1. Mike says

    I didn’t even watch the video. I can understand his disappointment – but it’s the Catholic church for pete’s sake. Rome only accepts celibate gays. It’s a religion, they can make any rules they want. You either accept those rules or move on. Stop whining about it.

  2. tom a says

    I sort of agree with the above commenter. It’s what’s expected from the horribly bigoted, backwards, discriminatory organization called the Roman Catholic Church.

    I respect the school church for banning him. It exposes their bigotry. So may Catholics look the other way in terms of just ignoring church rules- which condones the ongoing bigotry of the organization.

    If I had a church that hated group X, but then allowed group X to participate in my church- what kid of hypocrite would I be?

  3. KT says

    Hopefully the incident leads to more gay Catholics realizing that the Church just doesn’t want them. They may find exceptance with their local parish but the heirachy is in charge and as long as Catholics keep supporting the power brokers in Rome, the Church will only change when it wants to (which is never).

    I feel bad for Sheanan-Stahl but the incident reminds me of when that choir director from St. Louis was sacked because the Church found out he wanted to get married to his partner. In both cases I am left thinking: what did they expect? (I kind of feel the same way about the Boy Scout Den Mother – it was wrong but everybody knows the Boy Scouts’ position. It shouldn’t come as a surprise.)

  4. GMB says

    Like the other commentators, I’m not feeling a whole lot of sympathy for Dominic Sheahan-Stahl. I agree that the Catholic church needs to stop discriminating against LGBT people. But I’m surprised that he’s “shocked” to have been barred from speaking.

    From what I can tell, everyone seems to know that the Catholic church ‘tolerates’ gay people, as long as no one *knows* you’re gay. It seems that this is the reason why a public post on Facebook became the ridiculous reason why he was asked not to speak.

    But Dominic Sheahan-Stahl, when you make a YouTube video like this, it’s important to realize that this may be your one opportunity to get a message across. I’d encourage you to sharpen your arguments, be as concise as possible, and put that speech on the internet. Use the moment to say what needs to be said, and do it quickly.

  5. silvra says

    The Catholic faith will only change with its members. As its members become more tolerant its members will rise to be its leaders and change will happen. It’s slow but it’s the way it has to be. Otherwise you can’t complain when you made the choice to attend an institution whose values are public and counter to your own.

  6. Tim NC says

    @Wilberforce…. can’t you have a Facebook page that only allows access to your “friends”?

    Are your only choices to allow the whole world in or remove yourself from it all together?

  7. Tim NC says

    I would expect if the church isn’t going to allow gay speakers, they should have asked him if he was gay before extending the original invitation.

  8. MurphyZoe says


    I can’t believe the comments. You would think on a site like this you would see some support. Who cares what you think anyone should “expect”, it’s only by respect, tolerance and information are we going to open peoples eyes. If you expect the worse, then just sit back and suck it. If you want to help change, stand up for yourself and be heard. Keep it positive.

  9. John Schaefer says

    I went to this school in the 80s, and it was hardly a staunch Catholic environment. I was openly pro-choice, Protestant, and liberal yet was never prohibitedfrom any events – including attending Mass. They’ll lose my alumni support if they don’t correct this.

  10. JT says

    Stand down and just take it–NEVER! So what if it is the Catholic Church? Bigotry and discrimination need to be called out wherever and whenever they occur. The message this school is sending to Dominic, his family and little brother and to their community is not okay. It does not matter that their position and actions are not “surprising”. Good for Dominic!!

  11. Jay says

    I don’t have much sympathy for Shehan-Stahl since he was quite willing to go along with the Roman Catholic bigotry. He wasn’t even planning to mention that he was gay in the speech. The only good thing about this is that it draws attention to the hatred of the institution.

  12. Eric says

    The church/school should be ashamed. Look at the sadness you have caused this young man and his family because of fear and ignorance. Your God did not intend these actions. Your own condemnation shall condemn you on judgment day.

  13. says

    Tim NC,
    In theory. But the privacy settings are cryptic, like most technical writing, and it’s not worth taking a chance that something is still available to the Universe. It’s also not worth it just to trade the white washed commentary of family and freinds, in which everyone has to be as vanilla as possible just in case someone uninvited is listening. It’s a bunk system. Period. But the general public are easily hypnotized by any new fad.

  14. Fr. Raymond Burgoon-Clqrk says

    CELIBATE gays? Please! Yes, I know being gay and being a pedophile are two entirely different things, BUT … in San Diego, Wolf’s leather bar’s principal patrons were the Augustinian fathers and brothers from St. Patrick’s Parish and Augustinian High School, right down the street. They were quite open about it, including wearing full leather “dress kit.” More power to ’em (if most hadn’t died of AIDS … a result of being “closeted” to their doctors).

    I’m NOT a Roman Catholic priest, BTW … the Old Catholic Church gladly ordains women, lesbians, and gays.

  15. Rafa says

    Without having seen the video yet, I must say that I’m surprised at many commenters’ lack of nuance about what it means to go to a catholic school, their consequent resignation to homophobia, and lack of solidarity with someone who seeks it. That school apparently runs from Kindergarden to Grade 12, and as mentionned, that man’s family has a long history there. By any indication, he was already a part of that community before homophobia entered into his experience of the place.

