Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Priest who followed the teachings of his church placed on leave by his church

Lesbianism trumps church doctrine, apparently. Lesbian Buddhists living unrepentant in sin must be given communion? It's an old Protestant view that Catholics are not Christians. The church does sometimes foster that impression

A Catholic priest in the Washington, D.C. area has ignited controversy over the past month after he reportedly refused to grant communion to a lesbian woman at her mother’s funeral.

As The Blaze has reported, the woman, Barbara Johnson, has publicly called for the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo of St. John Neumann Catholic Church to be removed. Now, following these pleas and the national outraged that followed, he has officially been placed on leave.

While specific details aren’t yet available regarding why the Washington archdiocese made the decision to impose the harsh penalty, a letter that is dated March 9 and that addresses the issue has been uncovered by the Washington Post. In it, Bishop Barry Knestout, the leader of Washington D.C. and Maryland area churches, told other local priests that the punishment came as a result of Guarnizo “engaging in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry.”

The entire letter reads:
I write to inform you that effective today, Father Marcel Guarnizo’s assignment at St. John Neumann Parish is withdrawn and he has been placed on administrative leave with his priestly faculties removed until such time as an inquiry into his actions at the parish is completed.

This action was taken after I received credible allegations that Father Guarnizo has engaged in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry.

Given the grave nature of these allegations, and in light of the confusion in the parish and the concerns expressed by parishioners, Father Guarnizo is prohibited from exercising any priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington until all matters can be appropriately resolved, with the hope that he might return to priestly ministry.

Sincerely in Christ
Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia

Despite these words — which don’t mention the communion incident — many are assuming that the removal is related to the priest’s interaction with Johnson. Rev. Thomas LaHood, who is the pastor at St. John Neumann, denied this over the weekend, though. According to the Post, LaHood echoed the letter over the weekend and said that the removal has to do with “actions over the past week or two.”

“As we know there’s been disagreement within the parish over how and to whom Communion is distributed. From my perspective this disagreement and related emotions flow from love. Love for Christ, really and truly present in the Eucharist,” LaHood said during Sunday mass. “However, how we live out this love is important. The Scriptures tell us that we are known above all by how we love…I realize this letter is hard to hear. Please keep mind that this is a first personnel issue, dealing with issues of ministry in the church. Father Guarnizo will have every opportunity to present his position.”

Johnson, like Guarnizo, has been relatively quiet over the past few days in regards to addressing the incident.

“We are hopeful that Bishop Knestout’s decision will ensure that no others will have to undergo the traumatic experiences brought upon our family,” Johnson and here family said in a written statement responding to the disciplinary actions taken against the priest. “We urge all Catholics to put aside political points of view, and pray that our Church will remain in Christ’s love.”

Here’s what The Blaze originally reported about the incident:
Johnson, a lesbian, was joined at the church by her partner to celebrate her mother’s life. Just before the service, Guarnizo apparently learned about her sexuality and relationship. Then, during the service, when Johnson stood up to receive communion, the priest openly denied her.

“He put his hand over the body of Christ and looked at me and said, ‘I can’t give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin,’” she explained following the incident.

Some bloggers, like Thomas Peters if, have railed against Johnson, pointing to a paper that appears to be published under her name. In it, she admits to being a Buddhist.

Peters, among others, has dismissed Johnson’s communion concerns, going on to highlight her activism as a case behind her outrage with Guarnizo’s actions. Peters writes:
What’s that? Johnson is a self-professed Buddhist? No wonder she describes herself as a “student of … Buddhist philosophy” on her website.

So what was she doing presenting herself for Communion at her mother’s funeral if she apostatized? Why has she failed to mention this important fact in all of her appearances on the media?

Could it be, quite simply, because she herself has a political agenda? [...]

…I’m sick and tired of the media playing along with these agenda-driven personal stories while exercising zero vetting because they coincide with the media’s agenda.

Peters’ point is that Johnson, a Buddhist, shouldn‘t be too concerned over the priest’s refusal to give her communion. This, of course, depends on Johnson and her devotion — or lack thereof — to the Catholic faith.


