First, a good roundup of articles about the homosexual priesthood/Bishop crisis in the Church
The following articles show lots of smoke.. There must be a fire there.
Scott, a former priest who requests his surname not be used, found a thriving gay subculture at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont., while studying there in the 1990s. At least 20 of his 60 classmates were gay. They indulged in bitchy gay humour, à la Will & Grace. Although seminarians are expected to be celibate, he said some had affairs with other students.
“People were out of the closet to other priests and seminarians who were gay,” said Scott, 34.
So I stay Catholic because since I’ve been in the church I’ve seen things change. I’ve gone from being fired by a priest for being, “too involved in women’s issues,” to being hired by a parish community because of my queer identity, even though I was still actively trying to be closeted with my “roommate.”
That parish was St. Joseph’s in Ottawa, ministered to by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, an order led at the time by the Diocese of Hamilton’s current Bishop, Douglas Crosby, OMI. The Oblates grew this community with vision and continue to inspire creativity and leadership in the people who choose to call it their spiritual home.
While I was Pastoral Associate there I was inspired and encouraged to begin a parish celebration on the Friday night of Ottawa’s Pride Festival. Trans, gender diverse and queer people from across the city came to celebrate mass with their allies, including the straight-identified priest.
While I was there I co-ordinated a team of homilists, (the people who lead Gospel reflections on Sundays or “preachers” as they’re known in other traditions) that included two priests (one gay, one straight), a nun from the (dis)abled community, and a straight and married father of twins. We spoke from our own identities. It’s unheard of in most Catholic churches for priests to share the pulpit, but Bishop Gervais kindly turned his head, allowing for this unorthodox and life-giving arrangement.