There is an old joke in the Church that, if all the gays were to leave tomorrow, there would be no Mass and no music on Sunday morning. The genius of all humor is that it contains a kernel of truth stated bluntly. Estimates vary between 25% and 50%, according to a review of research on the issue by Father Donald Cozzens, a psychologist, the rector of a major Catholic seminary and the author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.” This book exposes all of this to the light of day.
That is most certainly what Archbishop Rembert Weakland has just done. He has written a book entitled: “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop.” In the book, which will be released in June, the Archbishop candidly admits that he is gay. He speaks forthrightly about his love with another man. Sadly, he also discusses his complicity in the cover up surrounding the pedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church.
At 82 years of age, such a book is tantamount to a deathbed confession, but it appears to be far more than simply that. It is an honest admission of something, which many in the Church, and especially its hierarchy, already know. Most Catholic priests and bishops are gay.
Harvey Milk once stated that if every gay person came out, it would be the end of the marginalization of gay people. Whatever else people may say about Archbishop Weakland the simple truth still stands that he spoke the truth and he did so freely.
He could have simply remained silent and taken this to his grave.
If he had done so, he would have sparred himself any more turmoil and could have quietly lived out the balance of his life. Many others would have taken that option. Many others, some of them in white, red and purple cassocks do.
If every priest and bishop in America who is gay were to stand in the pulpit this Sunday and state that in so many words to their congregations, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for Rome to continue to attempt to oppress LGBT people.
It would also force the hierarchy to take seriously its responsibility to offer practical spiritual guidance to its lesbian and gay members. It would mark the beginning of the end for hate crimes that victimize both LGBT people and their loved ones. Will this happen anytime soon? It is happening, one priest, and one archbishop at a time and it scares the hell out of Rome.
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight