PRESS HERE FOR UPDATE FROM LIFESITENEWS, WHICH APPEARS TO BE FAIR AND BALANCED!
Hell hath no fury than a Lesbian Woman scorned! This is a letter from Barbara Johnson to the priest who denied her Holy Communion at her mother's Requiem:“You brought your politics, not your God into that Church yesterday, and you will pay dearly on the day of judgment for judging me,” she wrote in a letter to Guarnizo. “I will pray for your soul, but first I will do everything in my power to see that you are removed from parish life so that you will not be permitted to harm any more families.”
Somehow in reading the article in the Washington Post concerning this story, I missed the following:
"Family members said the priest left the altar while Johnson, 51, was delivering a eulogy and did not attend the burial or find another priest to be there."
Well, I've gotten upset at Mass at something that occurred, (especially funeral Masses) but I don't think I've ever left a funeral Mass before it was actually over and missed the "Rite of Committal" without finding a replacement for me which is the actual conclusion to the Funeral Mass, I mean, Requiem Mass.
So this raises a number of issues in my mind about "anger" issues that this priest might harbor and fails to control in a way that is mature.
Then the Archdiocese issues this apology to the woman and her family which you can read in it entirety by pressing HERE!
An excerpt from that official archdiocesan letter as described in the Washington Post Article goes like this, "the Rev. Barry Knestout, one of the archdiocese’s highest-ranking administrators, who said the lack of “kindness” she and her family received “is a cause of great concern and personal regret to me.”
“I am sorry that what should have been a celebration of your mother’s life, in light of her faith in Jesus Christ, was overshadowed by a lack of pastoral sensitivity,”
Okay, let's hold hands and have a meditation on this from my solemn held point of view which is merely my opinion:
1. The Requiem Mass is not a Celebration of Life, it is the Church's highest form of prayer for the deceased person commending them to Almighty God and His Divine Mercy and purifying love! It is nothing else but that! It has nothing to do with the merits of the person being "funeralized" but everything to do with the merits of Jesus Christ and His passion, death and resurrection which we celebrate at every Mass.
2. A Celebration of Life should take place after the Vigil for the Deceased or beforehand or after the Rite of Committal if such a celebration is desired by family or friends and that should be organized by family and friends and independent of the institutional Church.
3. The unfortunate desire now to eulogize deceased Catholics either during the homily or after Holy Communion (and in the case of the latter, by one or more lay people, family or friends) should be expunged from the Liturgical Books for Requiems. These should take place outside of the Church building either at a social hall, funeral home or the home of a family member or friend. These should not take place during the sacred rites!
I've had disaster after disaster with these so-called eulogies after Holy Communion. I once had a family member who unbeknownst to me had left the Church and was an evangelical minister get up and negate everything I said in the homily and asked people "to close their eyes and raise their hands if they were saved and if they weren't they needed to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior right then and there or they would not be assured of salvation. Nothing that Catholics were doing in praying for the person who had died would save that person if they weren't already saved to begin with"
4. The priest at a funeral or wedding Mass should state somewhere before the time of Holy Communion the following: "We can only invite those Catholics in full Communion with the Church, meaning the pope, the bishops in union with him and the moral and doctrinal teachings of the Church and who are in a state of grace to come forward to receive Holy Communion. All others should make a 'spiritual communion' as they meditate on God's merciful love" or something to that effect.
5. If there is any question about the suitability of someone to receive Holy Communion and this is known before Mass, the priest should indicate to that person that they should come forward and simply receive a blessing. Decisions about denying someone Holy Communion should not be made spontaneously or at the moment of Holy Communion based upon a "judgement" of their state of grace or suitability.
I reassert my argument below that Canon 915, "Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion"should be made clear by the bishop himself to all diocesan and religious clergy and applied equally in all situations, but the manner of its application must be made clear--there is a time and place for everything and there is a time and place not to do something.