Many are the points touched by this truly excellent priest; to mention only some, the proper dimension of the synod, its betrayal by some of the bishops, and his tranquility concerning the fact that the Pope will not try to introduce heretical dogmas.
On the other hand, it seems clear he has not much confidence in the orthodox virtues of the Pope, and his righteous contempt for “Kasper & Co.” is barely concealed.
I liked the part about perverts, where he states that the real help is giving by talking and helping them to overcome their perversion – often, he says, due to abuse or a traumatic background; he not justifying of exculpating, mind; merely explaining -. This is, I find, the real pastoral attitude; because this here is a true pastor.
Father Guarnizo is rapidly becoming, from his cold exile, a Superstar in the orthodox Catholic firmament. I do not remember hearing from him before his persecution by the hand of that most egregious betrayer of Catholic and Fifth Column of Satan, Cardinal Wuerl. I do not know whether he had a degree of regional or national notoriety before, or whether his brave stance gave it to him. I cannot avoid thinking that whilst he was always very strong in his convictions and clear in his exposition of it, the persecution actually helped him to deepen both his resolve and his effectiveness.
What I seem to notice, is that we have here a true saint in the making; a saintly man further steeled by persecution, and shining through it. The stuff of which, in more Christian times, bishops and Popes would be made.
God bless Father Guarnizo. With shepherds like him, we will never get scattered.
Father Carota has another not one, but two stellar blog posts about two actual and very grave issues: the persecution of orthodox priests, and the matter of sacrilegious communion.
As to the first one, the title says it all. Wisely, Father understands that the likes of Father Guarnizo (see here or here about this great priest) are going to be persecuted more and more for being good Catholic priests. Father Carota says it with the usual frankness:
It seems that the sinner gets all the support and the priests who live and preach their Catholic faith get thrown under the bus by the Church authorities.
Quite. The new “age of mercy” will only reinforce the already existing trend. I don’t want to think what will happen after the Synod in October. Already there are rumours that the “pastoral approach” will not spare anything; not only Communion, but also the teaching of the Church concerning homosexuals, concubines, & Co.
And in fact – and as I have already noticed – if we live in times of such astonishing hypocrisy that two concubines can be admitted to communion because they pretend to live like “brother and sister” whilst, actually, not only having sex but even openly admitting that they do, there’s nothing to prevent two homosexuals from living together in a “chaste relationship” which obviously isn’t, and demand the sup[port and solidarity of the “community”; hey, let us not let facts get in the way of our “pastoral work”. Mundabor, who are you to judge? It is obvious that in this way there is no teaching of the Church that cannot be transformed in its parody.
Which leads us nicely to the other intervention of Father Carota. In this other post, Father Carota says very succinctly that for which I needed to waste so many ASCII characters:
All the saints say that receiving Holy Communion in the state of Mortal Sins is one of the worst sacrilegious sins one can commit.
Fifty years of “Springtime”, and the very basics have gone lost by most. How many who call themselves Catholics would identify themselves with the statement above, I shudder to think.
Jesus is not the priority anymore. Salvation isn’t really an issue, either. If salvation isn’t an issue, the new priority is to make everyone happy, and let them feel “included”.
It’s so difficult to say “no”. Let’s say “yes” instead. Very “pastoral”.
How did Jesus say? “Think not that I am come to send a sword on earth: I came not to send a sword, but peace.” Erm…. I mean… more or less… (cough)… what was I saying? Oh yes: it’s a fine day!…
More and more Catholic priests will, in the years to come, find themselves in the situation of the picture above. Not an easy one, I admit. But hey, that’s why they are priests.
Let us pray for good and courageous priests, with the guts of Father Guarnizo and Father Carota. There will not be very many of them, but they are those who will preserve sanity in a Church now rapidly going from being drunk of Modernism to being openly stoned, and proud of it.
In a moment of desperation, you may think only Catholic bishops may be so ill with political correctness as to suspend one of their own because he had the temerity of defending Christian values, as Cardinal Wuerl did with poor Father Guarnizo. Still, a moment of quiet reflection would then rapidly persuade you if the Only Church has such people, the church imitations scattered around will probably not be immune from them.
This is what has now happened with the organisation calling herself “Church of England”. The churchofenglanders apparently have “lay preachers”, and I assume these are people who talk at length to their faithful about Christianity, probably outside of a liturgical setting.
From what I understand, the status of lay preachers must be reviewed and confirmed every year; which makes sense, because if the lay preacher has left his wife to live more uxorio with the fruity coworker, or suddenly start to talk about the holiness of so-called civil partnerships, even the CoErs will probably decide to put an end to his preaching. Up to here, all should be rather logical.
