Terence

Posts Tagged ‘John McNeill’

Committing the Sin of Honesty

In Sexual Orientation on June 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Father Bernard Lynch, 65, who should know, estimates that half the men in the Catholic priesthood arae homosexul. Lynch has paid a severeprice for being one of the few to come out and affirm his sexuality, a story recounted in his timely and insightful book, “If It Wasn’t Love: Sex, Death and God“.

Father John McNeill, 86, wrote the grounndbreaking “The Church and the Homosexual” in the 1970s and attracted international media for his assertion that gay love was moral, eventually coming out himself. His unusual and inspiring journey is the subject of a fine new documentary by Irish – American gay activist Brendan Fay, “Taking a Chance on God, ” that is making the LGBT festival circuit. It premiered in New York on June 16 at a screening sponsored by Dignity New York, the LGBT Catholic group that McNeill co-founded 40 years ago.

I worked with both priests in my own Dignity days in the late 1970’s, as a readers of Lynch’s manuscript. apppeared briefly in the McNeill documentary, and am proud to be their friends. But unlike them, I left the Catholic Church 30 years ago. Despite my own firm atheism. I have deep admiration for the lives, work, and bravery of these men of God.

-complete profile by Andy Humm at  Gay City News.

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New documentary depicts Jesuit’s struggle for LGBT rights

In Sexual Orientation on June 19, 2012 at 2:29 am

With the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s very public battle against same-sex marriage and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s recent condemnation of Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley’s sexual ethics book, Just Love, it seems hard to remember a time when the Roman Catholic Church wasn’t fixated on LGBT issues.

In “Taking a Chance on God,” Irish-born filmmaker Brendan Fay reminds us that not only is this struggle relatively new in church history, but the momentum behind the movement began with one courageous priest and his groundbreaking book.

Filmmaker Brendan Fay and John McNeillThe film offers a portrait of John McNeill, the Jesuit priest who was silenced in 1977 for his book The Church and the Homosexual and, nine years later, was expelled from his order for refusing to stay silent in his ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics.

The film had its New York City premiere this weekend as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the New York chapter of Dignity USA, a community McNeill helped found. The film includes a number of insightful interviews from fellow priest activist Dan McCarthy, theologian Mary Hunt, openly gay priest Bernard Lynch, gay rights activist Ginny Appuzzo, and the late activist Jesuit Fr. Robert Carter.

Fay’s documentary offers a full depiction of McNeill’s life as well as a window into the gay struggle for liberation in both church and society amid the terrifying backdrop of the AIDS crisis. Two sections of the film are particularly powerful: McNeill’s calling to the priesthood and his calling forth out of the silence imposed on him by the Vatican.

– full report at National Catholic Reporter

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