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At 15, I was active in high school ministry and discerning a place in the priesthood. At 16, I had my first sexual experience with another man. At 18, I found myself in a confessional, confronted by a priest who said I must choose between my love for both the church and my so-called sexual liberation. And at 20, I walked away from the Catholic Church, determined that the fun I was having in dance clubs, bars and my bedroom was more worthy of my time than my faith.
Now I am in my 50s, and one of the most hotly contested issues among U.S. Catholics is the place of same-sex attracted men and women in the life of the church. I find this to be funny, sad and a little ironic. Funny because it is not a novel issue. We have been here all along, whether openly welcomed, silently acknowledged or grudgingly given a seat at the table. (I have experienced all three. I am also aware that others have had experiences of active rejection within the church.) Sad because the discussion has only continued misunderstanding of the issue. Ironic because this is the conversation I so badly craved 30 years ago, and now that it is happening, I find myself in possession of answers that would have surprised me at 20.
Years - Moments - Joy - Periods - Desperation
The past 25 years featured sporadic moments of joy, sullen periods of desperation and serious questions that went unresolved. I came of age in the era of AIDS, a disease that was called both an exhibition of the wrath of God by many Christian leaders and proof of an uncaring (or nonexistent) Lord by friends in the gay movement. The epidemic challenged my faith: How could a loving God allow such devastation among people I loved, called friends and,...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Does it ever seem that life has become one long rerun?