I fell in love with a seminarian
It may seem odd to suggest that death is at the core of seminary looking into the eyes of successful community leaders flirting with suicide. Eventually I entered the seminary, but not before dating several to recognize my own selfishness and to curtail flirtatious actions or words. One seminarian openly went by a woman's name as an alter ego. . He began flirting, taking the liberty to enjoy a campy conversation since I.
The last time we saw each other was last year. We held hands and I told him to pursue his vocation. I said he'd make a good priest. Then I mentioned to him that I would never want to write an article about his vows or ordination. Yet, here I am in an awkward situation.
For every action we make has a corresponding reaction; the outcome often beyond our control, fragile and fraught with ruinous consequences. Lately, we began talking again. After a year of silence, there it was, his voice on the other end of the line, whole and piercing.
His voice reminded me of a choir singer — a voice that echoes with power to seal all the time and distance between us. Yet, it is also the voice that stings and sucks you completely like a black hole.
Nirvana or the Disenchantment of Love in the Life of a Seminarian
Maybe I just found myself at the wrong place, at the wrong time. But before that, I had arranged a meeting with him in a coffee shop.
Yes, I want to lay my heart bare and fragile. The heart, says Blaise Pascal, has reasons of which reason does not know. There are 3 types of persons in this world. Runners who flee; Watchers, who sit on the sidelines; and Risk-takers, who commit. Runners are afraid of failing or getting hurt. They fear the challenges that commitment brings, and so they run away. Watchers are the fence-sitters, also afraid of failing or getting hurt, but are fascinated by those who are in the game.
Runners and watchers may never get hurt, never experience pain, but they will also never experience the thrill, the joy, the exhilaration of succeeding. I guess I was a runner before. I craved love but I never let my walls down to love someone. I craved intimacy but I shied away when someone showed me affection.
I craved permanence but I ended things before anything took root. I detested getting hurt but only let myself find love in doomed places.
I was the largest walking contradiction I know. I was a coward. Imagine if you and me cross the limits and create something that is limitless and beautiful.
Inside The Seminary Closet | The American Conservative
But that is near to impossible now. In a few days now, you have to go. You need to go. Jesus says, "Love one another as I have loved you.
We can give all sorts of reasons. But if the love is genuine, and you ask her, "Why?
What goes on inside the head of a priest who falls in love? | Maltesemarriedcatholicpriest's Blog
You simply have a very deep conviction that it is right, and you go with it. In short, it involves a very genuine risk. If you know Joey, please tell him I like him a lot and I think this is love.
I hope he gets to where he's going, and that he will be happy once he does that. She says, "I wrote this because he exists. Add a penchant for dressing up statues of the Virgin of Fatima with sumptuous fabrics and tiaras, too. At the seminary, it was vestment and liturgical furnishing catalogs. It was also an atmosphere of suspicion and secrecy.
Nothing quite seemed clear, transparent, or holistic. It felt like acting school. The ethos, speech, and behavior that permeated the environment did not match the rather staunch vintage-like Catholic culture we were being trained to live and promote. There were seminarians in their late twenties who had uncomfortably close friendships with high school boys.
I fell in love with a seminarian
I remember feeling that there was an awful lot of overly casual familiarity between many of the senior priests and monsignors and the well-connected seminarians. Trips, stipends, lots of scotch, and lots of smoking. In what other world does a young man walk out of high school and into a social life almost exclusively with other men three times his age? He spoke cryptically about who I could trust and how I had to be careful with whom I associated and shared personal information. It would become clear when we returned to the rest of the group after our walk that some of the other men had been upset and jealous that we had been gone for so long.
As increasingly uncomfortable as things became, there remained a familiarity among us, as though perhaps most if not all of us shared the same secret. The winter retreat was at cozy coastal retreat center. At this time one of the seminarians had confided in me that he was attracted to another seminarian. It made for an uncomfortable winter wherein this man would openly be suggestive about my own sexuality in front of others on a number of occasions. He would also place himself in the hallway to check out a particular seminarian just leaving the shower in a towel, and did it in an ostentatious way to involve imply I was checking they guys out as well.
Eventually, these events seemed staged. At the time it was popular to visit seven churches on the night of Holy Thursday. On that night there is usually a specially decorated shrine set up for people to pray into the late hours of the night; traditionally they will do this by stopping at seven different churches.
Everyone was fed copious amounts of red wine regardless of age. It was sudden and bold, and the result of a late night of drinking at multiple rectories. It had all the elements of a soap opera. Perhaps I said nothing at all. Perhaps my own facial expression said enough. Perhaps I told him off. He had positioned himself in the room next door, and had heard what had happened.
He explained that he was crying out of jealousy that I was asked to perform a sexual favor rather than him. Come on, you must know that everyone is staring at you all the time.
A few days after Easter recess I was invited into the room of the seminarian who had been crying in my chair on Holy Thursday night. He offered me a drink, which I took. He began flirting, taking the liberty to enjoy a campy conversation since I was one of the only people who knew the truth about him.
We were sitting on his bed chatting and laughing and trying to keep our volume down since it was late. He abruptly got up and ran down the hall, yelling and knocking on doors and declaring that I was trying to remove his clothes, and that I had removed mine.
I ran across the hall and locked myself in my room. A day or two later I received a call on my wall phone from a friend who had just seen both the seminarian who tried to frame me with the alcohol, and the seminarian who propositioned me, speaking to one of the priests in charge. My friend had heard my name mentioned. In my gut I knew what was happening.
Their secret was out with me, and they had no dirt on me. That fact put me in a position of power, and so I had to be taken down.
I had seen and learned and observed just enough to make me a liability, but I determined that I had to speak up. I determined that it might be worth risking being outed. I even thought in my naivete that the powers that be might appreciate the opportunity to address this unhealthy system, in light of the discovery of countless clergy sex abuse cases coming to light. A number of seminarians were also questioned over a period of a couple of weeks. Finals were looming, and there was a great amount of stress.
But I never tried to blackmail anyone. I was ordered to pack up all of my belongings and leave that day. I had lived with the secret of my sexuality for years. Had I been obvious? Had I done something to deserve this? I decided it was not worth the risk. The reason I lay these stories bare now it because of my strong belief that this pervasive dysfunctional culture is at the deepest core of the cover-up, abuse, and scandal of all forms—not just sexual—that continue to be rampant in these church circles.
I also call to attention the scapegoating of gay men by the Catholic Church regarding the sexual abuse of people of all ages. We are not talking about healthy, out, integrated men who are aware and unashamed of their sexuality. We are not talking about men who are simply repressed because they follow their vow of celibacy diligently. Years later, I was speaking with a priest who was in seminary with me while all of this happened. Sexual secrecy is the currency in the church and learning how to use it is almost treated like an art form in seminaries.
This culture has been woven into the fabric of Roman Catholic clergy culture for centuries. I asked Gabe if he would answer a few questions from me. How should we think about cliques like this, with regard to the scandal? I believe it is these cliques that are and have been the source of scandals of all kinds for centuries.