A place for us: on being gay in the priesthood

Jim McDermott writes in NCRONLINE:

…For almost 30 years I’ve worked in the Catholic Church as a Jesuit seminarian and priest. It has been a tremendously rewarding life, filled with challenges to grow and inspiring people.

At the same time, being a gay man in an institution where the only real conversation around homosexuality frames it either as a sin to be faced or a secret that must be kept has had costs. Over time, you can begin to lose track of the fact that who you are is actually OK, or even that you exist. It’s like you learn to hold your breath so well, you forget you still need to breathe…



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  1. Soline Humbert says:

    One of the saddest things for me is to hear gay priests refer in public to lgbt+ people as”they”, unable to say ”we”in their preaching or their writing, not to mention those who have so repressed their homosexuality that they end up rabidly homophobic. Unfortunately, Pope Francis, only 4 years ago, reaffirmed the ban on gay priests and seminarians, perpetuating the dysfunction, dishonesty, lies and lack of integrity at the very highest levels of clerical church leadership. The gap between the contrived appearance and the reality has become so wide only the blind cannot see the widespread deception. If no gay man was admitted to a seminary, most seminaries would close instantly. And if really no gay man could be priest, bishop, cardinal or pope, the Vatican would close today. But no, the charade will continue, and with it the silencing, the scapegoating and the condemning. Soul destruction on a grand scale.

  2. Paddy Ferry says:

    Very well said, Soline.

    Fr. James Alison tells us how you will find the most vitriolic homophobes in the priesthood among those priests who are homosexual themselves.
    As you say, soul destruction on a grand scale.

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