I came out as a gay, Catholic priest on the Feast of the Annunciation

(Images: Wikimedia Commons, iStock/Composite: America)(Images: Wikimedia Commons, iStock/Composite: America)

March 25, 2004, the Feast of the Annunciation, felt like the longest day of my life. That evening, I was being honored by the United Way for my parish’s ministries to the poor and marginalized in the community. Shortly before the ceremony, a young reporter from the local newspaper interviewed me. She noted that I had been outspoken on many social issues and particularly supportive of the L.G.B.T. community. I knew this was the moment to come out publicly as a gay, Roman Catholic priest.

The journey to that moment was a long and often painful one. I knew I wanted to be a priest since I was in junior high school. Because priests are called to celibacy, I must have repressed my full sexuality through high school, seminary and the first years of priesthood. Society and the Catholic Church taught me that premarital sex was sinful and homosexuality was abominable.

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From the moment I was ordained, I felt fulfilled in my vocation and loved all the aspects of my ministry: presiding at liturgies, visiting the sick, teaching children and enjoying parish life. I was blessed to have a pastor who taught me that serving the people was the heart the priesthood.

The journey to that moment was a long and often painful one.

After a few years, however, I began to notice an ache within me. This ache deepened as I recognized the emergence of a sexual energy that I had tried to resist for so long. Soon, the ache became dread. As I began to admit to myself my same-sex attractions, that dread became horror.

While on a retreat, I shared the truth about my sexuality for the first time with the Jesuit priest assigned as my spiritual director. I prayed that he would help me get back on track. I wanted to learn how to repress these impure thoughts. Instead, Father Paul explained that my sexual orientation is part of who God created me to be. I was and am wholly loved by God.

Little by little, with the help of some counseling and spiritual direction, I began to accept myself and, eventually, love myself as a gay man. I finally understood the true sacrifice of celibacy. Although I never acted on any of my desires, I needed to consciously recommit myself to this way of life in order to live as a priest with integrity. Gradually, I told a few close friends and family that I was gay. But for the most part, I remained in the closet.

Father Paul explained that my sexual orientation is part of who God created me to be.

This inner journey to self-acceptance dramatically changed my relationship with God. I experienced the unconditional love of God in my soul, in my gut and in my head. This love for God poured into love for my parishioners. My capacity for friendship and empathy deepened profoundly.

But I also grew increasingly frustrated that being closeted prevented me from sharing my story in a way that could benefit others. I wanted to accompany and minister to the poor, the excluded and those marginalized in church and society, and this included ministry to the L.G.B.T. community.

Then, in 2002, the sexual abuse scandal broke in the United States, and a number of church leaders began scapegoating gay priests as the cause of the crisis. I knew this was not true. I concluded that if I were to live with integrity and preach the Gospel without compromise, I needed to publicly come out of the closet. It was not an impulsive decision. It was preceded by prayer and strengthened by consultation with my spiritual director and the auxiliary bishop. I trusted in the Holy Spirit to show me the right moment to come out. The interview on the Feast of the Annunciation turned out to be that moment.

I shared with the reporter that in my years accompanying members of the L.G.B.T. community, I recognized in their deep pain my own struggle of self-acceptance as a gay man.

A number of church leaders began scapegoating gay priests as the cause of the sexual abuse crisis.

I waited for the newspaper the next morning with a bit of fear and trembling. Would the writer report what I said accurately? Would I be suspended by the bishop? Would my parishioners reject me? Would I be hurting people who do not understand?

The headline on the front page read: “Father Daley Reveals That He is Gay.” Meanwhile, “Father Daley Receives the United Way’s ‘Real Hero’ Award for his Work with the Poor” was relegated to an inner section of the paper.

That weekend I shared my story at the parish liturgies. I was met with standing ovations. One of my concerns in discerning whether I should come out or not was a fear that I would be hurting or confusing parishioners who might not understand. An elderly, very traditional Irish parishioner—she hated “those damned guitars at Mass”—relieved my fears. Mary always counted the offertory collection after the 8 a.m. Sunday Mass. Holding my breath, I knocked on the parish office door. Mary got up from her chair, gave me a hug and said, “Don’t worry, Father, I like men, too!”

