The following is excerpted from an open letter written in 1992 by a gay priest (on leave of absence from ministry) to Pope John Paul II. It was originally published in the December 18, 1992 issue of the National Catholic Reporter, under the title, “If You Don’t Know What Hurts Me, How Can You Truly Love Me?”
The paper noted that “the author no longer lacks the courage to speak in his own name, yet wishes his name be withheld for the sake of others who would be identified by association.”
I share it today because – almost twenty years on – it has lost none of its power, truth, or relevancy.
After years of dark, agonizing pain, I am now coming into my own as a sexual person. The gift of that struggle has been to recognize that I am a gay man. I do not feel shame in saying that.
I have suffered for too long. And I have lived my life with such generosity that I am not willing to have you, Holy Father, or anyone else tell me that I am immoral. You say that homosexual love is a disorder. I reject that prejudice.
I look at the Christian gays and lesbians who have entered my life over the years and I simply do not believe that their lives and loves are contrary to the “creative wisdom of God.” The witness of their lives compels me to believe that their loves are part of God’s creative wisdom.