Where things become somewhat surprising is where a chap who has been a lay-preacher for 50 years is suddenly suspended because he dared to defend marriage. The heretical, but rather well-written blog Cranmer informs us a lay preacher for 50 years was suspended just for that. This being the so-called church of England things were, of course, rather slimy, and more than a bit oily.
Let us see the concatenation of events: lay preacher suggests the faithful support the coalition for marriage; some other lay preachers disagree with him (Yes! Yes!! They disagree with him!.. I know!!) and then run to the prof to say how wicked he was. The prof (in this case calling himself archdeacon; but this is irrelevant, as they all have no valid orders anyway) then informs the poor chap he is suspended for two months; no wait, this is the so-called coE, and nothing is made openly and with clear words. The poor preacher is, then, told he is not to preach for two months, but he is not suspended; erm, well, not really, is he now? He just can’t preach, which is different… of course…. I mean…. right?
This “suspension that is a suspension” is ordered so that the controversy may abate, but the unChristian lay preachers are not suspended.
When above mentioned Cranmer (the blogger) points out to the fact, the matter enlarges itself. In the meantime, the poor lay preacher silenced for being Christian and defending marriage (which is the official position of the so-called c of E, so far as they can ever have a position) has recurred to the head master (in the c of E, they call themselves “bishops”; see above) and the headmaster has said the prof hasn’t really suspended the pupil, has he now…. and we only want to give everyone time to reflect… and we shouldn’t quarrel about such secondary things as Christian values… so divisive, you see…. and yes, he can’t speak, but really this is not due to him being a Christian, but is rather to do with…erm…aahh.. other issues….
Really, who does this head master think he is: Cardinal Wuerl?
To a simple mind like mine, Father Guarnizo is right because he has done what every good priest, in every age of the Church, would have done in his place.
Alas, it would seem that just because Canon 915 was written in order to achieve exactly the aim the Church wanted to achieve without Canon 915 for almost two thousand years, it is now allowed or even mandatory to examine whether really, really, really all conditions called for by Canon 915 to refuse communion were present.
I truly wonder. It is as if in front of a canonical text people would say “let us stop thinking for a moment, and let us examine the dispositions of the Canon as if they existed in a purely theoretical vacuum”. The fact is, they don’t. They exist in the real world, and they exist to express a need that was there before Canon 915 was written, and because of which it was written in the first place. When in presence of a lesbian who openly declares her homosexual relationship to a priest before a ceremony consisting of, among others, a couple of dozen of her relatives there are still doubts whether said priest should protect the Host from desecration, I truly wonder what has become of us.
Still, in case you are not satisfied with what the basic common sense and the Christian logic of the last two thousand years should have suggested you, and want to spend some time reading a very detailed, extremely well argued and, most importantly, adherent to common sense and common Catholic feeling explanation of canon 915, you have to do nothing more than to click the following links:
Both text are absolutely impressive not only in the rigorous logic and spotless foundation of every steps he takes, but in the exemplary clarity of the language used. Whoever he is, this Fr Anonymous is a cannon.
The arguments used as clarification in the second post are, in my eyes, clear enough already from the reading of the first post, so that you may skip the second post without detriment to the clarity of Fr Anonymous’ argument. For example, in my eyes the idea a woman would live in a lesbian relationship with another woman at the point of bringing her “lover” to her mother’s funeral, but without her lesbian concubinage being known among her siblings and relatives – at the latest at the funerals, and applying basic common sense a long time before – is completely preposterous. Beside the fact we do not exactly have to do with a shy wallflower here, when things have come to such a point of brazenness if you would pretend with me the relatives didn’t know and – even in this absurd case – wouldn’t know at the funeral at the latest I would seriously ask you what’s wrong with you. From the beginning, it seems to me that basic common sense was the first victim of this controversy.
Still, the two posts give a clear, detailed explanation of why Father Guarnizo acted in conformity of Canon 915 (which is as to say: why Canon 915 does nothing else than translate in a canonical norm elementary Christian rules of behaviour concerning the Most Blessed Sacrament). You will find the reading extremely interesting not only because so well written, but because so intrinsically sound.
Fr Anonymous raises a second question, the conformity to Canon law of the measures taken against Fr Guarnizo. I have not dealt about it here, but the argument in favour of Father Guarnizo is not less cogent than in the matter of his denying communion to the lesbian female.
Once again, this squabble reminded me of one of Father Corapi’s most lovable quotes (also to be found in my “quotable Catholic”):
My grandmother, who had only an eighth grade education, knew more than many theologians because she knew the truth.
Excellent blog post from George Neumayr at the American Spectator (a magazine I link to; there aren’t many).
In the Guarnizo affair, it appears Wuerl was the real engine of Father Guarnizo’s, well, undeserved punishment, and the man on whom the blame must be apportioned. I wasn’t there, of course, but as I tend to believe (sinner that I am) a priest with a spotless reputation rather than a lesbian wannabe Buddhist activist, and there’s no doubt in my mind Guarnizo did what he had to do, did it as quietly as he could, and is now punished for having acted as a true priest should.
Some of the most interesting passages from this interesting blog post:
Cardinal Wuerl’s silence is deafening. He still hasn’t commented directly on his baldly unjust “administrative leave” order to Fr. Marcel Guarnizo. Nor has he explained to the faithful why Barbara Johnson, the self-described practicing lesbian and Buddhist to whom Fr. Guarnizo properly denied Communion, enjoys a canonical right to the sacred species.
Perversely, Cardinal Wuerl has at once violated the canonical rights of a faithful priest while inventing out of thin air a “policy” that orders his subordinates to distribute the Eucharist to anti-Catholic activists and defiant mortal sinners.
The word “pastoral” should make the faithful groan at this point. It is one of the great weasel words of the “spirit of Vatican II” Church in America. The word “pastoral” invariably dribbles from the lips of bishops like Cardinal Wuerl who regularly expose their flocks to wolves. Jesus Christ said that the “good shepherd” watches the gate. Cardinal Wuerl’s “policy” is to leave it wide open for the Church’s fiercest enemies. This is why the Pelosis and the Barbara Johnsons just keep coming up for Communion. Since Cardinal Wuerl refuses to control the sacrament, they will.
A Church official who has watched Wuerl’s persecution of Fr. Guarnizo with horror commented to me that if Jesus Christ had served in Cardinal Wuerl’s archdiocese “he would be on administrative leave too.” Unlike the Cardinal Wuerls, Christ never felt the need to play patty cake with the enemies of the Church. He liked struggling sinners but not unrepentant ones who seek to defile his temple.
I have no desire to participate in this worldly game of ring-kissing in which the Cardinal Wuerls wallow. They enjoy the trappings of their office without actually exercising it for the good of souls. They demand 13th-century obedience while behaving like 21st-century flakes who play church in costume and staff.
As St. Augustine said, God does not need our “lies.” He needs our truth-telling, even if that truth-telling means wounding the egos of derelict successors to his disciples.
Kudos to Mr Neumayr and the American Spectator. This culture of “sensitivity” has to stop, and be replaced with a culture of Catholicity instead.
What being “sensitive” leads to is under everyone’s eyes.
This man is good, and he clearly lost patience with being both misinterpreted in public, and mistreated from the auxiliary bishop.
On Saturday February 25th I showed up to officiate at a funeral Mass for Mrs. Loetta Johnson. The arrangements for the Mass were also not my own. I wish to clarify that Ms. Barbara Johnson (the woman who has since complained to the press), has never been a parishioner of mine. In fact I had never met her or her family until that morning.
The funeral celebration was to commence at 10:30a.m. From 9:30 to 10:20, I was assigned to hear confessions for the parish and anyone in the funeral party who would have chosen to receive the sacrament.
A few minutes before the Mass began, Ms. Johnson came into the sacristy with another woman whom she announced as her “lover”. Her revelation was completely unsolicited. As I attempted to follow Ms.Johnson, her lover stood in our narrow sacristy physically blocking my pathway to the door. I politely asked her to move and she refused.
The brazenness of the fat, ugly lesbian and her (allegedly, as she can block an entrance with her mere presence) not entirely slender “lover” is beyond contempt. But most importantly, the woman throws her lesbianism in the Father’s face.
Father Guarnizo again:
I understand and agree it is the policy of the Archdiocese to assume good faith when a Catholic presents himself for communion; like most priests I am not at all eager to withhold communion. But the ideal cannot always be achieved in life.
In the past ten days, many Catholics have referenced canon 915 in regard to this specific circumstance. There are other reasons for denying communion which neither meet the threshold of canon 915 or have any explicit connection to the discipline stated in that canon.
If a Quaker, a Lutheran or a Buddhist, desiring communion had introduced himself as such, before Mass, a priest would be obligated to withhold communion. If someone had shown up in my sacristy drunk, or high on drugs, no communion would have been possible either. If a Catholic, divorced and remarried (without an annulment) would make that known in my sacristy, they too according to Catholic doctrine, would be impeded from receiving communion. This has nothing to do with canon 915. Ms. Johnson’s circumstances are precisely one of those relations which impede her access to communion according to Catholic teaching. Ms. Johnson was a guest in our parish, not the arbiter of how sacraments are dispensed in the Catholic Church.
