A Hero Priest, A Stand Up Guy

Posted by Censor Librorum on Oct 8, 2008 | Categories: Lesbians & Gays, Politics

Father Geoffrey Farrow of the Saint Paul Newman Center in northeast Fresno shocked parishioners Sunday morning when he came out against Proposition 8, an initiative that would eliminate the right for same-sex couples to marry in California.   He was prompted to speak out because so many of his parishioners asked him  for direction on how to vote on the initiative.

“In directing the faithful to vote “Yes” on Proposition 8, the California bishops are not only entering the political area, they are ignoring the advances and insights of neurology, psychology and the very statements of the church itself that homosexuality is innate,” he said.

Fr. Geoff decided to go with with he feels is right.

His homily on “Respect Life Sunday” taught of acceptance, love and rejection. His closing remarks left some parishioners stunned. “What most Catholics hear about being gay or lesbian at their parish is silence.”

“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.”picture-1.png

Fr. Geoff was asked if he was gay.   “It’s a secondary issue. But yes, I am. And when I was a boy I asked God to please make me normal and that prayer never got answered and I realized why. Because God would’ve made somebody else he wouldn’t have made me.”

Mass ended with about half the congregation giving Fr. Geoff a standing ovation. Outside, parishioners had a mixed reaction.

Esmeralda Gonzalez told a reporter “I believe that as the body of Christ and as being Catholic we are made to follow the commandments. And God made it to be Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.”

Joshua De La Cerda, another parishioner, had an entirely different reaction: “This is something Jesus would have done, or Christ would have done, spoke out for the truth.”

Fr. Geoff said after months of struggling with what to do, in the end he followed his heart.

“In any event regardless of what I or anyone else does in their life, one day you die, and on that day were you true to your conscience, were you true to what you believe. And I think that’s the question each of us has to answer. If the answer is no, hell already began before you died.”

My thanks to Thom from Ad Dominum who pointed me in the direction of this story.

Read the full text of Fr. Geoff’s homily here.  

Fortunate Families provided a link to the video.  

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