UK: Catholic archbishops intensify opposition to homosexual "marriage"

The Catholic Church in England has intensified its campaign against government plans to legalise same-sex marriage, urging the faithful to protect the "true meaning" of matrimony for future generations.

In a letter read in 2500 parish churches across the country during Sunday Mass, the church's senior archbishops argued that the proposed change would reduce the significance of marriage.

"The law helps to shape and form social and cultural values. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society's understanding of the purpose of marriage," Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith said in the letter.

"There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children," they wrote.

The archbishops ended the letter by calling on Catholics to fulfil their duty to make sure "the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations".

Britain's government plans to allow everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, to have the option of a civil marriage. Prime Minister David Cameron has openly backed the plans, and the equalities minister will launch a consultation later this month on how to change the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said it was "bizarre" that the Catholic Church had chosen to mobilise their congregations on the issue. "It shows a perverse sense of moral priorities," he said, accusing the archbishops of "preaching a gospel of division and discrimination".

"Catholics are entitled to believe that same-sex marriages are wrong, but they are not entitled to demand that their rejection of gay marriages should be imposed on the rest of society and enforced by law," Tatchell said.

A spokeswoman for the gay and lesbian rights group Quest said the "tide of history" was already turning in favour of same-sex marriages.

However, opinion polls showed on Sunday that the government proposals could clash with the views of Conservative voters, of whom just 35 per cent said they were in favour of putting same-sex relationships on the same footing with marriage. But the ICM poll for The Sunday Telegraph also found that the wider public backed the move by a margin of 45 to 36 per cent.

Currently only heterosexual couples are permitted to get married in Britain, while civil partnerships, introduced in 2005, are limited to same-sex couples.

The archbishops' message came after Pope Benedict XVI on Friday denounced what he called the "powerful" gay marriage lobby in America and told visiting US bishops to not back down in the face of "powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage".

Last week Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the head of the Scottish Catholic Church, condemned the British marriage proposals as "madness", and accused the coalition government of trying to "redefine reality".

The controversy came as the head of the Anglican Church Rowan Williams visited Rome on Sunday for a private meeting with the Pope, followed by joint prayers during Vespers at the monastery of Rome's Church of San Gregorio al Celio.

Relations between the Anglican Church and the Vatican have warmed markedly since a landmark visit by Pope Benedict XVI to England and Scotland in 2010.


Leading British companies may be forced to promote more female executives

Hiring the best person for the job not allowed -- leading to an inevitable decline in the standard of the work and the life of the business

Britain's biggest firms are ‘spectacularly unsuccessful’ at promoting high-flying women to top jobs, management experts warn. In a report today, the School of Management at Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, says firms are good at hiring young women to junior jobs, but too few make it to the top.

A separate report today from the Department for Business raises the prospect of firms being forced to hire a certain number of women on to their boards.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, who was appointed by ministers to investigate the lack of women in boardrooms, urged firms to speed up their promotion or risk the consequences. He said: ‘I must emphasise that efforts need to be ramped up and the speed of change accelerated if we are to avoid Government interference.’

In his first report, published last year, he said FTSE 100 companies should reach a minimum target of 25 per cent of female representation on the board by 2015. But he rejected the option of setting quotas, which exist in countries such as Norway.

However, David Cameron refuses to rule out these so-called ‘golden skirt’ targets if the situation does not improve. The Prime Minister said the promotion of women to senior jobs had to ‘accelerate’ and that the case was ‘overwhelming’ that firms were run better if men and women worked alongside each other. Speaking in Stockholm recently, he said: ‘I don’t think you should ever rule out [quotas] if you can’t get there in other ways.’

The Department for Business said the number of women appointed to the boardrooms of Britain’s biggest firms had achieved its ‘largest-ever annual increase’ over the past year. In 1999, just 6.9 per cent of directors in the FTSE index of Britain’s 100 biggest firms were women. Last year, it reached 12.5 per cent. It has since jumped sharply to 15.6 per cent, with more than one in four jobs now going to women.

