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Gaithersburg Priest Placed On Leave For Intimidating Behavior

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A letter from an official with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington says the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo has been placed on leave for engaging in intimidating behavior, reports the Washington Post.

Guarnizo reportedly denied communion to Barbara Johnson at her mother's funeral in Gaithersburg because of her sexual orientation. The archdiocese has already apologized to the woman for the priest's actions at the funeral, which took place last February.

Johnson and her relatives, meanwhile, have asked the archdiocese to remove the priest. The archdiocese issued a statement after the funeral, saying Guarnizo's actions violated policy, but any action against him would remain confidential because it is a personnel issue. Johnson's family issued a statement Sunday saying the letter doesn't pertain to the funeral, but they hope the action will ensure others won't suffer the same treatment.

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