This man is full of common sense. If you say yourself you can’t receive, then you can’t receive, full stop.In this case, the lady had openly admitted to be in mortal sin, and to give scandal with her openly admitted perverted “relationship”. Truly, either this is the end of the discussion of we must wonder what is wrong with us.
Note Father says confession was open to the lady on the morning. I doubt in case of serious confession and sincere intent to reform her life, Father Guarnizo would have refused communion. But she didn’t, so he did. Good man.
Under these circumstances, I quietly withheld communion, so quietly that even the Eucharistic Minister standing four feet from me was not aware I had done so. (In fact Ms. Johnson promptly chose to go to the Eucharistic minister to receive communion and did so.) There was no scandal, no “public reprimand” and no small lecture as some have reported.
If there were more like Father Guarnizo and less like Bishop Knestout, the Church in the US would be in much better shape.
I never thought I’d see the day someone asks for the priest to be fired because he doesn’t give communion to an unrepentant lesbian.
Most tragically, I never thought I’d see the day another priest would scold the lack of “pastoral sensitivity” of the first priest. If you ask me, it is priest number 2 who should be fired.
The New York Daily News has a whining article about a monster looking like Johann Hari on steroids. This circus article had a catholic funeral of her deceased mother, apparently a devout Catholic.
Fine. She had her funeral, though, didn’t she?
The trouble started when the lesbian daughter of the deceased, a lesbian of many years with the relevant “I truly think I am going to hell” look, thought that being at her mother funeral gave her right to receive communion.
Father Guarnizo, who seem to care for his job, refused to do so, even stooping so low as to tell the “woman” why she would not receive communion, something as a Catholci she should know like the Hail Mary. This, the good Father did, methinks, in an extremely, nay perhaps too gentle way.
You can read here the emotional report of the journalist (I have checked: a woman) stating the lesbian was “clearly distraught” (not,mind, at being a pervert looking like a joke; but at being denied Communion….) and describing the prompt reaction of her brother, who “immediately walked over” to assist the poor (one can say it) wretch.
If the story had ended here, there would be nothing much to report: “openly perverted woman is refused communion” shouldn’t even make headlines. The problem his, the circus article complained to the Archdiocese of Washington, probably asserting her “right” to receive communion (which is too absurd to mention) or perhaps meaning that even if the Church doesn’t give communion to openly practising lesbians looking like Johann Hari, she should do so at her mother’s funeral (even more absurd).
And here is where the scandal happened, because some “sensitive”, cowardly priest called Barry Knestout is said to have written a letter with these words:
“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,
“I hope that healing and reconciliation with the Church might be possible for you and any others who were affected by this experience. In the meantime, I will offer Mass for the happy repose of your mother’s soul. May God bring you and your family comfort in your grief and hope in the Resurrection.”
Apart from the usually stupid refrain of the “celebration” progressive priests can really not live without, this chap seems to think giving communion is a matter of “sensitivity”. Heavens, when I was a child every child knew if you are in mortal sin you can’t receive communion, but Father Knestout has not been made aware of the circumstance or, more probably, doesn’t care two straws. I can also tell you from experience reported to me by friends, that even today, in XXI century Italy, being a public unrepentant sinner (say: convivence more uxorio; and we are not even talking of perverts here) is considered obviously sufficient for the priest to deny communion, and no one blinks. “Sensitivity” is what Father Knestout cares about, not Christ; neither can he see that if the woman was really “distraught” this might be what saves her from hell, towards which she is most surely directed. There can be no doubt the woman had made her “lifestyle” public, apparently even apprearign at the function with her “lover” and introducing her as such. For Heaven’s sake, if one can’t refuse communion in such cases, when then….
Note also here “healing and reconciliation” doesn’t mean the lesbian repenting and starting to live a halfway decent life; it means Father Knestout hopes the pervert will overcome the shock of being told she cannot receive Communion. In the Archdiocese of Washington, it appears, communion is a right and to refuse it “against church policy”.
Once again, if someone should be kicked out it is the likes of Father Knestout. And please, please let us stop being always so damn “sensitive” with these tools, shall we? If you are an unrepentant practising lesbian you can’t receive communion, period.
What is so difficult to understand in this?
EDIT: some changes in this rather shocking story. It appears father Barry Knestout is auxiliary bishop in the Washington diocese. This I got from other sources, and (for what it’s worth) Wikipedia confirms.