Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Priest Who Did The Right Thing (Finally)

From the Los Angeles Time, October 13, 2008:

A week ago, Father Geoffrey Farrow stood before his Roman Catholic parishioners in Fresno and delivered a sermon that placed him squarely at odds with his church over gay marriage.

With Proposition 8 on the November ballot, and his own bishop urging Central Valley priests to support its definition of traditional marriage, Farrow told congregants he felt obligated to break "a numbing silence" about church prejudice against homosexuals.

"How is marriage protected by intimidating gay and lesbian people into loveless and lonely lives?" he asked parishioners of the St. Paul Newman Center. "I am morally compelled to vote no on Proposition 8."

Then Farrow -- who had revealed that he was gay during a television interview immediately before Mass -- added a coda to his sermon.

"I know these words of truth will cost me dearly," he said. "But to withhold them . . . I would become an accomplice to a moral evil that strips gay and lesbian people not only of their civil rights but of their human dignity as well."

Of course what happened next was predictable. Father Farrow was promptly fired by the Diocese and stripped of all wages, pension, and health care.

The hideous bigotry of California's proposition 8 continues to hurt all kinds of people. I'm glad that Father Farrow took this position because it gives some hope that there are still people of character and courage in the Catholic church willing to risk everything on an issue that will define our morality for years do come.

Father Farrow's dismissal probably also had something to do blogging against the Church's latest attempt to prevent pedophiles from getting into the Priesthood. While everyone agrees there should be stringent screening of candidates, for all kinds of reasons, it seems the latest guidelines deliberately and with malice conflate homosexuality and pedophilia. How would someone in a position of authority sleep at night knowing they pushed this lie?

Anyway, I'm glad this Priest took this stand and I hope many more do. Please recommend this post

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