Is it possible to be both an out, proud, sexually active gay man and an observant Catholic? Why would anyone want to be? These are the questions at the heart of Scott Pomfret’s hilariously ribald memoir.
Pomfret opens with a list of dramatis personae that introduces such characters as Father Bear-Daddy, the lay minister trio known as the Hale Marys, Father Butter-ballino and his lesbian parishioners Joan of Arc & Clare of Assisi, protester Mr. Sodomy (he’s against it) and Bill the Breviary (he is, too). Obviously, some names have been changed to protect confidentiality.
Despite the humor, Pomfret has a serious purpose as he recounts his attempts to engage Boston’s Archbishop (later Cardinal) Sean O’Malley in honest discussion, inviting him to “witness the dignity and power of love between men and to acknowledge that a gay man [can] be as good a Catholic as any other.” Along the way, Pomfret visits the gay Catholic groups Dignity, which permits sex, and Courage, which doesn’t. He rails against clerical cravenness and hypocrisy and wrangles with the conservative pieties of his brother and sister-in-law. Most poignantly, he examines his own heart for an answer to his atheist boyfriend’s question, “Why do you keep going to a church that hates you?”
Amusing and sometimes instructive sidebars, including “Thousands of Years, My Ass: A Short History of Matrimony” and “Excommunication FAQ” occur throughout.
Recommended for general collections. Pomfret is co-author of the Romentics line of explicit romance novels featuring gay men.
Reviewed by Joyce Meggett
Division Chief for Humanities
Chicago Public Library