Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cappie

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo's Fate... Priestly Faculties Removed.

143 posts in this topic

I especially like Ed Peters because he always ruffles feathers with the question of clerical continence as applied to the permanent diaconate. :evil:

Share this post


Link to post
He wrote a new blog post today.

[url="http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/three-recent-questions-in-the-wake-of-the-lesbiancommunion-controvery/http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/three-recent-questions-in-the-wake-of-the-lesbiancommunion-controvery/"]http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/three-recent-questions-in-the-wake-of-the-lesbiancommunion-controvery/[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
[b] [size=4]Ed Peters:[/size][/b]

[color=#000000][b] Three recent questions in the wake of the lesbian/Communion controvery[/b][/color]

[indent=3][color=#000000]275]March 13, 2012[/color][/indent]
[indent=3][size=1][color=#000000]275]
[size=1][size=4]I get paid to explain canon law in the calm context of the graduate classroom, where things like definitions, nuance, history, and values can be reflected upon by well-informed peers (or at least by students who do the readings!) But I never let my students forget that canon law is fundamentally a [i]legal system[/i], and that legal systems deal with [i]real people[/i], and that real people can make a [i]sorry mess of their lives and the lives of others[/i] in pretty short order. So, if the recent lesbian/Communion controversy affords us an unlooked-for opportunity, perhaps even a necessity, to explain some of the working of canon law, so be it. I’m game.[/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]Here, I consider the three common questions about this case. Sometimes, yes, the questions are rhetorical and seem designed more to taunt than to inquire, but to the degree they nevertheless help surface issues that others might find instructive, let’s look at them.[/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4][b]Isn’t it just splitting hairs to describe Fr. Guarnizo as being on “administrative leave” when everyone knows he is suspended?[/b][/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]We are talking canon law, right? Well, canon law is an ancient legal system that, over many centuries, has developed numerous terms of art. Canon law is not secret, but neither is it simple. Those who want to discuss canon law intelligently must understand and observe canonical definitions, or risk talking nonsense. In any case, it is not incumbent on canon lawyers to run around explaining their terms to everyone under the sun who wants to express an opinion about this canonical issue or that. Instead, it is incumbent on those many others to find out (or at least to take some guidance on) how canon law uses certain words before pronouncing judgment.[/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]The word “suspension” denotes a canonical [i]penalty imposed only upon guilt[/i] for a canonical crime (c. 1333). In the not-too-distant past, some ecclesiastical officials, including bishops, misused the word “suspension” to describe what may be more accurately described as “administrative leave” (more about that in a sec), but when they did so, canonists, publicly and privately, corrected that misuse of terms and, for some time now, the mistaken use of “suspension” seems to have faded out among ecclesiastical leadership.[i] Deo gratias[/i]. Only to reappear now among some bloggers. [i]Sigh.[/i][/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]But: if you are talking canon law, and you describe a cleric as “suspended”, you have described him as being guilty of a canonical crime. Therefore, those describing Fr. Guarnizo as “suspended” are canonically defaming him. Whether they know it or not.[/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]Now, about “administrative leave”. Canon law, a living legal system serving a living Church, is trying to catch up to some recent developments in, among other things, the theology of holy Orders, which developments have brought about, among things, the eclipse of the Pio-Benedictine category of “simplex priest”, leaving a hole in the law, or at least in its terminology, to describe a priest who is [i]not[/i] under a penalty (c.o.), [i]nor[/i] irregular for orders (c. 1044), [i]nor[/i] restricted pursuant to a penal process (c. 1722). This category of priest undoubtedly exists (because faculties for preaching, confessions, sacramental acts, and so on, can undoubtedly be restricted or taken away without any suggestion of guilt, etc.), but the 1983 Code does not give us a neat term to denote such priests. Until such time, if any, as the Legislator chooses to give us such a term, the phrase “administrative leave” seems to cover that gap fairly well, or at least, it does so among people who know what they are talking about.[/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]In short, the phrase “administrative leave” protects the reputation of the cleric in question; the term “suspension” marks him as a canonical criminal.[/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4][b]So, are priests supposed to help lesbian Buddhists commit sacrilege against Our Lord by giving them holy Communion?[/b][/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]Deep breath, Ed….Okay. Let’s break this down.[/size][/size][/color]
[size=1][size=4][color=#000000][i]Lesbian[/i]. First, [/color][url="http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html"][color=#000000]the Church regards the homosexual/lesbian condition as “disordered”[/color][/url][color=#000000] in somewhat the same way that one may regard alcoholism as a “disorder”. According to our tradition, one may[i]not[/i] deny holy Communion to an individual suffering from a “disorder”, so, those Catholics calling for the banning of “a lesbian” from Communion are violating our tradition (not to mention our canon law). That said, however, it [i]is[/i] possible to deprive one of holy Communion who engages in conduct that amounts to canonically verified “obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin” (c. 915), as canon law uses each of those terms. I have said from the beginning of this mess, verifiable conduct, not asserted status, is the only question relevant here. Now, if someone wants to make the case that [i]all five[/i] (per c. 18) of those banning conditions were canonically satisfied a few minutes before Mass one day, they are free to try. I think they would fail in the attempt, but that’s just my opinion. In any case, at least such persons would be talking about what is relevant here, the law on holy Communion, and not just using rhetorical questions as cudgels.[/color][/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4][color=#000000][i]Buddhists[/i]. Buddhists have no right to holy Communion; baptized persons, in accord with law, have the right to holy Communion (c. 912, etc.). This woman was baptized Catholic. The presumption is, therefore, that she had a right to Communion, and the burden is on those who would deny her same to prove that she is no longer permitted by law to receive holy Communion, here, on the grounds that she is a Buddhist. That is a heavy burden of proof, of course, and one not likely sustainable in a short conversation before Mass one day, and one made even more difficult in the wake of a [/color][url="http://www.canonlaw.info/canonlaw_discus.htm"][color=#000000]Notification handed down in April 2006[/color][/url][color=#000000] regarding the “formal act of defection” and its relation to, among other things, the canonical crime of apostasy (cc. 751, 1364), and in turn its impact on the application of wider canon law to such individuals. In short, canonists know that a Catholic’s[i]claim[/i] to be a Buddhist, and a Catholic’s [i]being canonically recognized[/i]as being a Buddhist, are very distinct things. Those who are not canonists may be excused not being aware of the difference, but not for ignoring it once it is pointed out to them.[/color][/size][/size]
[color=#000000][size=1][size=4][b]Given all the hoopla this lady has generated about herself, wouldn’t it be fair to say that if she presents herself for Communion again, she should be denied?[/b][/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]Yes. With one caveat common among the doctors who have discussed these situations for several centuries—in contrast to most bloggers who have been aware of these questions for maybe several days.[/size][/size]
[size=1][size=4]Notoriety (of the type needed for denial of the Eucharist) in one place is not necessarily notoriety in another. Like other human communities, the cyber-community exaggerates how widely known are matters of interest to it. I would not want to see a priest unaware of this woman’s profile, etc., and giving her Communion, being torn to shreds by Catholic hotheads for desecrating the Eucharist. This is one more reason why Canon 915 (and a half-dozen other relevant norms) are so narrowly drawn: the primary responsibility for approaching holy Communion worthily rests with the individual (c. 916).[/size][/size][/color]
[size=1][size=4][color=#000000]This, mind, from someone who has labored for years, and who will continue to do so,[/color][url="http://www.canonlaw.info/canonlaw915.htm"][color=#000000] to get Canon 915 enforced properly[/color][/url][color=#000000]. + + +[/color][/size][/size]
[color=#000000][size=1]Ha! That’s the [i]second[/i] time the “s” in “controversy” has dropped out of my title! How funny.[/size][/color][/size]
[/indent] Edited by Nihil Obstat
penguin31, XIX and AnneLine prop this

