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Not Peace, But a Sword

On October 21, 2007, Carol Curoe and her father, Robert Curoe, were scheduled to speak at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Minneapolis. It took an order from the Coadjutor Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John C. Nienstedt, to put a halt to it.

Robert Curoe is an 82-year-old cradle Catholic who lives in a small, Irish Catholic farming community in Iowa, and Carol, 45, attends St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis. They had planned to give a talk about the book they co-wrote. So, what’s the problem?

The title of their book offers a glimpse into the controversy: Are There Closets in Heaven?: A Catholic Father and Lesbian Daughter Share Their Story. Not to go unnoticed: Their book has received endorsements from the notoriously “gay”-friendly Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Detroit, Thomas Gumbleton, and Sr. Jeannine Gramick, co-foundress of the homosexualist New Ways Ministry.

The full picture comes into focus in an interview with Carol and her father in the Fall 2007 issue of Rainbow Spirit, the publication of the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities, which operates out of Minneapolis. Carol is described as a “business consultant” who “lives with [Susan Langlee] her partner of twenty years, their sons, Patrick and Jonathan, and the family dog, Max.” When Carol “came out [as a lesbian] to her parents in 1990, their response was one of shock.” But “Carol and her father Bob were determined to keep the lines of communication open. What followed over the next several years was a steady stream of correspondence, both poignant and liberating in its honesty and candor. Many of these letters comprise Carol and Bob’s book.” Carol’s mother “died right as the galley books were being printed.”

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