I received hundreds of letters from around the country offering support. A few folks sent negative letters expressing concern for my homosexual soul going to hell—but even they assured me of their prayers. My bishop at the time and his successor have respected me and supported my ministry.

“We tend to be compassionate to the extent that we have suffered the Passion in our own lives.”

Many folks ask me if I think other gay priests should “come out.” Taking this step is a very personal and sacred decision for each person. I would only ask my brother gay priests to pray for the grace to reflect deeply on the question. I can say that, for me, coming out was and continues to be a blessing. Folks who are facing personal struggles perceive me as more approachable because they know I have had personal struggles, too. Any illusion of being on a clerical pedestal has thankfully melted away.

Being a public person, I have many opportunities to counter the homophobic prejudices that still exist in our church and society. One of my favorite spiritual themes comes from the writings and teaching of the Rev. Henri Nouwen, who said, “We tend to be compassionate to the extent that we have suffered the Passion in our own lives.”

As I look back on those days when I was in the closet, I am so grateful that, through the gift of the Spirit, that closet door was broken open. Through that gift, I could become the person God intends me to be. Do I have any regrets? Not a one! For the past 14 years, I have looked forward to March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, as the day an angel whispered in my ear: “Fred, ‘Be not afraid.’” On that day, love conquered fear in my relationships with God, my neighbors and myself. Often, with gratitude I reflect on the words: “We are as sick as our secrets.”

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Šime Skelin
7 months 3 weeks ago

What was this??? Somebody in America-TJR heard about Bible,Catechism,Catholic faith? The Evil One penetrated in our Church. Ottoman conquest,Borghias,Protestant Revolution,Elizabeth I,French Revolution,Russian occupation,Masonry,Communism,Hitler etc couldn't destroy the Church so these wolves in sheep skin will fail in it.

Reyanna Rice
7 months 3 weeks ago

If you look at the history of the Church, there have been gay people among the clergy and religious since the beginning. The Church is still standing.

Šime Skelin
7 months 3 weeks ago

Of course there have been but they didn't preach their sins as acceptable behavior.

Cathy Taggart
7 months 3 weeks ago

It is NOT a sin, or in any way against Catholic teaching, to identify yourself as gay. What the Church teaches as being sinful is sexual acts between people of the same sex.. Fr Daley made it clear that he remained committed to celibacy, so he is not doing anything sinful in the Church's eyes.

JOE CANAD
7 months 3 weeks ago

You are splitting hairs here, using straw logic. It IS A SIN to act out sodomy... it IS A SIN to be ordained while having homosexual orientation... it IS A SIN to be given Communion while not in a State of Grace... and so on, and so on... The ORDERED use of sexual act / orientation is the gift of procreation.. not of personal hedonistic pleasure... Homosexual feelings represent a DISORDERED use of the sexual feeling, orientation and acts.

"Coming Out As Gay" by anyone in the Clergy is supposed to AUTOMATICALLY remove them from clerical duties, or preclude them from Holy Orders in the first place.

This is Canon Law, not fantasy, not "snowflake feelings and Social Justice Unicorns"... it is Catholic Canon Law. And, up until the 1960's, it was observed and respected.... Now, look at the mess we have....

Anthony Noble
7 months 2 weeks ago

Well Mr Canad,
I'm not sure if your comments are meant to be an attempt to be serious or just a mean-spirited riff. Even if you honestly disagree with Fr. Daley's post, your response is unChristianly delivered and your lack much knowledge of Catholicism. I will make a few quick points: Catholic teaching states sex has both procreative and unitive, that is to say, "hedonistic" elements to it otherwise sterile men and women as well as postmenopausal would be banned from sex and perhaps marriage, the Catechism acknowledges people with a homosexual orientation as a reality though sexual activity is deemed sinful. Priestly ordination does not rely on sexual orientation nor profession of it; regarding sexual activity, celibacy is the requirement. Perhaps speaking with a priest may help clear up someof your misconceptions. Regardless, many Catholics recognize as self evident that God’s Love dwells within the LGBT community and no objective evidence reveals anything disordered about the Love of God that flows through them. Same-sex marriage, to paraphrase St Paul, is the remedy for fornication.