Share this post


Link to post
It's worth mentioning here that he's a priest of Russia and so the Archdiocese has to extend faculties for him to offer Mass and hear confessions regularly in the Archdiocese.

Share this post


Link to post
Score one for the Roman Catholic Church standing behind it's own religious doctrine and priests that impliment it.

Share this post


Link to post
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/03/fr-guarnizo-has-more-to-say-about-being-removed-from-ministry-in-washington-d-c/#comments

[quote]
[b]Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s Response to the Eucharistic Incident[/b]
I would like to begin by once again sending my condolences to the Johnson family on the death of Mrs. Loetta Johnson.
I also feel obliged to answer questions from my parishioners, as well as from the public, about the incident on February 25th.
Here are the facts:...
[/quote]

Read more at the link. It's a hefty letter, with quite a bit of insight from the priest's perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='Slappo' timestamp='1331836484' post='2401281']
[url="http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/03/fr-guarnizo-has-more-to-say-about-being-removed-from-ministry-in-washington-d-c/#comments"]http://wdtprs.com/bl...n-d-c/#comments[/url]



Read more at the link. It's a hefty letter, with quite a bit of insight from the priest's perspective.
[/quote]
I definitely question whether or not it's wise for a priest in his situation to say anything at all. I imagine a good canon lawyer would tell him to speak to his bishop, the bishop of the diocese he has been working in, and nobody else.
qfnol31 props this

Share this post


Link to post
Lawyers, canon or otherwise, always tell their clients to keep their lips zipped.
AnneLine, qfnol31, Lil Red and 3 others prop this

Share this post


Link to post
Have you seen that razzle dazzle video of a law professor (formerly a defense attorney) and a police officer both giving a lecture on why you should never ever talk to police?

