Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Inside The Seminary Closet

From The American Conservative-

Reader Gabe Giella and I have been e-mailing about his own story. Gabe attended a small New England seminary in a conservative diocese in the era immediately after the clergy sex abuse scandal broke in Boston. Today, as an out gay man, he is unable to do ministry in the Catholic Church as a priest or lay person, so he has ceased to practice the Catholic faith. He has agreed to let me publish his account of seminary life here:

I’d kept two secrets for a very long time. First that I was gay and second that I wanted to become a priest. An unlikely, awkward combination for a public high school student in the 90s.

One way to avoid the topic about my sexuality was to play up the notion of a divine call to the priesthood, especially to my devout Catholic family and friends.

My first year of state college near Boston gave me the distance and freedom to explore and discover people who supported me as a gay person — a piece of information I shared mostly with spiritual mentors — and also in ministry. Part of that included leading a trip to Canada to hear the late Pope John Paul II speak at World Youth Day. The clergy sex abuse scandal was unraveling like a spool of yarn, a web with connecting points all across the globe. The pope was doubling down. He encouraged the thousands of youth gathered to not let the failings of a few keep us from following Christ as priests or nuns.

More here-

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