The Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, who late last month denied Barbara Johnson communion at her mother's funeral, has been placed on administrative leave, The Washington Post reported.

Johnson, a 51-year-old District of Columbia artist, has said that Guarnizo denied her communion during her mother's funeral Mass, saying she could not receive the sacrament “because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.”

While the Washington archdiocese has confirmed that Guarnizo has been placed on leave from his post at St. John Neumann in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the pastor there, the Rev. Thomas LaHood, mentioned repeatedly during Sunday's Mass that Guarnizo's removal was not related to the Communion incident, saying only that it “pertains to actions over the past week or two.”

In a letter read at all Masses this weekend at St. John Neumann, the archdiocese said that the priest was suspended for “engaging in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry.”

The archdiocese earlier apologized for the Guarnizo's actions.

In a statement released Sunday, the Johnson family said the suspension was unrelated to the case, but they hope the “decision will ensure that no others will have to undergo the traumatic experiences brought upon our family.”