Lord Davies said: ‘We are on a steady journey towards our 25 per cent target, but the reality is that a lot more still needs to be done.’

Business Secretary Vince Cable will also say today that quotas are unlikely to be needed if companies continue to make progress, adding: ‘The UK is making the voluntary approach work.’

But the problem remains that while many women join companies from school or university, only a tiny number reach the top.

Professor Susan Vinnicombe, co-author of Cranfield’s Female FTSE report, said: ‘Many FTSE companies are successful at attracting women at entry level, and developing them and retaining them after maternity leave. 'But [they] are still spectacularly unsuccessful at promoting them to executive level.’

She said the figures were ‘moving in the right direction’ but a gulf still existed between the women who became executives and those in part-time non-executive jobs.

Women account for 22.4 per cent of all non-executive directors in the country’s boardrooms, but only 6.6 per cent of executive jobs.

Theresa May, Minister for Women, welcomed the ‘unprecedented progress’ by women, and said firms knew they could not ‘ignore the talent of half the population’.

Lord Davies has accused some men of being ‘prehistoric monsters’ who do not understand equality. The former trade minister said: ‘The attitude of chairmen is different if they have daughters in their twenties. They are talking about it to them, whereas older chairmen pay lip service to it.’

Over the last year, the number of companies in the FTSE 100 which have only men on their board has dropped sharply from 21 to 11.

It comes after a report last week found high-flying women were paid nearly 10 per cent less than a man doing exactly the same job. On average, a female executive gets a total pay package of £93,434, while a man with the same job title receives £103,230.


Angry fathers' outrage gets Huggies ad campaign pulled from television

Why are white husbands open to negative streotyping that would be roundly condemned if applied to any other group?

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Kimberly-Clark wanted to demonstrate the superiority of their Huggies diapers on television, and to do this they chose a stereotype right out of 1950s situation comedies.

They wanted to show how well their diapers did their job under even the worst possible conitions. And what conditions could be worse than putting them in the hands of the most hapless, clueless, inept adults known to American folklore -- fathers?

The Huggies "Dad Test" campaign filmed five babies left alone in the same house with their fathers for five days, on the premise that if Huggies could survive five days with these bumbling boobs, they could survive anything.

"To prove that Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything," the female voice-over begins, "we put them to the toughest test imaginable -- Dads." In other words, as a headline put it, Huggies diapers are so good, even dads can't use them wrong.

Dads across the country were not amused. They had good reason not to be. It turns our that 32% of fathers are their children's primary caregivers. And most of the other 68% pitch in with child care -- at least to the extent of knowing how and when to, uh, change a diaper.

So leaving babies with their dads is not some kind of torture test, but everyday life.

Bloggers at complained that this was "NOT a way to 'celebrate fatherhood.' Most dads don't struggle with infant care today...Time Magazine, in an article last year titled 'Chore Wars,' found that dads are nearing equality to moms in time spent with their children. Clearly most dads know what a diaper is and how to use it."

Another group organized a petition drive against Huggies' "stereotype of dumb fathers."

They were far from the only ones. "We have heard the feedback from dads concerning our current 'real-life' commercials," Kimberly-Clark spokesman Joey Mooring e-mailed. "We intended to break out of stereotypes by showing that dads have an opinion on product performance just as much as moms do," he added.

But you don't "break out of stereotypes" by reinforcing them.

As a result of its dad-driven epiphany, K-C has pulled the offending commercial. You'll no longer see it on channels 6, 8, 12 and 35, or on any of the Comcast or Verizon cable channels serving the Richmond metro area. It'll be replaced by another, presumably inoffensive, one.

Scrapping that first commercial is probably a half million dollars or so in talent and production costs down the drain (plus the cost of the air time).

Kimberly-Clark is also "revising the wording of the Huggies brand online communications" and "making changes to ensure that the true spirit of the campaign comes through in the strongest way possible." That's still more money.

They're also sending members of their brand management team to this weekend's Dad 2.0 Summit in Austin to meet with bloggers and get to know their audience better -- something they should have done long before approving storyboards. Insulting consumers doesn't sell them



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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