UPDATE: Priest who denied communion to lesbian leaves archdiocese

Another chapter — perhaps the final one — in the saga that broke earlier this year:

A priest who denied communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral is no longer in ministry with the Archdiocese of Washington, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese said Monday.

Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, who served at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg, Md., was placed on leave in mid-March for engaging in intimidating behavior, NBCWashington.com reported at the time, and now he is leaving for good.

“Fr. Marcel Guarnizo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow, Russia, who was given a temporary assignment at St. John Neumann parish,” Chieko Noguchi Scheve, director of media and public relations at the Archdiocese of Washington, wrote in an email to msnbc.com. “That assignment period has ended and Father Guarnizo is no longer in ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington.”

When reached by telephone, Scheve declined further comment on the matter.

Barbara Johnson, the woman who was refused communion, had been asking the archdiocese to remove the priest. A Washington Post reporter first noted on Twitter that Guarnizo’s assignment was over.

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