Robert Lewis
7 months 3 weeks ago

Bless you, Father, for your witness that it is the closet and the viciousness of living in it that corrupts, not being gay! You prove to the Catholic faithful that gay priests are perfectly capable of the heroic virtue of chastity.

JOE CANAD
7 months 3 weeks ago

Sorry, Rob, but your 'blessing' of Father, if it is Fr. James Martin, is misplaced... you may be speaking from personal struggle with your own sexual orientation, but my advice would be read the actual bible... don't "cafeteria shop" for the tidbits that support your own leanings (ones you probably realize are at odds with Church Law / Catechism / The Bible)... Finding someone to say "It's OK" doesn't make a wrong act, "right".... YOu don't "vote morality in/out"... it simply "IS"... and God gave us the definitions, not priests or mankind...

Remember even the fallen can have, at one time, performed Miracles... Judas brought the dead to life once before betraying Jesus...

Robert Lewis
7 months 3 weeks ago

hahahahaha! What idiotic presumptuousness!

Anthony Noble
7 months 2 weeks ago

Where in the Bible did Judas bring the dead to life? Perhaps a refresher course in the Bible may help. Perhaps reading some of my comments to this article may provide some insight. Bottom line, while God's Truth and God's inspiration in the Bible are eternal, we mere humans are always on the journey to catch up. Our understanding of the Bible becomes fuller over time as we read and reread and study it every day. Church teaching becomes more perfect over time as we wash away our preconceived notions and open our minds more so to the Holy Spirit. The NT's sexual ideal was celibacy for all Christians. Sex between men was seen as gratuitous. The Greco-Roman norm was to have sex with anyone. Sexual orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, were unknown as such. Today, we realize the truth of both orientations. Just as past Church teachings against democracy, laypersons reading the Bible, and the acceptance of slavery have been updated due to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God's Love within the LGBT community and same-sex marriage need to be embraced by the Church.

Tim O'Leary
7 months 2 weeks ago

Anthony - Perhaps a refresher course in the Bible may help you. Your personal interpretation of the Bible is way outside the Christian tradition and you have no authority or capacity to overturn the plain meaning of the text or the teaching of the Church. You are also claiming the Catholic Church teaches things that it does not, including your suggestion that hedonism is part of Catholic understanding of sexual love between a married man and a woman. The Catechism is the best source for what the Church teaches right now, and you are radically departing from it.

You could also do with a refresher course in Humanae Vitae. In Feb 2018, Pope Francis announced he is going to canonize Blessed Paul VI later this year, which is a clear endorsement of his most famous document.

Anthony Noble
7 months 2 weeks ago

Mr O'Leary, Most of what I wrote is directly taught by the Catholic Church while some other points I made are not currently taught by the Church. Our Church is not static but dynamic due to the ongoing inspiration of the Holy Spirit to make the Church a more perfect manifestation of God's Kingdom on Earth. (This is directly from Church teaching). While some of what I wrote is divergent with the Church's current teaching, the Church history, Biblical exegesis, and the overall logic stands up. Throughout the history of the Church new perspectives of understanding issues emerge: Galileo and heliocentrism, Yves Congar and ecumenism, Archbishop John Purcell & his brother Fr Edward Purcell and the abolition of slavery, St Catherine of Siena and ending the Avignon captivity, Hildegard of Bingen and the start of the shift of understanding God the Father as solely masculine but as a being that transcends both masculine and feminine images - she also buried a man who committed suicide against her bishop's policy. Once prohibited by the Church's teaching, they are now the Church's teaching. Many Catholics have the same viewpoint and we may someday have gay marriages in the Church.

Tim O'Leary
7 months 2 weeks ago

Anthony - I strongly dispute your historical interpretations and point out again that the Church sees itself totally different from you. Your methodology is self-contradictory, since it doesn't bind anyone to anything, not even past teachings and Holy Scripture. This is not a strategy for the perfection of doctrine, but its elimination, since anyone can anticipate a reversal in doctrine, and then claim to be following a future Church. Someone could just as easily suggest that polyamory or euthanasia or abortion will eventually be approved sometime in the future, or that Mormons, Muslims and Catholics will eventually unify in doctrine. This method is in fact a mockery of doctrine, and turns everything into a political power grab, as is happening to the dying denominations.

