One of the very great patron saints of the gay rights movement in the Catholic Church and the US passed away on September 22. I can't begin to express how much I owe to him and how deeply his death has moved me. I feel somewhat the way I felt with the news of Thomas Merton's death so many years ago - that there was no longer anyone left that one could ask for advice about anything. And how fortuitous that Father McNeil passed away on the same day Pope Francis arrived in the US. He was thereby spared the painful sight of the Pope dismissing gay marriage in the name of 'religious liberty', damning women with faint praise and slighting the sufferings and courage of all sex abuse victims.
Gratitude to Kittredge Cherry of the wonderful Jesus in Love Blog for alerting us to this event.
From Kittredge's blog:
I light a memorial candle for Father John J. McNeill, pioneering gay priest, psychotherapist, author, theologian and Jesuit scholar who inspired countless LGBTQ people of faith and their allies. He died Tuesday night, Sept. 22, in a hospice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his partner of 49 years, Charles Chiarelli, at his bedside. He was 90.
Be sure to read the full posting at Jesus in Love.
Here is a link to the wonderful Owls Nest Book Store that hosts all of John McNeil's many groundbreaking books.