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Far From Rome: On Being Gay and Catholic in the Bay Area

Host: Joseph Pace

Producer: Susan Britton

We have all had occasion to question a long-held affiliation -- be it political, familial, social or religious -- but for those who identify as gay and Catholic, questions about affiliation can border on the existential. Official church policy on gay issues is intolerant to say the least: the Vatican considers homosexual acts sinful, gay people disordered and same-sex marriage out of the question. So why *would* a gay or lesbian person choose to associate with the Catholic church?  This hour, we explore the various ways in which LGBT Catholics in the Bay Area address the tension between Rome's teachings and their personal values and identity. How do Catholic parishes in our progressive region embrace diversity while toeing the Vatican line? What is the role of the Independent Catholic movement here? Can local churches and individuals succeed in influencing official Vatican policy?

Joining me tonight in the studio to address these questions and more are:


  • Donal Godfrey, Associate Director of University Ministry, University of San Francisco. He is a Jesuit Priest and the author of Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
  • Vincent Pizzuto, Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco.
  •  Christine Fahrenbach, Ordained Deacon and member of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement.