Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Canon Lawyer defends Fr. Guarnizo....

Fr. Guarnizo on Trial

From Pewsitters:

"the public reception of Communion by a public sinner implies that the Church and her ministers somehow condone the public serious sin."

Where is the right of defense for Father Gaurnizo? Did the Ordinary initiate an administrative process or a judicial penal process with a decree of judicial weight? What about the libellus, the formal petition of accusation? Where is the promotor of justice to ensure that the proper juridical motions are taken at each step of the trial? Where is due process?

In short, I respectfully but substantially disagree with Ed Peters' view of Father Guarnizo's alleged violation canon 915 based on the arguments offered above. In addition, the misfortune of the the loss of faculties that Father Guarnizo has suffered has seemingly come about without due canonical process. Furthermore, why did the diocese not mention canon 916, which reminds the faithful of the obligation to receive the Eucharist worthily in their letter of apology to Barbara Johnson? Although any information whatsoever about the entire situation is at a premium, it seems like the Diocese of Washington, DC is more willing, at least externally, to place its trust in somebody who (although canonically is not Buddhist as Ed Peters rightly points out) professes to be a Buddhist, has illegally attempted marriage with her lesbian partner, and was a speaker on March 17th at a national conference for gays and lesbians. Finally, is Father Guarnizo guilty until proven innocent?

I'm making these points in order to highlight every priest's obligation to safeguard the Holy Eucharist and to highlight that every priest accused of wrongdoing should receive a right of defense in a just trial. - A priest and a canon lawyer who wishes to remain anonymous.

Paging Cardinal Burke.  Paging Cardinal Burke.
The ancient Rituale Romanum stated:
"All the faithful are to be admitted to Holy Communion, except those who are prohibited for a just reason. The publicly unworthy, which are the excommunicated, those under interdict, and the manifestly infamous, such as prostitutes, those cohabiting, usurers, sorcerers, fortune-tellers, blasphemers and other sinners of the public kind, are, however, to be prevented, unless their penitence and amendment has been established and they will have repaired the public scandal."

Furthermore, as Cardinal Burke mentions in his commentary on canon 915,
“Regarding the denial of Holy Communion, the [1720 Ruthenian] Synod made its own the perennial discipline of the Church:
“Heretics, schismatics, the excommunicated, the interdicted, public criminals, the openly infamous, as also prostitutes, the publicly cohabiting, major usurers, fortune-tellers, and other evil-doing men of the same kind, however, are not to be admitted to the reception of this Sacrament, according to the precept of Christ: 'Do not give the Holy to dogs'. "

A notorious act here means an act that cannot be concealed. - ibid

Now let's go over that question about married deacons and continence again, shall we?

Pray for Fr. Guarnizo.

Why I love Pewsitters!


  1. Guarnizo could just go back to Russia. You know, where his Bishop is.

    Then again, it's easier to do whatever you when your Bishop isn't anywhere near. Just ask Fr. Z. ;)

  2. There is so much confusion about 'worthy' reception ... no wonder the young ones are so confused ... the adults cannot even 'figure it' out ... ya know ....

    "At the office, Andrew Cuomo operates at two speeds — get along and kill — but at home he's just a big old pussycat.

    So says his live-in love, celebrity "Semi-Homemade" chef Sandra Lee.

    “He’s so patient and mellow,” Lee said in a New York Times Magazine interview. “He doesn't give me grief.”

    The answer came after the interviewer suggested “a lot of crockery flying around at home” given Cuomo’s famed hot-temper and Lee’s “bulldog determination.”

    “We never fight,” Lee insisted.

    She swatted aside talk of a wedding in advance of the Democrat’s potential 2016 White House bid.

    “Andrew is focused on being governor,” she said. “He’s not running for President.”

    As for the two tying the knot, Lee said, “we’re happy in the relationship the way it is.”

    She admitted, though, that Cuomo’s three daughters would like the two to marry. “It’s very sweet,” she said.

    The interview got a little weighty when Lee was asked about a potential 2016 presidential matchup between Cuomo and portly New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie..."

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/gov-andrew-cuomo-live-in-girlfriend-hard-charging-pol-patient-mellow-home-article-1.1049772#ixzz1qMIWSZ2t

  3. Yeah, but I bet he wouldn't presume to receive Communion...

  4. Paging Cardinal Burke. Paging Cardinal Burke

    LOL!!!!!!!!!! Terry, what's w/ the new photo? Soooooooooo inviting. I liked the punch line at the end, you know, her head shot. She is looking, well, raaaaaather formidable, wouldn't you say?

    Shall we pray that Card Wuerl becomes a little less skilled where things romanita are concerned? He is making life in the Capitol city mighty stressful.

  5. Maria - I'm striving for a more dignified look. Haha!

  6. What if the recipient of Communion in this case had received absolution in the days preceding? Would anyone have known for sure? It does happen suddenly sometimes, after all, especially at critical times in our lives.

    Are we saying it is right to presume otherwise with people such as 'her'???? Presumption is a sin.

    Our UK leader, Archbishop Vincent Nicholls is very clear in his teaching and thinking in matters like this, he states that the moment of receiving is not the time to question. As he puts it, 'People should learn to hold their tongue'

    If the priest then wants to speak to the individual involved afterwards, all well and good.