The LGBTQ+ revolution gets at the heart of the nature of man, just like Arianism went after the nature of God. No matter how loud one screams homophobia, approval of gay marriage or bisexual polygamy or queer theology are purely sexual fantasies. This change would actually prove the Church a false Church. Sadly, I think that is the ultimate goal of many of the revolutionaries. But, the gates of hell shall not prevail.

Nora Bolcon
7 months 3 weeks ago

Amen.

Dolores Pap
7 months 2 weeks ago

AMEN..

Maria Leonard
7 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Fr. Daley for sharing your growth in the truth. I hope your experience will encourage others to pray, reflect and express the reality of the beauty of God's creation in each one of us.

Lisa Weber
7 months 3 weeks ago

It is too bad that we care so much about who others are attracted to or love. It really is no one else's business.

tmallburger@comcast.net
7 months 3 weeks ago

The last I checked acting out your homosexual orientation, is still considered by the Church a grave sin and not homophobic prejudice.
What is the point of telling everyone you are gay if you are living a chaste life?

Alan Yost
7 months 3 weeks ago

Then you’ll want to check again because you’re mistaken on both counts. Homosexual orientation is NOT considered any kind of sin. And any kind of prejudice IS a sin.
As to why come out, it’s all in the article.
Finally, I think you mean “chaste.”

tmallburger@comcast.net
7 months 3 weeks ago

Sacred scripture tells us that homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity and are intrinsically
disordered. Father Paul tells us that coming out as a gay man has helped him to minister to
the LGBT community. My hope is that he is calling this community to chastity. I believe people with homosexual orientation should be accepted with respect and compassion as they carry this cross in life. As a Catholic priest, if his reason for coming out was to pastor the homosexual community on chastity, he can do much good. I pray that he is following Catholic teaching, otherwise he is leading homosexuals astray.

Tim Donovan
7 months 3 weeks ago

God bless Father Daley for his courage in revealing his gay sexual orientation after years of struggle. I believe that in some respects I can identify with his struggle. I imagine that Father and me are about the same age (I was born in 1962) so society also told me (correctly) that premarital sex was immoral. I also learned that homosexuality was abominable. I also like many males experienced (what for me) was the pain of being called a sissy and a faggot. I also hid my sexual orientation until I was 20, and told my best friend that I was in love with him (however, I had as an adolescent relieved sexual tension through masturbation). My friend surprisingly was generally accepting of me, though I knew very well that he was heterosexual and had a girlfriend. He. told me about a month later than his girlfriend was pregnant (she was a high school senior, he was 19 and in college). Not. surprisingly, this situation was particularly difficult for her, but she had the courage to give birth to a boy one month after graduation at age 18. Father Daley transformed his sexual energy towards caring for the Catholic community and others in need by becoming a good priest. Over the next 25 years, I transformed my sexual energy by caring for my friend's (eventual) four children, my three nieces and nephew, and by working as a Special Education teacher and in other capacities with disabled children and adults. I commend Father for leading his parishioners to assist poor people. Another manner in which I've attempted to be of service is by my involvement in various ways in the pro-life movement. This has included educational and political work, and contributions to.alternative -to-abortion groups. I also am a pen pal with a life.inmate in prison, and when I can send him small amounts of cash for his personal needs, as well as contributions to both Catholic and secular charities. Unfortunately, unlike Father Daley, some years ago I had sex with men. However, I regretted my behavior, and received forgiveness and consolation through the Sacrament of Reconciliation with a compassionate priest. I admire Father for his commitment to chastity. I know this post was too long, but I hope it was helpful to some readers. Finally, I agree with Father Daley that serving the community is crucial. However, I believe that the "heart of (the) priesthood is the service to the people by the consecration of the bread and wine into the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Nick Mutsumi Bellando
7 months 3 weeks ago

Oops

Mike Theman
7 months 3 weeks ago

So why was it courageous for Daley to reveal his desire to engage in sodomy with other men? All priests are called to chastity, regardless of which sex they are resisting their sexual attraction; so, whoop-de-do, Daley is another priest who likes boys. If the good works of Daley are a result of chastity, then the article should be about chastity, not the when of his announcement of embracing same-sex attraction as an identity.

