Father Tony

Father Geoffrey Farrow has been suspended.

Filed By Father Tony | October 13, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Catholic bishops, Catholic church, Catholic priests, Geoffrey Farrow, priests

I left the following comment on his blog post about the suspension:

Dear Father Geoff,

We rather knew it would come to this. Sadly, a man does not get to be a bishop by championing truth and by facilitating the movement of the Holy Spirit. He is given authority because he can be trusted to uphold the laws of Roman Catholicism. The kindness you extend to the bishop of Fresno is noble but undeserved. Shame on him for having passed on an opportunity for greatness and witness to the real message of Jesus Christ. He has unfortunately chosen to be ordinary in every sense of the word.

You shine a bright light on some important issues, and I am hoping that your voice will be heard widely because of this suspension. If only your brother priests had but a fraction of your courage.

I think we all ought to do what we can to spread the word of what has happened here. A man of simple integrity has been deprived of his position of leadership in the Catholic Church. You may think that this is justified because Father Geoffrey Farrow is not in sync with the magisterial authority of the Roman Catholic Church. OK. I get that. But because of his actions, we begin to see that church for what it really is. (Feel free to supply the appropriate descriptives.)

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I can't believe that Father Geoff didn't know the Catholic Church's stand on homosexuality when he entered the priesthood. All those years and money spent at Divinity school learning about a god who isn't there. For the same investment he could have become a medical doctor and really healed people, not just hokus pokus playing with his congregations mind. Most of the doctors behind borders are atheists. One doesn't have to be religious to have compassion and empathy for the sick.

Dear Charles,
Of course he knew the church's stance on homosexuality when he entered the priesthood, but like many of us, he was trained in the double standard. That standard doesn't work when the bishop forces you to say something from the pulpit that you cannot mouth in good conscience.
Interesting about the medical school idea. I always thought that if I had it to do all over again, I would have become a doctor. A cosmetic surgeon. So much easier to deal with the surfaces of people and not to meddle with their hearts and souls, but then again, if that had been my lot, I wouldn't be who I am today, nor here, enjoying the pleasure of your good company.

Unfortunately, as with this good man and Bishop Robinson their actions make news and lawmakers think that is what we all want, with god in the marriage mix, a three way in marriage. It's not true, must of us are freethinkers. The Camelot theatre was packed full to see Bill Maher's new film Religulous in Palm Springs, all gay atheists who applauded at the end.

Well, he knew it was coming. Too bad, churches need more people like that.

He may have knew it would happen, but that doesn't make it right. I salute him.

A few people in the comment section of Fr. Geoff's blog urged him to consider becoming a priest in the Episcopal Church. Others suggested he hire a canonist and fight the disciplinary action, effectively tying it up for years.

But as Birdie mentioned in the comment below, Fr. Geoff is likely devastated right now. He probably isn't ready for more bold actions. I just want him to weather the storm and rebuild his life. But yes, his loss to the spiritual community would be tragic.

That Father Geoff knew that the Church would suspend him does not make it any less devastating to a man who loves God and feels called to serve Him. Knowing a hurricane is coming does not decrease its destruction.

Why would any gay man want to give up his sexual identity and enter the priesthood unless he was blindly influenced by the childhood religious indoctrination of his parents? The Catholic Church is not progressive while being gay is. This progression is due to cultural changes and scientific data and the Catholic Church accepts neither.

Dear Charles,
Why? Because some guys feel guilty about their sexual identity. Others, like me, never felt guilty, but saw that seminarians and priests get more (and easier) sex than most married folks, all you had to do was keep it under wraps. We figured we'd have to do that anyway in the non-churchy world, so it didn't seem like much of a burden. There was no talk of gay marriage or open and accepted partnerships, so it didn't seem like we'd be missing much. Today is different. I think Fr. Geoff held on longer than most.

Interesting. Did you have communal showers like at the YMCA ? Plenty of gay sex going on there, of course it depends on the location. I'm thinking of the 63st YMCA in NYC where I lived after I left college. Absolutely wild in the showers every night. I think Christian guilt made the sex more exciting and naughty. Many farmboys would pray in their rooms afterwards.

Robert Montion | October 15, 2008 4:20 AM

Charles I am certain you are a man of faith. But your comments are just plain wrong. I've known Father Farrow for close to 15 years and have not always agreed with him largely because he was so strictly doctrinal that he left little room for movement within the faith.

However, his stance is courageous, necessary, and critically important if the Catholic Church is going to ever live up to Christ's admonition to love one and other. How is one to evangelize and judge at the same time?

And, to quote Father Farrow in response to the issue of why didn't he become a doctor to really heal people; Father Farrow is fond of saying that people tend to call on God as a last resort when someone is sick when in fact God should be the first resort. He understands that true healing happens in the heart and often happens at the death bed.

He is a deep man who has great integrity. Agree with him or not, one must admire his courage.