Fresno, California Priest Comes Out As Gay, Speaks Out Against Prop 8

Farrow

Now here’s an exemplary Christian.

Father Geoffrey Farrow of the Saint Paul Newman Center in northeast Fresno received a standing ovation from half his congregation after offering up a sermon about loving thy neighbor and then urging his congregation to vote against Proposition 8, the California measure that would ban same-sex marriage. He also came out to the local ABC news reporter in an interview following his mass.

Said Farrow to his congregation: “In directing the faithful to vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 8 the California bishops are not merely entering the political arena, they are ignoring the advances and insights of neurology, psychology, and the very statements made by the church itself that homosexuality is innate.”

He added: “I know that these words of truth will cost me dearly. But to withhold them would be far more costly and I would become accomplice to a moral evil that strips gay and lesbian people of their civil rights but of their human dignity as well.”

He said that questions from his parishioners needing direction on how they should vote, as well as his own conscience inspired him to give the sermon and come out of the closet.

Farrow has been an ordained Catholic priest for 23 years.

Priest’s Shocking Revelation [abc10]

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    This is a *real* Christian, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and acting as Christ would have acted. He may suffer in the short-term for his actions, but in the end, we will receive the benefits of doing the right thing.

  2. says

    “the saint paul newman center”? you mean they’ve made paul newman a saint already? well, good for him!

    (i know, i know it’s not “saint paul newman,” it’s a newman center named after saint paul, but still, the juxtaposition of the words was funny to me. OK, carry on everyone)

  3. Hermes in DC says

    That’s a brave man there. Too bad he stands out so starkly from all the rest of his fellow priests (gay or not) in speaking truth to the power of the hierarchy. As David suggests above, though, the joke is on them because they’re becoming so irrelevant so fast that it’s *almost* sad to people like me who have happy memories of growing up Catholic.

    Also, and I’m sure this is a sacrilege, but from the still picture in Andy’s post this priest looks sorta cute.

  4. Hermes in DC says

    That’s a brave man there. Too bad he stands out so starkly from all the rest of his fellow priests (gay or not) in speaking truth to the power of the hierarchy. As David suggests above, though, the joke is on them because they’re becoming so irrelevant so fast that it’s *almost* sad to people like me who have happy memories of growing up Catholic.

    Also, and I’m sure this is a sacrilege, but from the still picture in Andy’s post this priest looks sorta cute.

  5. says

    The great theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, declared, “It is better to die excommunicated than to violate one’s conscience,” when in conflict with official church teaching.

    The Catholic Catechism acknowledges that a person’s conscience is their “most secret core and sanctuary. There one is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.” Conscience is “a law inscribed by God… which we must obey, ever calling us to love and do what is good.”

    Like many prophets and saints before him, Fr. Geoffrey Farrow now faces persecution by the pharisees of the institutional church who demand obedience to their authority rather than obedience to conscience.

    But Fr. Geoffrey Farrow is in good company. Fr. Mychal Judge, “the Saint of 9/11”, asked, “Is there so much love in the world that we can afford to discriminate against any kind of love?!” Fr. Mychal also urged us, “Don’t let the institutional church get in the way of your relationship with God.”

    http://SaintMychalJudge.blogspot.com

    (these comments cross-posted)

  6. ANON IN SOCAL says

    Good for the priest–the closet is a dangerous place to live.

    That said, there is no place for politics (even my kind of politics) on the pulpit. We separate church and state in this country. Or we’re supposed to.

    If his parishioners want guidance on political matters, they ought to be addressed in private. The tax exempt status of churches, synagogues, mosques and the like should be revoked when politics are preached from the pulpit. Period.

    As hideous as it may be, we can’t have it both ways, guys.

  7. Joseph says

    As a practicing gay Catholic, I too hold out hope that the Church will one day revise its position on homosexuality. After all, many of the prohibitions in Leviticus are no longer relevant, for various reasons.

    The Church is the body of Christ, but unfortunately, it is also an imperfect human institution. I remain Catholic because my faith is built upon the love of God. As Father Farrow mentioned, we must be true to our conscience. The Church continues to view homosexuality as a disorder. But as Father Farrow mentioned, modern science and psychology have continued to prove otherwise.

    The Church moves slowly sometimes, as it did when Copernicus and Galileo proposed that the Earth wasn’t the center of the galaxy. Eventually, the Church will recognize the truth behind the science.

    I was made this way by God Himself, as an expression of His infinite love. To Him I will remain faithful. And I’ll remain Catholic, to prove that not all Christians are hateful.

    Father Morrow, may God bless you. You are a modern-day saint, and you are my hero.

  8. Hermes in DC says

    Anon in SoCal — I don’t agree with you about the separation of church and state meaning that preachers can’t preach about politics. Political issues have profound moral implications and it is absurd to suggest that those issues, when preached from the pulpit, threaten the officially secular nature of our political system. The first amendment is about preventing the establishment of a state religion not banning the discussion of politcal matters in religious institutions.

    Now whether that should jeopardize their tax-exempt status or not, I don’t know. Their tax exempt status is rooted principally in their being non-profit not apolitical. The second is a now-required extension of the first. But I think it’s problematic. I agree that preachers oughtn’t tell people specifically how to vote (I guess, to be fair, I also have a really hard time grasping the notion of anyone “telling” me how to vote and getting away with it), but it’s an absurdity to suggest that they can’t tell their congregants what their church thinks about the morality of public issues.

    Taken to its logical extreme, I think this would have to mean that unions and public associations (like the VFW and AARP) that are also non-profits should be prohibited
    from endorsing political candidates too, wouldn’t it? And that doesn’t seem sensible to me at least.

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