Open Letter to Pope Francis: Help Save My Vocation

Benjamin Brenkert

Benjamin Brenkert

Guest Blogger: In an open letter to Pope Francis,  Benjamin Brenkert explains his decision to leave the Jesuits because of LGBTQ issues, and asks the pontiff to be stronger in his statements about LGBTQ equality.

Dear Pope Francis,

              In your time as Pope, your commitment to poverty has awakened the world to the evils of globalization, capitalism, and materialism. Many now understand poverty to be a structural sin and a social evil. Through your public statements you have sparked the interest of Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and atheists. The world looks to you as a shepherd, a man filled with the joy of the Gospel.

Yet, while you have focused on physical and material poverty, members of my community–lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered and queer/questioning men, women and youth–have been neglected. They remain on the frontiers, the margins, living spiritually poor lives. Some need the voice of Cardinals like Walter Kasper to tell them that God loves them. Others know that God loves them, but Church leadership rejects them as disordered and disoriented. Your prophetic question “Who am I to judge?” encourages people everywhere to have a non-judgmental attitude towards members of the LGBTQ community. But being non-judgmental is not enough; especially when Jesus tells us to be like the Good Samaritan and “Go, Do likewise.”

But who am I to write you?

As an openly gay man, I’ve spent the past 10 years pursuing the priesthood in the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). I am full of gratitude for this time. I loved being a Jesuit, a son of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This July, I left the Jesuits in good standing.

Today, I can no longer justly or freely pursue ordination to the priesthood as a gay man in a Church where gay men and lesbian women are being fired from their jobs. The last straw for me was when a married lesbian social justice minister was fired from a Jesuit parish in Kansas City. 

Such marginalization is contrary to what many have called the “Francis Effect.” These firings negate your emphasis on eradicating poverty because the firings bring men and women closer to physical and material poverty. Firing people because of their sexuality, or their right to marry, is discriminatory. It is unjust, especially since many Catholic institutions have employment non-discrimination disclaimers that state they are equal opportunity employers that comply with all federal, state and local laws which prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status and arrest record.

In my decision letter to my Provincial I noted my awareness of how LGBTQ injustice contradicts the Gospel. Furthermore,  I pointed out how anti-gay legislation in countries like Uganda and Russia, and the subsequent lack of action by the Church, led me to start questioning my membership in the Church. As I pray about why I left the Society of Jesus, because of LGBTQ injustice in the Church, I continue to pray St. Ignatius’ Suscipe Prayer:

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own. You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

I pray that God continues to give me the grace to fulfill my vows, to respond to the needs of our world, an Incarnated reality that needs an ecumenical Church–one that responds to the needs of the physically and spiritually poor together, as evidenced by Matthew 25. I long to not be a safe outsider or a fringe character.  Yet, I, an openly gay man, was told by my superiors to focus on other pastoral concerns. Why?

As an openly gay man I sought ordination because of God’s calling me to the priesthood. From the age of 15 I prayed to understand that question. I prayed not to run but to be found. Time and again vocation directors, spiritual directors, and superiors tested my deepest desires, my holiest longing, these men saw me as oriented not disordered, available to the priesthood for good and holy reasons.

As I entered the Jesuit Novitiate, God helped me to know myself, to see myself as a fully self-loving and integrated gay man. Over time, I saw that I had gifts to offer as a sensitive, empathic, joyful, loving, prayerful, articulate, multi-dimensional, well-educated minister. I understand myself to be priestly, despite my humanness and frailty.

Pope Francis, with my vocation evolving, I remain priestly. I write you to help save my vocation, whatever that might be in the future. I ask you to instruct the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to tell Catholic institutions not to fire any more LGBTQ Catholics.  I ask you to speak out against laws that criminalize and oppress LGBTQ people around the globe. These actions would bring true life to your statement “Whom am I to judge?”

As I continue my transition as a member of the laity, I am reminded that like every Jesuit, I am “a sinner yet called to be a companion of Jesus as our founder Saint Ignatius of Loyola was.” And like many of my Jesuit brothers worldwide, gay or straight, I still reflect on the three principle questions of Jesuit and Ignatian prayer: “What have I done for Jesus?, What am I doing for Jesus?, and What will I do for Jesus?” For this, I am full of gratitude.

