If It's Good for the Goose...

September 2002

Brother Jack Talbot, a member of the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph (headquartered in Detroit), wants the readers of the National Catholic Reporter to know that he's "out of the closet" as a "gay friar" (column, May 17). Since few of our readers take the Reporter, and since Br. Jack wants the world to know, we thought we'd pass along the news.

Jack makes reference to what a friend, also a "gay" religious brother, worriedly calls "the Vatican's recent attack on homosexuals in religious life." But Jack -- champion of Truth, Justice, and the American Way -- lets us know that he will not go back into the closet or disavow the "gay" label he's pinned on himself. So there, take that, you Vatican pigs!

Jack doesn't tell us whether or not he's celibate. The closest he comes to addressing that question is to quote the same "gay" brother, "We can be celibate but still be characterized as sexual deviants" (indeed! that's what the Church teaches in so many words, but the brother says that's "a lie"). But the $64,000 question is not "can you be celibate?" but "are you celibate?"

Jack himself adds that "in my own experience, especially in religious life, there is a presumption that if one is out, one is sexually active," adding that this is "unhelpful" though "a widely held belief."

"Unhelpful"? What does that mean? But yes, it's a widely held belief. Absolutely so.


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New Oxford Notes: September 2002

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