Regarding the Feb. 29 front-page article “Seeking Communion, finding rejection”:
Any time a minister chooses dogma over comfort, he has failed in his ministry. The Rev. Marcel Guarnizo humiliated Barbara Johnson by refusing her Communion at her mother’s funeral. He then apparently insulted Ms. Johnson, her mother and all of the congregants by his departure from the altar during the eulogy and his failure to perform the burial service. One can make a canonical, albeit piteously impersonal, case for refusing Holy Communion to Ms. Johnson — although even this could have been done in a far less public manner. But a case cannot be made on any humane terms for the Rev. Guarnizo’s behavior at the time of greatest need for Ms. Johnson, her mother or those who had come to pay their last respects.
Robert Lewis, Culpeper
A blogger quoted in the Feb. 29 article stated that the priest “has been thrown under the bus for following Canon Law 915.” Canon law is a human creation. God the Father, through His son, Jesus, created two other laws that apply to this incident: Love the Lord thy God with our own heart, and love thy neighbor as thyself. Laws created by God are higher than laws created by any human.
It seems that the priest in question violated God’s law. Some of my friends and relatives are gay. When they attend my funeral, I hope and pray that the attending priest will not throw them “under the bus” when they go to the Communion rail.
Tom Kehoe, Haymarket
I am a 37-year-old, gay, non-practicing Catholic. At times I consider returning to the church because I miss the sense of meaning it gave me when I was younger, but the church’s teaching that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered made me feel like an outsider and was a key factor in my decision to stop going.
I have not had the experience of a priest refusing me the wafer in public, but that rejection is one I feel palpably whenever I find myself in a church at a wedding or funeral and the priest announces the closed-Communion policy, wherein only Catholics in good standing can participate. I feel as if he is talking directly at me, the intrinsically disordered one.
Many lapsed Catholics take Communion at weddings and funerals, but this article helped me firm up my position. I will not take Communion again until the church changes its policy. Jesus invited everybody, outsiders especially, to His table.
Daniel F. Sullivan, Washington
Cathy Roth, Germantown