As a former Jesuit, I know that at the core of Saint Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises is a meeting of God, others, and self. This meeting takes place in a dynamic way that draws on our human and godly desires for relationship and love. In short, it is a pilgrimage that places Jesus at the center of one’s life. This pilgrimage is open to homosexuals and heterosexuals. Jesus instructed us all to be good Samaritans,to “Go, Do Likewise.”

With love and affection,

Ben Brenkert

 

Related resources

Bondings 2.0  “Catholicism, Employment, & LGBT Issues”

Call To Action:  Church Worker Justice

The Riverdale Press: “Priestly, but no longer a candidate for priesthood”

39 Responses to Open Letter to Pope Francis: Help Save My Vocation

  1. Friends says:

    Easily one of the most powerful and poignant essays I’ve ever seen at this site! I hope the Church doesn’t lose him…and I hope Pope Francis actually pays attention to these urgent requests for help in overcoming the bigotry and ignorance of far too many bishops, especially here in the United States.

  2. tomfluce says:

    Hi Ben, I wish I could communicate with you personally/directly. I’m at the end of the process (age 76) which you have begun now. You can read about me at I’m not sure my web address will come through this “reply” box. Have you been reading Colin Stewart’s, 76Crimes? That’ll motivate you even more. Try me at tomfluce@gmail.com We have a lot in common and a lot to share. Best wishes! And thanks to NewWays.

  3. tomfluce says:

    Ben: leastharmDOTweeblyDOTcom is my web address. Love to communicate with you, Tom Luce

  4. Emmanuel S. Nobleza says:

    Hi, Ben, I am an ex jesuit too…I entered three times, 30-day retreat three times, left the Society of Jesus three times…I hope the Pope ( and Father General) would do something pro-active and loving about the issues you raised. My concerns are different yet related…i am a victim of sexual assault by a Jesuit priest and i also intend to write the Pope on this matter…this issue makes people in the church (jesuits included) operate on fear and denial, affecting the innocent gays (seminarians and priests). One reaction to this issue is not to accept gays or to dismiss gays–despite their GIFTS of VOCATION. Anyways, i hope we can be in touch…to work together on these issues. Take care always and Stay HAPPY as you ‘help souls” by the grace of GOD…

    • Nancy Gough Riley says:

      Hi Emmanuel! I was going to comment for Ben, but when I read yours I thought I would take this route (which includes you Ben, thanks for your beautiful letter.) Em. I too joined a religious order 3 times and left 3 times. My community was The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Ky. After 40 years I still miss community life and it’s intense focus on Christ’s teachings and apostolic missions. I could write a whole book right now, but I’ll keep it short since this isn’t only about me, you or Ben (not to mention the millions of others!) But I do want to add that many in my community loved and accepted me, but I never took vows and as they approached I realized that I wouldn’t be able to take all three (hint, hint). I have not, for various reasons, been able to find an adequate ministry, though I tried for many years. I thought that I had probably set a record, but I see we at least tied(lol) Thank you Em and Ben, Peace be with us all,
      Nancy Gough Riley

  5. Ralph Aquila M.D. says:

    I thank you for your courage, and I know you will continue to follow your vocation. I am sad that it may not be as a Jesuit, but regardless you will take care of our brethern and make this world a better place.

  6. Jeffrey Payne says:

    Hi Ben,
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I so understand where you are, although a cradle Catholic I feel so alienated from my faith. I feel that every cruel word of righteous, every time a same sex married person is fired, every time the right of two people who love each other is challenged, it drives a nail through the hands of our Christ. And yet forgive them, they just can’t see. We are a lost people, only God can save us.
    Gods peace,
    Jeffrey

  7. Blondy Schopf says:

    Hi Ben, your essay touched my heart, because I share so many experiences with you. I am a priest since the late 90s. And during the last years I feel more and more alienated from the Church. After Pope Benedict resigned and Pope Francis started his papacy, as a gay man my heart was filled again with joy. But nothing changed. I feel alienated from the Church, not from my faith.