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='Nihil Obstat' timestamp='1331838559' post='2401309']
I definitely question whether or not it's wise for a priest in his situation to say anything at all. I imagine a good canon lawyer would tell him to speak to his bishop, the bishop of the diocese he has been working in, and nobody else.
[/quote]

At least he has to his advantage that his promise of obedience does not lie with the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. Otherwise I agree - not sure how prudent it is.

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='Slappo' timestamp='1331841727' post='2401340']
At least he has to his advantage that his promise of obedience does not lie with the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. Otherwise I agree - not sure how prudent it is.
[/quote]
That is true enough, but I'm assuming that the best case scenario would be for him to return to active ministry in Washington. It would be possibly relevant to know why he was working there instead of in Russia...

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='Slappo' timestamp='1331836484' post='2401281']
[url="http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/03/fr-guarnizo-has-more-to-say-about-being-removed-from-ministry-in-washington-d-c/#comments"]http://wdtprs.com/bl...n-d-c/#comments[/url]



Read more at the link. It's a hefty letter, with quite a bit of insight from the priest's perspective.
[/quote]



Might be good to read [url="http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/1733/"]http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/1733/[/url]

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s statement evidences misunderstandings of several aspects of Catholic law on the administration of holy Communion and confirms my sense that Guarnizo erred in withholding holy Communion in this case. Regarding those errors, I believe that he, and those inclined to support or even imitate him, need correction.
Preliminary points
I offer here canonical commentary, and that, only for those who are interested in the operation of canon law in the Church and are aware of (or willing to take direction on) how this venerable legal system serves the Christian community. Those suffering, regardless of their doctrinal views, from various kinds of ecclesiastical antinomianism are invited to address their more basic concerns about the role of law in the Church in another context.

I comment here only on Guarnizo’s decision to withhold holy Communion from Barbara Johnson on Feb 25, except briefly to correct one parenthetical remark by Guarnizo: he apparently thinks that Cdl. Wuerl does not have the authority to “suspend” him. I have stated all along that Guarnizo is not suspended, but there is no question that Wuerl could suspend Guarnizo, or apply any other appropriate penalty, if things come to that (cc. 1408, 1412).
MissScripture props this

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='cappie' timestamp='1331848039' post='2401410']
Might be good to read [url="http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/1733/"]http://canonlawblog....012/03/15/1733/[/url]

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s statement evidences misunderstandings of several aspects of Catholic law on the administration of holy Communion and confirms my sense that Guarnizo erred in withholding holy Communion in this case. Regarding those errors, I believe that he, and those inclined to support or even imitate him, need correction.
Preliminary points
I offer here canonical commentary, and that, only for those who are interested in the operation of canon law in the Church and are aware of (or willing to take direction on) how this venerable legal system serves the Christian community. Those suffering, regardless of their doctrinal views, from various kinds of ecclesiastical antinomianism are invited to address their more basic concerns about the role of law in the Church in another context.

I comment here only on Guarnizo’s decision to withhold holy Communion from Barbara Johnson on Feb 25, except briefly to correct one parenthetical remark by Guarnizo: he apparently thinks that Cdl. Wuerl does not have the authority to “suspend” him. I have stated all along that Guarnizo is not suspended, but there is no question that Wuerl could suspend Guarnizo, or apply any other appropriate penalty, if things come to that (cc. 1408, 1412).
[/quote]

Oh, I'm glad he wrote a response! Thanks for posting that. I forgot to check his blog today.

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='Slappo' timestamp='1331841727' post='2401340']
At least he has to his advantage that his promise of obedience does not lie with the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. Otherwise I agree - not sure how prudent it is.
[/quote]Respect and obedience (they're in the same promise made kneeling before the bishop). He wasn't ordained here, but it's very unwise to upset the bishop under whose authority you currently minister. I'm not sure if his archbishop is pleased by this anyway...they often stand up for their own.
MissScripture props this

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='cappie' timestamp='1331851815' post='2401446']
No problem I check his blog every other day. Canon Law was my "best" subject in the seminary and I have had more than a passing interest since. Canon Law protects all people in the Church. It allows us to deal justly without being blown about on whims and personal likes/dislikes. By applying Canon Law we don't run the rick of the "lynch mob" mentality as there is always due process to follow. Had it been followed then it would have protected the priest and the person. End of story. :rolleyes:
[/quote]

On the one hand I wish it were ok for Fr. Guarnizo to have done what he did, but on the other hand I think it's more important for Canon 915 to be enforced as is. :P

Share this post


Link to post
[quote name='qfnol31' timestamp='1331849242' post='2401420']
Respect and obedience (they're in the same promise made kneeling before the bishop). He wasn't ordained here, but it's very unwise to upset the bishop under whose authority you currently minister. I'm not sure if his archbishop is pleased by this anyway...they often stand up for their own.
[/quote]

Oh I quite agree

Share this post


Link to post
Here is a interesting counterargument to Mr. Peters rather public and semi-sorta prosecutorial effort against Father Garnizo.


