Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fr. Marcel Placed on Administrative Leave

Our friend over at Restore DC Catholicism informed me (and it is on her blog) that they have placed Fr. Marcel Guarzino on Administrative Leave.

At this point, I have written this blog posting at least six or seven times but just can't seem to get it right. Nevertheless, here is what I think...

1. The letter by Bishop Knestout says many things, and yet it says very litte. There are accusations (or at least complaints) of intimidating behavior but no one knows what they are. It could be as simple as "Fr. told me to do this in red and that it is the way it is to be done. I think lime green is a much better choice and did not like his style choices. When did the cardinal make him a fashionista?" Or it could be "Fr. told me, in a very stern voice, that I could not do something." We don't know. I would bet that the scent of blood is in the water, and some have decided to take advanage of it.

2. He is placed on admin leave but for all purposes, his priestly faculties have been suspended. He cannot publicly say Mass, Confessions, etc. More than likely, he will be allowed to say it privately, but cannot appear in public, etc. You can slice it any way you want, but that is probably what has happened. I wonder if he is still living in the rectory. Usually, when these things happen, a couple of priests show up at the rectory, tell the priest in question he has 24 hours to pack his stuff and find a new place. Where he goes, they do not care. Just get out.

3. They claim it is a personnel matter. This allows for confidentiality. Can't say anything to anyone, lest we violate Fr. Marcel's privacy. But you know, those who have accused him may come forth to tell their side of the story.

4. From the public relations front, this is a disaster. They may be trying to shield themselves from their own mistakes, but I think that this only makes things worse. The gay and lesbian community will call this a victory.

5. If, Fr. Marcel did what they said he did, when did these accusations appear? Are they new or old? If old (and true -- and we do not know), did the Archdiocese meet and counsel him on what he did or did not do? In other words, did the Archdiocese follow their own public relations statements, as it pertains to a catholic in persistant and public sin, in dealing with a priest who may have not handled things right.

6. Personally, I wonder how the other priests in this Archdiocese feel? I learned of this story late in the afternon, way after Mass, so I did not get a chance to talk to my pastor...but he probably would tell me that he could not speak about it.

7. Were there large numbers of contributors to the Archdiocese who told the Cardinal to either get rid of Fr. Marcel or we will cut our donations to you? I don't know but I suspect that some of that took place and he could not afford a drop in $$$.

So, what can we do...

1. Pray for Fr. Marcel.

2. Hold your donation to the Cardinal's Appeal. Do not give and give to another charity.

3. Be prepared to reduce or eliminate your weekly offering to your parish. This one is the hardest, as we are all members of a parish and want our parish to continue to survive. I am ready to cut my donation in half, if needed. But I will wait at this moment for that.


Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic but not in the Washington Archdiocese. I will probably leave the Church over this decision. What about Nancy Pelosi, Katherine Sebelius, Joe Biden, Dick Durbin, etc. who are supporters of abortion and contraception. This is the Church being part of the politically correct USA. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see that this latest action suggests that there are more serious problems with Fr. Guarnizo than simply the unfortunate situation at the funeral of Barbara Johnson's mother. This kind of step is a most substantial one for the archdiocese to take. I still am curious about Fr. Guarnizo's supposed status ( according to his bios on different web sites about his work in Europe) that he is a priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow.
Was he properly screened, trained and ordained?

Anonymous said...

Father Marcel will be ostracized and further persecuted by his peers per the orders of the archdiocese of washington DC hierarchy.

It happened to a priest in New Jersey and the only thing he did was protest the Catholic Church and school closings. Yes, they suspended him too and threw him out of the rectory. Then they sent him away to meetings to brainwash him too. I witnessed other priests harassing and persecuting him. Actually many of us were persecuted.

I then joined independent Catholic chapel with the persecuted priest's blessing. He remains offers Mass from his mother's private home because he they forced him into retirement.

Many other priests and nuns have chosen God and poverty and joined independent catholic chapels like SSPX or sspv.

Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication in 2009. aFterall, it was hypocritical to excommunicate good and holy Catholics while keeping pedophile priests in ministry. There is no excommunication.

There are many independent chapels looking for priests or pastors like Father Marcel.

Anonymous said...

If you have documentation of your contributions, please write to your parish and ask for them back because the church is taking these contributions under false pretenses (i.e. it says these are the rules, but then it violates these rules, i.e. promotes homosexuality, allows homosexuals like McCarrick who there are court documents that he has intimidated and harrassed seminarians and priests to RETAIN his faculties (also advocate for Civil Unions, etc.), hires Barbara Johnson (a self confessed lesbian and budhist to teach). Tell them you are also contacting the Better Business Bureau. Then please do it. Anyone can do this since "the church" is an international organization. You will probably be excommunicated, but that is better than supporting pedophile demons. I believe it is time to research a class action suit. The diocese is afraid of a lawsuit from gays and it is also vulnerable to blackmail from gays because of the number of homosexual priests and religious who congregage immorally with them. The only way to counterbalance is for us to countersue -- even the proaborts and progays will sign on to get their money back -- then the only priests and religious left will be those who truly love God and want to save souls.

Michael R. said...

It is always amused by how "Christain" feel that is is totally within their right to judge others. How would you or anyone else know the heart of another person. The Bible clearly says that passing judgement is God's job and not ours. Even Jesus did not condemn the women at the well even though one could have consider her to be "living in sin". So I am always wondering how these "Christians" are able to reconcile such hypocrisy within thier hearts and minds.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Michael R, Father didn't have to "judge" her heart. Her actions, right before the Mass were what disqualified her to receive Holy Communion. By the way, for someone who seems so offended by "judging", you seem to have no problem dishing out your own "judgement" against Father and the Church.

George said...

You know, the thought came to me yesterday that there are at least two causes worthy of support: the organizations founded by Fr. Marcel. The Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe ( and Aid to the Church in Russia (

Anonymous said...

George has a good suggestion. I have stopped my contribution to Cardinal's Appeal. I will look at Fr. Marcel's work. My ADW priest has indicated his frustration with the bishop's actions. I wonder if Bishop Knestout will replace Fr. Marcel's presence in front of the abortuary? I doubt it.

Allen Thrasher said...

I would beg Anonymous not to leave the Church, either to nothing in particular or to some schismatic group. Schism is a mortal sin just as much as catering to gays. There have been endless scandals in the Church through the centuries, many worse than this one. And the schismatic groups have their own scandals, and also tend to split and re-split like mutating viruses.

In Christ,

Allen Thrasher