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Confession. (reader forum).

Thanks, Michael Taeckens, for your reflections on either becoming a priest or being damned [My Perspective, June 11]. Having gone down a similar path, only going further--by entering the priesthood--I can relate to your experience of anxiety and also to those others who actually entered into the arena of the damned.

Being closeted is one of the most horrible experiences I ever went through--for 40-something years. The second-worst experience? Being an alcoholic gay priest! And the most wonderful experience(s)? Getting sober (with, I might add, the bishop's extensive support), leaving the priesthood (to the bishop's dismay), and reclaiming my freedom to be me (coming out of the closet)! And having the love of someone with whom I can share my present and future dreams.

For anyone wondering if you can remain a "priest" after leaving the "priesthood": Yes, you can! In a much healthier fashion--by being true to yourself and those you love!

Ken Stofft, via the Internet

I too experienced some of the feelings Taeckens had while growing up concerning sexuality. However, I wonder if he has seen how muddleheaded his logic is and how disconnected he is about today's church at the parish level about gays. To read his article, it would seem that the modernization efforts of the Second Vatican Council (in 1962!) had never occurred. For one thing, the church does not teach that having homosexual thoughts will condemn you to hell; in this respect actions certainly count louder than words, and even here not everything is black-and-white, the way he portrays it.

Second, there were more options for not going to hell than becoming a priest. A genuine priestly vocation is a calling by God to live for others, and from his piece, it appears the only person Taeckens wanted to help by becoming a priest was himself. This is hardly a reason to become a priest, and I believe the best thing he did was not to become one.

Oscar Ramirez, Antioch, Calif.
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jul 9, 2002
Previous Article:Mama mia! (reader forum).
Next Article:Reader comments from (The Advocate Poll).

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