[b][url="http://www.newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.it/2012/03/guest-letter-challenging-dr-peters-on.html"]Greetings in Christ,[/url][/b]

I am writing you regarding the incident that happened recently towards the end of last month in the Archdiocese of Washington wherein Ms. Barbara Johnson was denied communion by the priest, Rev. Marcel Guarnizo. I would like to break open, yet one more time, the whole issue of canon 915. In particular, I would like to challenge the reading of this canon by Dr. Edward Peters.

My argument will be structured around two main points. First, how do we read the word “obstinate” in canon 915? Second, how do we read this canon’s use of the word “manifest”?
The blogosphere is full of discussions that assume that for someone to be “obstinate” according to c. 915 he must have been first privately talked to and warned by a pastor about his sin. On this reading, communion should be denied him only [i]after[/i] he has been warned and [i]then [/i]continues in his sin and publicly presents himself for communion.

The most recent Magisterial interpretation of canon 915 is the [i]Declaration Concerning The Admission To Holy Communion Of Faithful Who Are Divorced And Remarried[/i], put out by the Pontifical Council For Legislative Texts in the year 2000. It defines “obstinate” as follows:

“obstinate persistence, which means the existence of an objective situation of sin that endures in time and which the will of the individual member of the faithful does not bring to an end, no other requirements (attitude of defiance, prior warning, etc.) being necessary to establish the fundamental gravity of the situation in the Church.”
For this PCILT document, “Obstinate”, as it appears in canon 915, is not necessarily only verifiable by a process of pastoral discussion and warning. Rather, a person is considered to be “obstinate” in their sin if their sinful lifestyle has been lived in for some time and has not been abandoned by them. So for example, cohabitating couples, simply by their lifestyle, are “obstinate” in their sin. So also the sin of a practicing and open homosexual would be considered “obstinate”. Of course, it makes good pastoral sense to avoid “making a scene” and embarrassing people by having to deny them communion in public. If a pastor can speak [i]beforehand[/i] to a person he has good reason to consider publically unworthy, he should do so. But prior discussion and warning are not absolutes. Even apart from them, the minister has an obligation to deny communion to the publically unworthy.

The PCILT document says,
“Naturally, pastoral prudence would strongly suggest the avoidance of instances of public denial of Holy Communion. Pastors must strive to explain to the concerned faithful the true ecclesial sense of the norm, in such a way that they would be able to understand it or at least respect it. [i]In those situations, however, in which these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible, the minister of Communion must refuse to distribute it to those who are publicly unworthy.[/i] They are to do this with extreme charity, and are to look for the opportune moment to explain the reasons that required the refusal. They must, however, do this with firmness, conscious of the value that such signs of strength have for the good of the Church and of souls.” [Emphasis mine]

I think this idea of the necessary “prior warning” has accidentally gotten inserted into the discussion and raised confusion because of the issue of Catholic politicians who support political policies contrary to the faith. The public unworthiness of such politicians is a bit more difficult an issue than the public unworthiness of cohabitating couples or practicing and open homosexual persons. In the case of such politicians, it makes sense for a bishop to first talk with the politician, verify the objective gravity of his political stance (which by nature is going to be a more complex matter than fornication, adultery, or homosexual acts), warn him, and—if he persists in his stance—only then issue a diocesan-wide notice instructing ministers to refuse communion to him.

[url="http://www.newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.it/2012/03/guest-letter-challenging-dr-peters-on.html"]Read More...[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
I disagree with the lawyer guy. lol

He's basically doing the same thing against the priest that he claims the priest did against the lesbian. He's assuming the priest could not know that the lesbian's conduct was obstinate, manifest, grave, and sinful--based on the fact that he only had a limited conversation with her... Yet, he's making all of these assumptions based off of a very limited blog post?

Share this post


Link to post
I can guarantee four things:

1) The Archdiocese of Washington met with Father Guarnizo after this incident and spoke with him privately: his "punishment" was originally to be temporary.

2) This was not the first issue with him, and I don't think that the real issue was what happened with Holy Communion anyway.

3) Not one of these posters has any real good understanding of the Archdiocese in general. As a person who used to handle questions of a priest's ability to offer regular public Mass or hear regular confessions in the Archdiocese, there is too much ignorance present in the whole discussion.

4) No good will come from criticizing the actions of Bishop Knestout - who I guarantee you has the full support of Cardinal Wuerl.
MissyP89 and Archaeology cat prop this

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0