Anthony Noble
7 months 2 weeks ago

So why does Mike "The man" need to be so dismissive of another person as in the "woop-de-doo" riff and use homophobic tropes, such as "another priest who likes boys". Does Mike like girls? Why does a man coming out as gay appear to rattle him so much. Perhaps prayful reflection may help.

Christopher Lochner
7 months 3 weeks ago

Good for Fred Daley! Now he can continue with the most important part of his calling, and a modern one it is, being a celebrity. This isn't about being gay nearly as much as it is about shouting "LOOK AT ME" , as I say, very modern. Is there a Saint Narcissus? The church definitely is in dire need of such a saint to lead us. Really, the modern age is much more about celebrity status than almost anything else, neither this nor that, but just an obsession with our own perceived inner greatness.

Christopher Lochner
7 months 3 weeks ago

Oops. Sorry, Fred. There already IS a St.
Narcissus.

Mike Theman
7 months 3 weeks ago

So you experienced sexual attraction to other men and decided to embrace the desire to engage in sodomy with men as the defining characteristic of who you are, even though you are celibate. Then, you felt that this unused desire to engage in sodomy was so important that you felt compelled to announce it to the world? This rings of a mental issue to me, not something that should be talked about as something admirable.

It's a shame that there's such a stigma on same-sex attraction, because there are countless people out there who have it and recognize that life is far more fulfilling when we either form sexual relationships with members of the opposite sex or recognize that society's emphasis on sex is rather ridiculous. Hearing from those people would be far better for those afflicted with same-sex attraction.

Carlos Orozco
7 months 3 weeks ago

I feel compassion and sympathy for Fr. Daley after reading this article, but think it is not honest about the problem homosexuality poses within the Church when addressed from a perspecetive of gender ideology. Would not it be better to accept homosexual inclinations as a personal cross instead of some kind of virtue?

I remember a Vatican report during the papacy of Benedict XVI that informed of seminaries in Europe infested with "gay culture". Are priests formed in such an environment the kind of people we can entrust our children to learn about Jesus Christ? What has happened since then in the formation of priests? Or are we just waiting for an avalanche of Marcial Maciels?

tmallburger@comcast.net
7 months 3 weeks ago

Very good analysis.

Tim O'Leary
7 months 3 weeks ago

Father Daley - I am not sure what your intention was in going public with your sexual self-identification (that you say you discovered several years into your priesthood). If it was to evangelize those with similar sexual attractions, so as to bring more into the Catholic Church, it might have been wiser to spend a little more time in your article explaining how one can call oneself gay and still be fully supportive of Catholic teaching. Perhaps, one cannot control what one fantasizes about, but one can certainly control how one defines oneself, and what one defends and believes. As Pope Francis has said, having sexual temptations is a private affair (nearly everyone has them), whereas politicization (joining a "gay lobby") is a public counter-witness that the Church is finding difficulty dealing with even in the Palace of the Pope.

In several places, you express the fear of being shunned by your announcement. But, that is a rare thing today, as the response to your own revelations confirm. In fact, you are far more likely to become a celebrity, and a hero. Recall that Bruce Jenner's reputation (Olympic athlete, Playgirl cover model, 3 wives, 6 children) did a 180-degree turn when he became Caitlyn Marie Jenner in his 60s. So, I hope you use your new-found fame to preach the Gospel of love and truth (they are inseparable) that the Catholic Church teaches, especially when it comes to the teaching on chastity and celibacy, which will be forever the part of the faith people will want to talk to you about.

As to courage, the danger today is all on the other side, christophobia or heterophobia. People who defend Catholic teaching on marriage or the Catechism are much more likely to lose their jobs or be shunned or otherwise threatened by the gay lobby, especially in academia. Take this week's example at Providence College, where a Resident Assistant, Michael Smalanskas, posted an endorsement of Catholic teaching about marriage on a bulletin board (like he has done in the past for pro-life issues, without notable controversy), and has been threatened with physical abuse and even rape by the college diversity thugs, who were marching yesterday to shame him.