    Many commenters seem to be saying “He was asking for it”, or “He had it coming”. Would you say that to the victim of a hate crime in a community considered homophobic?

  16. Brim says

    Good point, RAFA. I don’t see why we can’t support him and take a few pokes at the Church as an institution. It isn’t always one or the other.

  17. matt says

    The real irony here is that the Catholic Bishop suppressing this speech was one of the bishops when enabled the abuse of hundreds of children in Philadelphia.

    This is the new location of the culture war, the Catholic church is looking to insulate itself from any form of a reality where it’s ‘ok to be gay’.

    And frankly, by doing this you’re telling a family who has sent all of their kids to Catholic schools (no doubt at great financial sacrifice) that one of their children is defective.

    Awesome message to send.

  18. Mark Melton says

    I’m a bit shocked by some of the reactions here. I was raised in a very fundamental, Christian religion. It was very intolerant and homophobic, just as the Roman Catholic Church. However, some commenters seem to miss that he was “born” into Catholicism and regardless of his/your feelings, this is about more than just religion. Coming out an being out can be complicated for people who come from backgrounds similar to mine. Being unable to unload that shame and hurt is difficult – don’t add more to it.

  19. Bob says

    I think that the headline should read “Gay Alumnus”, as it’s his kid brother’s graduation.
    According to the pope and bishop’s thinking, they would be publicizing someone who defies the church.
    He was not kicked for “being Gay”– he was kicked because the ogres need to stay on their message while backing anti-marriage laws in every State.
    SOMEWHERE IN THERE IS A RAY OF LIGHT — the same would have happened if he were a woman who was pregnant and unmarried, so at least the Gays are not in a special category.
    A GUESS — pretty obviously whoever picked him knew he was Gay, and expected him to be quiet about it. Then someone saw the Facebook and told an official.

  20. Bob says

    Posted by: Rafa
    Many commenters seem to be saying “He was asking for it”, or “He had it coming”. Would you say that to the victim of a hate crime in a community considered homophobic?

    He should NOT be cancelled for getting engaged and showing it on FB, but ALSO should not be living in a cave, and pretending that the bishops are not conducting an anti-marriage campaign RIGHT NOW.
    This is not like a Gay man being shot for coming out of a bar — it’s more like someone going into a yard where there was a vicious dog and whining about being bitten

  21. Mk_Ultra_Again says

    The only way the Catholic church will change is through massive public pressure, something they really have never had to endure. The one condition is, that massive pubic pressure has to come from Catholics themselves. They have to be the ones to demand debate, and challenge the church and bishops. Many Catholics actually don’t agree with the Church’s official position on LGBT and other issues. It’s just a point of getting them to speak up for it.

  22. trailrunnr says

    there’s a difference between saying he’s asking for it and pointing out that it’s no surprise when the catholics behave this way. I am not surprised yet I keenly feel his disappointment. I left the church many many years ago but still feel the sting (and stink) of being nurtured spiritually and then having it yanked away from you.

  23. Bob says

    HAS IT EXACTLY RIGHT — don’t bother with acting hurt, make some noise. Action beats complaining, any day.

  24. jack says

    If three generations of Dominic’s family went to the Sacred Heart ACADEMY they should know the Catholic Churches teaching about homosexuality. Did he really think that an out homosexual engaged to his boyfriend would be allowed to give the graduation address? Really? His family’s mistake was sending generations of their children to such an institution to be brainwashed. To pretend that you are surprised by their decision is a joke. Get out of that institution, that church, that bible. Live as liberated 21st century FREE MEN and WOMEN.

  25. Macmantoo says

    By now everyone knows the Catholic Church will do every thing it can to stop gays from being involved with their church/schools. They why do gays do it? Gays should avoid everything Catholic. Join a church that accepts gays if you want to be religious.

    I feel bad for the guy, but we’re beating a dead horse. Every day it seems that some gay is having a problem with Catholic. Face it, they only thing they want gay is when a Priest wants a boy he wants a gay one.

  26. Araelus says

    The man in question does not respect or exemplify the values of Sacred Heart Academy. So he’s clearly a bad choice for giving the keynote address. The high school should have done their research before extending the invitation. Given that they did extend the invitation, the only way that Sacred Heart could have salvaged their institutional integrity was to do exactly what they did.

    The Church does have arguments for its positions concerning healthy and unhealthy sexual activity. Thinking that the Church gives cogent arguments does not make one a bigot.

  27. millerbeach says

    I wonder what Jesus would do? I think He’d let him speak. They wouldn’t have even known about his fiancee if they hadn’t been snooping. The time to snoop, spy and do other devious things is BEFORE you invite someone to speak. That way, you don’t end up with egg on your face. Are you listening, Catholic Church? I sure hope so, as all this bad press about the Church is really beginning to take its toll.

  28. Jim says

    Unbelievable some of the comments here.
    Did some of those commentators watch the video? It expresses the hurt of DISinvitation and through it, a call to eradicate fear, discrimination and live life through love.
    Let’s concentrate on that!!

  29. Cecil says

    “The Church does have arguments for its positions concerning healthy and unhealthy sexual activity. Thinking that the Church gives cogent arguments does not make one a bigot.”

    There is no cogent argument against homosexuality. There never was, and there never will be.