A priest at a Jesuit University in Philadelphia announced he was gay during Mass Sunday night to kick off the school’s “Unity Week.”
During the homily, Thomas J. Brennan, S.J. said he was active in “Unity Week” and said his homosexuality was one “the worst kept secrets” on the campus of Saint Joseph’s University so he might as well say it outright. Most of Fr. Brennan’s homily was on Catholic themes of acceptance and tolerance. However, he did not offer any thoughts or statements on the Church’s stance on homosexuality.
During the petitions after the sermon, Sister Betsy Linehan, Chair of The Gay/Straight Alliance on campus, asked that the Church accept all and judge not.
Unity Week at Saint Joseph’s University includes a play called “Beauty Is” which highlights the scourge of crystal meth in the gay community, as well as a seminar called “Before Brokeback” about how Hollywood has portrayed homosexuals in the movies.
Unity Week was formerly called Rainbow Week but a critical article in the Catholic Standard & Times prompted the University to change the name of the weeklong event two years ago due to widespread controversy over the school’s position on homosexuality.
According to the school newspaper, Unity Week follows in the Rainbow Week tradition of educating and promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students and faculty.
Brennan wrote a chapter in the book “Jesuit Postmodern” entitled “A Tale of Two Comings Out: Priest and Gay on a Catholic Campus.”
Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, the former Secretariat of Catholic Education and current Auxiliary to the Archbishop of Philadelphia, said in the above mentioned article in the Catholic Standard & Times, “There’s a fine line between recognizing diversity and promoting a lifestyle. Being a homosexual is not sinful. Acting on the homosexual lifestyle is — as is all sex outside the bond of marriage, which is defined as a union between one man and one woman.”
Bishop McFadden, a St. Joseph’s alumnus, added: “While the Church asks that we recognize the unique dignity of every human person, it does not mean supporting a lifestyle that is contrary to the natural law.”