A second example is even more revealing of the complete absence of mercy and forgiveness shown by the gay lobby. Theresa Latini was a PCUSA member 20 years ago, and was then a board member of OneByOne (advocates for celibacy and chastity in response to same-sex attraction). Many years ago, she repudiated her past, became a minister, switched to a Lutheran gay lobbying denomination (ELCA) and fully converted to the LGBTQ+ (her acronym) belief system. Not good enough! Opponents recalled her past Christianity, and she was fired a few weeks ago from her position as president of the 325-student divinity school at United Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia & Gettysburg. I suppose they hadn't heard of the Year of Mercy in ELCA.

Mike McDermott
7 months 3 weeks ago

Tim O’Leary, Well said. For the last 25 years the bulling and the hate has been directed at people expressing historic Christan teaching about chastity, marriage, and sex. Coming out as a traditional Christian is now an act of counter-cultural courage.

J Brookbank
7 months 3 weeks ago

The mess at Providence in indeed a mess. How is it relevant to Fr. Daly's story here?

Your recounting of the Lutheran seminary situation is misleading. You neglect to say that the now-former president had been an advocate of (though not a practitioner) of reparative therapy, a practice so broadly considered destructive that states are outlawing it.

You also neglected to share that it is a violation of standard practice in academia when chunks of a candidate's professional history are simply omitted from the story told by the candidate, the selection committee and the institution. It is a basic issue of trust that selection committees and institutions tell the whole truth about the new leader so the community can assess his/her suitability for the job. She and the institution engaged in a profound ethical lapse when they decided not to share her whole history. Their omission came to light and her departure was as much about that violation of trust as it was about the fact of her past work.

The kid at Providence has indeed been mistreated, but you have misrepresented the situation at the seminary to make it support a narrative in which one of the most powerful institutions in history is being victimized rather than this narrative: one of the most institutions in history is recognized as such and, thus, is expected to be able to cope with pushback.

Robert Lewis
7 months 3 weeks ago

Nothing Mr. Leary has written here before more clearly confirms that he is all about keeping same-sex-attracted folks in the closet. If homosexuality is a "cross," as he believes, then it is one that the whole Christian community is called to help to bear--if it really is a community. Father Daley has simply asked his fellow Catholics to recognize that his sexual being is a part of who he is, just as heterosexual folks confirm their own orientation every day, and celebrate it, in song, literature, dances, public events and the like. For instance, does it really detract from the reputation of Gerard Manley Hopkins, English literature's greatest priest-poet, to know that he was gay (as his confessional journals clearly confirm, in the most self-aware form)? I think it ENHANCES his reputation to know that he was capable of heroic chastity, and I think that, were I Father Daley's parishioner, I'd have even greater respect for him, after being confirmed in my impression of him as a good and faithful priest, who takes up his "cross" and wrestles with it, as we all must. There's absolutely NOTHING in what he writes that would encourage others to oppose the Catholic Church's teachings on "gay marriage" or "same-sex-attraction" or "sodomy," but Mr. O'Leary would encourage readers here to find evidence of that, so he can force others of our gay brothers and sisters back into the closet, to suffer in silence--and, most grievously, unbearable loneliness. The homophobia of such as Mr. O'Leary has actually destroyed many lives, and it must be rejected by the Catholic faithful.

Tim O'Leary
7 months 3 weeks ago

Robert - You are forever using the slur homophobic when you clamor for all people to be called what they want to be called. Such hypocrisy! Reminds me of the old saw that he who points a finger at someone already has three other fingers pointing back at him. If you can ever find a place where Gerald Manley Hopkins used the modern meaning of the word "gay", let me know. Bonus points if he ever used the term LGBT, already outdated and abandoned as insufficient by the avant garde.

I read from a WaPo article that Fr. Daley came out 23 years after being ordained. So, this is a middle-age public confession. I suppose there might be some cathartic release in publicizing one's particular proclivities and temptations. I wish Fr. Daley well and hope his new public self-description helps the mission he has dedicated his life to.

Robert Lewis
7 months 3 weeks ago

Hopkins writes again and again in his confessional journals about being attracted to boys and young men. It is also obvious in the sensuous imagery of many of his poems that his brand of religious mysticism consists of an almost swooning sublimation of his homoerotic urges into deep reverence and desire for the corporeal form of his Savior. There's a magnificent book of literary criticism on this subject by Julia Savile, entitled "A Queer Chivalry, the Homoerotic Asceticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins". And I'm not ever gonna quit calling you a "homophobe," because if he walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, he IS "a duck"!

