Fr. Guarnizo on Trial
"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.
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