Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mark Vernon: I was a gay priest

The BBC has a good article today featuring Mark Vernon who was a priest in the C of E for three years. Here he talks about the tensions of being a gay priest:

A priest, though, is called to preach a gospel of love. So when you are gay, this gospel traps you. You must keep tabs on who knows about the most immediate way that God's love comes to you, which is to say with someone of the same sex.

This means that you internalise the charge of being an abomination. You live a lie. And like any lived lie, insidious psychological damage is the price.

After three years, I couldn't handle the pretence any longer. I left, even though I had ostensibly had an easy ride in the church. Moreover, I left an atheist, a loss of faith that came about for a number of reasons, though the pretence played a major part.

What we need in the wake of Bishop Robinson's visit to the UK is more of these statements in which the central message is clear: gay people are not an "abomination".

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