After 23 years as an ordained Catholic Priest, Father Geoffrey Farrow has likely given his final mass. Sunday morning he invited us to hear his message, a message that shocked many parishioners.
That line heads a local news story by ABC 30 about Father Geoffrey Farrow, an unbelievably brave man who decided to stand up to the doctrines of his church in the wake of Proposition 8, a California ballot measure to be voted on in November, which, if passed, would strip the recent historical advances for LGBT Americans, granted by the California Supreme Court, legal same sex marriage. Not only did Farrow make a brave declaration against Prop 8, he also came out of the closet during the news story. Those two stands are likely to result in the end of his presence in this or any other Catholic church.
Reaction from the congregation was mixed. About half of them gave him a standing ovation. The other half sat quietly, some leaving in tears. Afterward, the news team interviewed a couple of parishioners who’d witnessed the revelation. The first was a woman who did nothing but recite what she’d been taught to recite, admitting she’d been made to "follow commandments” and then gave up the tired, manufactured mantra of “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”. (Put her to bed, she’s done…) The other parishioner gave an honest observation and came to his own conclusions, something about half of the Catholic congregation was unable to do.
When ABC News approached the Bishop who heads the diocese in Fresno for a comment, he was not only uninformed, but said he’d heard “rumors” about the incident, and added that “Proposition 8 is not a homosexual issue, rather about the institution of marriage, which is the basis of our society.”
This statement, as put forth by many who declare themselves “religious” or “conservative”, is actually a statement which supports voting NO on Proposition 8, since the measure only allows more Americans to marry. If marriage is the “basis of our society” and Prop 8 would exclude millions of Americans from marrying, isn’t that a move against marriage, against the “basis of our society”? They would say no, of course, in order to mask the plain truth, which is that support of Prop 8 is not about protecting anything, except the self serving hatred and prejudice which the measure is really about. That doesn’t sell very well, even to the converted.
After numerous questions from his parishioners about direction on Proposition 8, Father Farrow felt compelled to make a statement against the position of his bishop and church, a statement based in honesty and truth, and what he feels is right. “What most Catholics hear about being gay or lesbian from their church, is silence. I know that these words of truth will cost me dearly,” he added, “but to withhold them would be far more costly, and I would become an accomplice to a moral evil that strips gay and lesbian people not only of their civil rights, but of their human dignity as well.” A stunning and striking moment of truth from a true hero.
Watch the story HERE