Tim O'Leary
7 months 3 weeks ago

Robert - By omission, you are confirming that Fr. Hopkins S.J. didn't ever self identify with the word "gay." In fact, I believe no author has ever claimed Hopkins ever acted on these erotic impulses (if they truly existed) or consciously identified with them so I would guess you would classify him negatively as "in the closet." Other writers (see Hopkins Reconstructed (2000)) argue that the homosexuality is a retrospective imposition and that there is plenty of evidence in his poems showing love of the feminine form. More concerning about you - this is the first time you have raised the pedophile element into the picture, spun positively. I know you consider the Bible and the Catechism homophobic literature, so I am not surprised you can't let that slur go. But, in your lexicon, is one a homophobe if one considers an orientation to homoeroticism of boys (as you describe of Hopkins) intrinsically disordered?

Tim O'Leary
7 months 3 weeks ago

J - OneByOne does not advocate so-called reparative therapy, and the academic position today is very different from 20 years ago. I fail to see why an adult should not be permitted, with full consent, to attempt such treatment, when it is far less invasive than chemical-surgical "reparative" therapy for those who identify as transgender. I've looked for hard evidence of seriously harmful effects and cannot find it in the medical literature. That the first form of reparative therapy has been outlawed and the second is government funded convinces me this is politically rather than scientifically-driven.

I am not aware of an omission in Latini's resume, or if it became public before the uproar, but it was the protests and unwillingness to even consider forgiving a convert to their side that demonstrates where the deficit of mercy lies. That denomination is a lost cause, anyway. The gender fascists are generally targeting allies for being insufficiently ideological (just as the Communists and Islamist did).

Here is another case from this very month, again at a very pro-LGBT... university: Duke Divinity protesters (chosen acronym LGBTQIA+) interrupted Dean Elaine Heath’s State of the School Address March 5, chanting over bullhorns and demanding adoption of a “Queer Theology,” full tuition scholarships for queer and trans M.DIV students, “prioritizing trans and queer femme students of color” and hiring a black trans woman or gender non-conforming theologian, a tenure-track trans woman theologian, a tenure-track queer theologian of color, preferably a black or indigenous person, who will specifically teach the new queer theology course. And, someone to fill a staff position for LGBT student resources. They also demanded mandatory gender and sexuality training for staff and faculty, and that all students be required to sign a Non-Discrimination Policy (guess who gets to compose this). Duke will most likely cave on some of these ransom demands, but it will only give them a temporary respite. You cannot successfully negotiate with terrorists.

J Brookbank
7 months 3 weeks ago

Tim, you have great disinformation skills.

Tim O'Leary
7 months 3 weeks ago

J - Disinformation is the name of the gender game. The hard science being hard to find, the revolution began in the social science departments of academia, where word control is the battle field. The word homophobia was invented and is used to label all counter arguments, even those once useful but now thought a liability. Gender replaced sex, gay replaced homosexual, bisexuality was once a bad word in the gay world, SSA was useful in revolutionizing marriage, but is now homophobic, and LGBT grows and morphs ad infinitum, sometimes including even BDSM.

The normal biological binary complementary attraction between a man and a woman, a bedrock of biology, essential for the survival of the species, the norm in all societies and cultures and races and religions for all of history until yesterday, gets relabeled as somehow oppressive, optional, heterosexist, or cis. Normal marriage becomes a subset, relabeled opposite-sex marriage. Children needed a father AND a mother until that became inconvenient to gay adoption (no more dead-beat dads). Queer was bad until it became a badge of honor. Conversion therapy was terrible until the trans movement became dominant. Age-of-consent gets pushed around to benefit the adult's proclivities. And pronouns have crept into law enforcement (NY and Canada will fine you if you get this wrong). Gender was once argued to be genetic until that proved no longer useful. Mercy, forgiveness and tolerance are all completely one-sided, and free-speech is deemed hate-speech if it at all challenges the gender zeitgeist.

There is a somewhat humorous side to all this, in that those most pilloried by these changes are the allies who are trying to keep up but somehow are always a step behind (see ELCA, Duke and even Providence College above as examples). The Bible and the Catechism are deemed homophobic and are an embarrassment to Father Trendy and Cardinal Cool, who just want to be popular. That is the essence of the disinformation that I am objecting to.