  7. confused in the pew-p8:16 AM

    Shadowland - in the communion denial situation and from what has been reported, the woman made her thoughts and lifestyle known, and her "lover" (as she was supposed introduced) "blocked" the priest from further dialogue with the daughter.

    An element missing here that only the priest and witnesses can attest to is 'voice tone' and 'body language'. Did the priest perceive these as a 'threat', a 'challenge', a 'dare' attached to the spoken words?

    None of this has been raised in the press, or spoken of. When I was in management, we were 'taught' and 'advised' to discern such things and to note them in employee reviews. [i.e. "she refused to sit", "he sat through our conversation with arms crossed over his chest", "she received the news with great enthusiasm with huge smile...", etc.]

    As for your what-if scenario, I agree with your Archbishop. But, it seems that if someone who has a converted heart about their lifestyle, went to confession hours before a Mother's funeral, and knew that they had a 'public gay activist life' reputation within the community, I would think (hope) the first act of a converted heart and in charity (respect for) would be to go to the priest to quietly let him know of your penance and ask how he would want to handle communion with you.

    Perhaps after mass as some divorcees-re-married-no-annulments are asked to do when they have repented and adhere to teachings, for the 'good' of the community and their own souls.

    An 'act' of introducing your girl-friend as a 'lover' does not speak of such repentance. Perhaps ignorance of the faith, and/or rudeness, but not one of repentance. But none of us were there to see the full exchange which includes the 'body language' that accompanied the introduction. The 'lover' blocking door, speaks of something? Not to sure what because it has not been reported what the last exchange was between the daughter and the priest. But it does raise some serious questions.

    The what-if scenario does not seem related to the supposed 'facts' known in this situation. Just a few thoughts.

    Terry - the little grey in hair is dignifying ...

  8. Terry - it has been stated he has ....

    Cuomo - don't know if Peters received any feedback from his letters ....



    " ... It is Albany Bp. Howard Hubbard’s responsibility to see to it that the common discipline of the Church is promoted and that all ecclesiastical laws are observed, exercising particular vigilance against abuse of the sacraments and the worship of God. 1983 CIC 392. Unfortunately, Hubbard’s rah-rah inaugurational homily before Cuomo and Lee, in which, without admonition for their objectively and publicly sinful status, the prelate seemed to have anointed the pair as his kind of evangelizers in government, and his complicity in the administration of Communion to Cuomo, amounts, in my opinion, to another dereliction of pastoral duty. + + "

    What message does the various ways in which Bishops address this issue send to families in the pew? To their children, teens and young adults? To fallen away Catholics? Just wondering.

  9. I'm genuinely confused: are married deacons expected to refrain from sexual relations with their wives post-ordination or not?

  10. In the letter Barbara Johnson wrote to the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. Johnson refers to her practice of lesbianism as one of many "politcal points of view",which she demands to be accepted, further demands the removal of Father Guarnizo, and displays an ugly and destructive attitude. Barbara Johnson is condemned by her own testimony.

  11. Patrick - I think the court was never really convened over that question. Most of them seem so old, I don't know if it would be much of an issue.

  12. Thank you, Terry. I don't think I understood what you meant by making reference to it in light of writing otherwise regarding Fr. Guarnizo: "Now let's go over that question about married deacons and continence again, shall we?"

  13. A mere coincidence? Hmmmmm . . . .


  14. Fr. Frank - I had another separated at birth set of photos, but I took the post down.

  15. Patrick - I just mentioned that because I think it was another question Peters raised that went nowhere.

  16. Patrick - it was some time last year. Apparently there has been a low-level push for that among certain circles. Lots of people dismissed it as certain canonists interpreting canons all too zealously. Even if a literal reading of canon law results in such an interpretation, the Church can change canon law.

    Since permanent married deacons were reinstated, no one *anywhere* told them that was required, even in the most orthodox of parishes. He also claimed it applied to married Anglican clergy who came to the Catholic Church - I know for a fact most of them are fiercely orthodox (that's why they made the big leap), yet are not practicing perfect continence, as it was never required of them.

    Eastern Catholics view the move with suspicion because it seems there has been a small movement to get clerical continence requirement declared Apostolic Tradition rather than the disciplinary norm for the Roman Church. This would put their own ancient traditions in jeopardy.

    Also, the reasoning seems to base the requirement of celibacy and the good of continence on ritual purity - i.e. no one who does "that sort of thing" is pure enough to approach the altar. While this view is certainly seen in some Western saints (one said: "the hands of a priest should be so pure as to never have touched a woman's genitals" - implying that this is in itself impure, even in marriage, which, it is not), it is not, in the end, the real reason celibacy and continence are esteemed. I.e. it relies on that "icky sex thing" needing to be avoided. The East of course thinks this is not Tradition.

  17. Thank you Terry and Mercury - much appreciated. I never heard of this prior to now. My only sense of anything close to this was that a deacon who was married, but whose wife passed away, was expected to be celibate from that point forward. Also, a never married man who was ordained a deacon was also expected to be celibate from the point of his ordination forward.

    I have reservations regarding the push for requiring continence for married deacons, at the very least because of what that could do to the good of his marriage. And, if what you say is at all in play, Mercury, then all the more would I be concerned.


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