Monday, October 6, 2008

Breaking the Silence

For parishioners attending a Catholic church service this weekend in Fresno, California, it was no ordinary sermon.

The topic was California's upcoming Proposition 8, which would strip away the rights that gay people have in the Golden State to marry. Father Geoffrey Farrow spoke out against the proposition and in favor of marriage equality, contrary to many clergy. Then he had another announcement for his congregation. He came out as a gay man himself.

"In directing the faithful to vote yes on proposition 8, the California Bishops are not only entering the political arena, they are ignoring the advances and insights of neurology, psychology and the very statements by the church itself that homosexual is innate," said Fr. Geoff. "I know that these words of truth will cost me dearly. But to withhold them would be far more costly and I would become an accomplice to a moral evil that strips gay and lesbian couples, not only of their civil rights but of their human dignity as well."

While it in unclear what the consequences may be for Father Farrow in his church, one can hope the ears and minds of his congregation were opened when their faith leader took the brave step to speak out against equality and tell the most personal story of all - his own.

Read the complete story here, at KFSN in Fresno.

1 comment:

J.M.Kelley said...

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 beloved openly gay New York fire chaplain, known as “the Saint of 9/11”, often 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.”