J Brookbank
7 months 3 weeks ago

Duplicate

J Brookbank
7 months 3 weeks ago

Fr Daly, thank you for sharing your story. Most of us have had the experience of feeling relieved when we learn are not alone in some particularity of identity or history or emotion. Sometimes that relief can be so deeply needed and profound as to be life-saving.

Thank you for that act of generosity almost 20 years and for this new act of generosity.

The negative comments here underscore the value of your honesty.

Carol Goodson
7 months 3 weeks ago

This is inspiring, thank you for sharing your story.

Richard Crank
7 months 3 weeks ago

I saw only the title and my eyes got watery. Raised in the Church and believing, even as early as age five, that I was called by God to the priesthood, I went through similar struggles. Unfortunately, a religious vocation director answered my own revelation about being gay with, “This is not a homo church and never will be.” I left that meeting in an overwhelming spiritual despair from which my Catholicism never recovered. That happened in the mid-1970s. Fr. Daley is exactly the kind of man — and priest — I’d hoped to be and eventually found in several gay priests I later met. Though it’s too late for me, I do have faith that this will help others. Thank you, Fr. Daley and americamagazine.org!

Chivas Dudley
7 months 3 weeks ago

I was ordained a deacon and to be ordained a priest. Let them know I was gay but they would not ordain me a priest. While homosexuality in itself is not a grave sin or even sinful having sex is at least for them. The same thing as divorced couples who re marry. Or people in general having sex with either sex.

Mike Theman
7 months 3 weeks ago

Do you merely have same-sex attraction or do you label yourself as "gay?" The distinction is important, because if you are the former, then you are not a sinner. If you are the latter, then you not only have same-sex attraction, but you embrace it and deem its associated acts as acceptable behavior. That is in direct contradiction with Church teaching, so why should the Church ordain someone who expressly disregards its teaching without remorse?

Divorced couples and those who have normal sexual relations in non-marital relationships confess their sins. You not only do not confess your sin of embracing same-sex acts; you spit in the face of the Church about it.

Robert Lewis
7 months 3 weeks ago

"... you embrace it and deem its associated acts as acceptable behavior..." In a nut shell: It MUST be "embraced," the same as any cross that one is given in life should be embraced, and there are not ANY "acts" that are necessarily associated with "same-sex-attraction." What we are coming to understand, more and more clearly, is that there were many great saints who were given exactly this "cross" to bear, and that bearing it bravely and chastely may have been what MADE THEM SAINTS!

Šime Skelin
7 months 3 weeks ago

I am inspired by Fr Daley's courage so I must confess I am pedophile but since I am priest I am not practicing sex. Fr Daley helped me to accept my pedophilia because God made all of us and everything what God made is beautiful Right? I hope this beautiful magazine will be brave and start promote pedophile's rights but not only LGBT rights and women's right to be priests. It's 21st century and Church must accept this. Women for priests,gay marriages,pedophiles rights,euthanasia,abortions(maybe some killings or we will leave that for 22nd century) and it's time to change believe that Jesus was God. If we accept Jesus was extraordinary man,like Buddha,Confucius,Obama then Catholic Church will get more new members.

Mike Theman
7 months 3 weeks ago

If you were born that way, then who am I to judge? After all, love is love. We should fight for the age of consent to be lowered so that you can enjoy the same rights as those of us who choose relationships with older people. Far be it for me to be a pedophilaphobe.

Robert Lewis
7 months 3 weeks ago

What the two of you above are doing is to play with logical fallacies in the most vicious and dishonest way. May God forgive you!

Anthony Noble
7 months 2 weeks ago

Mr Skelin,
Your sarcasm is not funny. It is obvious that you don't want to have a serious discussion on this issue but have a personal need to be nasty. To equate the possibility of women priests with euthanasia questions one' mental health. Equating gay orientation with pedophilia is old school homophobia. Denying that sexual orientation originates at birth goes against objective science. To even "joke" that God is the cause of evil, in the case of pedophilia, is heretical. Perhaps speaking to a priest may help in attaining an even keel and working through some deep seated anger.

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