“Inside the Seminary”: Disturbing report

in Commonweal:...From 2008 through 2010, I was a seminarian in St. Paul, Minneapolis, an archdiocese now entrenched in its own abuse scandal. My experience there led me to believe that the problem of priestly sexual abuse is due, at least in part, to the failure of seminaries to provide adequate human and sexual formation to men studying for the priesthood. More specifically, my seminary formation failed to confront the questions surrounding sexual abuse in a candid and psychologically … [Read more...]

Kristin Lavransdatter as “The Great Augustinian Novel”

ooh: I’ve always thought of Kristin Lavransdatter as “the great Augustinian novel.” I’ve never read anything that conveyed more powerfully the Augustinian sense of lives that are fragmentary and damaged, which we can’t hold together in any rounded meaningful whole, but must entrust to a grace which is slowly drawing them into a pattern that we can’t see much of yet and won’t in this life.from an email from a friend via … [Read more...]

Me on “Marta Oulie,” Sigrid Undset’s First Published Novel

at the University Bookman: Marta Oulie opens with the confession, “I have been unfaithful to my husband.” So it comes as no surprise that the novel depicts a woman’s sexual awakening: the obsessive thoughts of him, the thrill at his touch. “I suddenly felt scared and didn’t dare look at the scrap of chest visible below his throat, but then couldn’t resist glancing at it.”What might be more surprising is that this is the sensual passion of a virgin for the man who will become her husband. Lik … [Read more...]

You Do Realize, This Means Waugh: Four Small Thoughts on Gay Catholic Whatnot

If I were clickbaitier these would all have their own very short post. YOU'RE WELCOME. Anyway, various things I thought about while on the road, bookhawkin'.1. Remember my whole "we aren't trying to solve problems; we're trying to replace less-Christian problems with more-Christian problems" shtik? This is relevant to progressive churches because so often their approach to the questions posed by gay people is to say, "Okay, you can get married!" They solve the problem of gay people by … [Read more...]

Acceptance as the Precondition for Change: Motivational Interviewing and Jesus and Gay Stuff

A second small post in my intermittent series about things people have asked me in interviews about Gay and Catholic.I did a long, fascinating interview, which I hope I'll be able to share with you all fairly soon, in which the interviewer is a secular progressive. He found aspects of my book intriguing, but at one point he said, "Look, I need to push back on you a bit here. You talk a lot about the need for the churches to change and become more accepting and welcoming of gay people. And … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk About Things Other Than Sex, Baby: A “Gay and Catholic” Book Extra

A few times here I've used this phrase "sexualization of gay Christians," and I think by now it's fairly clear what I mean by it: Lots of well-meaning people of many different beliefs focus on sexual problems when they think about gay people. This post from Sarah at A Queer Calling is my favorite example: ...After hearing the names of these two saints repeated one after the other for weeks, I finally asked someone, “Why do you think so many people are advising that I take either St. Mary of E … [Read more...]

What Whiskey Goes With Cheese?: I read “The Spectacular Now”

This is just a quick note to say that I read Tim Tharp's Spectacular Now, the YA novel on which the movie was based, and I really enjoyed it. It's the tale of a high-school cutup and ladies' man who's also a barely-functional alcoholic. He's a generous, sweet-natured guy, fairly open about his self-deceptions, and a total cheeseball. The book is sometimes preachy in an authorial way, which I didn't care for, but most of its occasional swerves into preachiness are much more organic--high-school … [Read more...]


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