43dd0-mhr2Donal Godfrey SJ, a Liverpool-born Jesuit priest noted for his ministry to the “gay” community, which openly challenges Catholic teachings on homosexuality, will speak at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in San Francisco on April 9th, 2016. Most recognized for his book “Gays and Grays” (2008) which narrates the integration of the LGBTQ community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, in 2007, Fr. Godfrey was appointed executive director of University Ministry at the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco, even though his views against the Church’s position on homosexuality were already quite well-known. Before that, in 2002, he was one of the panelists at the University’s “New Jewish & Christian Approaches to Homosexuality” symposium; a MHR parishioner whom he referenced in that talk, Patrick Mulcahey, is involved with teaching and moderating workshops on the master/slave and sado-masochistic gay lifestyle; on the first page of “Gays and Grays,” Fr. Godfrey thanks Mr. Mulcahey for his “special support;” as of 2015, Mulcahey was still taking part in the BDSM Master/Slave Conference at which he was the Keynote Speaker. In 2006, Fr. Godfrey gave a homily at Most Holy Redeemer Church on “Finding God in the Erotic.” The homily was published on the Dignity/USA “Gay Catholic Forum.” In April 2007, Fr. Godfrey celebrated a now infamous “Gay Service” at Most Holy Redeemer, which was broadcast worldwide on BBC Radio4; when interviewed at this event, Godfrey said: “Being gay is not special…It’s simply another gift from God who created us as rainbow people.”

In 2010, Fr. Godfrey stepped down from his position at USF. During a homily in 2012, Fr. Godfrey criticized California’s Proposition 8 (which set to define marriage between one man and one woman) and the Church’s response to the legalization of same-sex marriage: “This week was a busy one for our bishops, because they also criticized Washington State for voting in favor of gay marriage; and then they criticized the decision of the 9th Circuit which stated that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Our own archbishop has made no statement as far as I know; but in Oakland, Bp. Salvatore [Cordileone] said that this was a tragic decision for California, for the nation and especially for our children. I believe our bishops’ priorities are misplaced.” He continued: “As I have said before, my conscience is against Prop 8…I see much in our social teaching and especially in the life of Jesus that supports the case for GLBTQQIA people to be treated as equals and no longer as second class citizens. And after all, none of these decisions requires any church, synagogue, or temple to bless a gay marriage.” In 2015, Fr. Godfrey took part in the public protests against Archbishop Cordileone’s efforts to ensure fidelity to Catholics teaching in San Francisco diocesan schools with regards to homosexuality, contraception and artificial insemination; when asked by a reporter to comment, Godfrey said: “In San Francisco, if you’re going to smell like sheep, you’re going to welcome and accept the LGBT community.”

During an interview from 2015, Fr. Godfrey said: “As a church we need to accept that family goes beyond traditional lines. I don’t expect the teachings to jump to acceptance in one day, it will take decades. In the meantime we need to accept people pastorally as they are and where they are. For now, this would be sufficient. Later the teachings will catch up and evolve.”

Excerpts from Fr. Godfrey’s book “Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church:”

“Well the question in my mind was, the people who make a conscientious decision to live together as a gay couple, and then they come to communion, just like people who make a similar decision on birth control, you don’t harass them. You respect their decision.”

“I believe in other words, that the gospel must always be inculturated into every culture, and this must include gay culture.”

“We do not know his [Jesus] sexual orientation, but this makes no difference theologically and would itself be an anachronistic question. We know he was a sexual person with sexual feelings.”

“If God must become Asian or African, then God is also in some sense queer…”

“Is it less appropriate for gays to imagine Jesus as gay than for African Christians to picture him as black, Asian Christians as Asian?” (See book page above.)

Fr. Godfrey on YouTube:

To contact the Archdiocese of San Francisco about Fr. Donal Godfrey being given a teaching forum in a Catholic parish: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, 415-614-5500.