal Wuerl has a priest in his diocese, Fr. Robert Keffer, who is scandalizing his parish, Resurrection in Burtonsville, by using a book, Quest for the Living God, condemned by a committee of the USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops). And guess who was on that committee? You got it -- Cardinal Wuerl. Has he done a thing about this program at Resurrection? (I know people who've complained to the chancery about it.) Short answer. NO!
Here's the bulletin notice about it published in the February 26th issue:
Quest for the Living God Discussion Group led by Father Bob Keffer on Tuesday evenings
during Lent, beginning on Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Youth Center.
Father Bob will lead a Lenten Discussion group on Elizabeth Johnson’s book, “Quest for the Living God.” Books are now available in the Parish Office for $15.00 each. [Fr. Bob suggests reading the first 50 pages of the book before the Feb. 28 session, if possible.]
No registration is necessary in order to attend.
So go ahead and scandalize your people with heretical books. No problemo! Support the faith but make a lesbian activist mad? Sayonara, padre. The hypocrisy is astounding!
Spero columnist Mary Ann Kreitzer writes at LesFemmesTheTruth.