  8. JR Basement says:

    Ben, Im an ex-Jesuit as well, but left for radically different reasons. It was clear to me that the Society was a “home” to gay men in a way it could never be a home to me, a straight guy. Any American Jesuit who is honest with himself acknowledges that the vast majority of ordained Jesuits are gay. Some of the older ones may have come of age in an era which demanded they closet themselves, but far and away most Jesuits are gay, closeted or not, at least in the US. In my experience, entering classes of novices are about 60/40 straight, but as you probably know straight men leave much more frequently. The dynamic in many Jesuit houses in the US (and like you, Ive probably visited or lived at a great many of them) is one of young gay men living under the authority of older gay men. Every provincial I had was gay. Every formation director I had was gay. Most of my spiritual directors were gay. People who ran the philosophate at Fordham? Gay. LUC? Gay. St. Louis I honestly don;t know about.

    There’s clearly nothing wrong with the Society being majority gay, just as there would be nothing wrong with it being majority African or some other demographic. But it MEANS something. Being gay obviously means something and changes who you are, how you love, whom you love, how you see yourself in the world. So a gay Society IS something to take note of.

    And just as you, for the reasons you wrote, did not feel at home, I suspect the reason the vast majority of scholastics leave these days is because they are straight and not at home in a Society that has a different sense of self and love and sex and body and desire than they do. These things are all deeply meaningful and not to be dismissed as merely the concerns of the prejudiced.

    So there is irony for me that your call to the Society (and Church) is to be more gay. More focused on the lives and loves of gay men and women. Perhaps that is the direction the Spirit is calling the Society and the priesthood. But at least acknowledge the radically different charism that is than the history of the Society, and at least acknowledge that a house built in that way will not be a home to all.

    • Friends says:

      That is a very fascinating observation, JR! When I was an undergraduate student at Holy Cross (a Jesuit college) in the late 1960s, I had a summer job which kept me there on campus. For several summers running, a group called the “Fellowship Of Jesuit Artists” held a week-long convention on campus. Most of them were Jesuit scholastics, with a few priests in the mix as well. But the most mind-boggling aspect of the whole thing was that the campus morphed into something like the stage set for Mart Crowley’s play (and movie), “The Boys In The Band”! There was so much mincing and twirling and flirting around by the mostly young Jesuit scholastics that it was almost embarrassing, in view of the fact that they were purportedly headed for priestly ordination. To be fair, there was virtually none of this “flaming” behavior or gay self-presentation among the older resident Jesuit priests on faculty, who at that time would have been ordained from the 1920s through the 1940s. Most of them came from the Irish immigrant family enclaves of the major American cities. So I’m left wondering if what you observed is basically a post World War II phenomenon, in terms of a newer, younger generation of gay men suddenly being attracted to the Jesuits. Just some thoughts. and an invitation for further reflection and discussion of the subject.

    • I wouldn’t have normally commented nor have even found the essay were it not for a reverend in Canada. And I might have remained simply a stalker except that one particular note in your comment caught my attention – “…your call to the Society is to be more gay.” Though I’m sure that there is strength in your overall argument about the Jesuit community having a disproportionate number of gay clergy when compared to other denominations, I don’t believe Brenkert’s essay calls for the Church to “be more gay” but instead to be less (or non-) judgmental of those that are gay; that Pope Francis has made clear his intentions to be less judgmental (Who am I to judge?) and that those who represent the Church aren’t exactly taking the same high road as the guiding hand. In essence, asking that the lives and loves of LGBTQ members of the clergy aren’t run through the proverbial microscope nor their faith come to question when faced with dismissal or worse.

    • bwelch3 says:

      JR, it is unclear to me as to whether you might have felt threatened or just uncomfortable and out of place living in a Jesuit community with gay men. Did you explore other religious orders and communities or a diocesan priesthood? Or did you conclude that you didn’t want to be associated with what you perceive to be a gay profession?

      Ben’s open letter to Pope Francis is not a plea for more gay priests in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) or Catholic priesthood in general. It is about confronting oppression, alienation and mistreatment of homosexual persons, including the withholding of sacramental life, by members of the hierarchy and others of the institutional Catholic Church. It requires changing attitudes and actions, and lots of education, especially in understanding and discussing human sexuality.

      Classifying homosexual persons, a segment of God’s creation, as objectively disordered and their lives and expressions of love as intrinsically evil, is extremely hurtful, demeaning, and alienating for such persons, as well as for their parents, families, friends, and loved ones.

      On November 14, 2006, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document “Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care.” The first principle reads, “The commission of the Church to preach the Good News to all people in every land points to the fundamental dignity possessed by each person as created by God.” “Persons with a homosexual inclination must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.” Homosexual persons should not be subjected to unjust discrimination. The document encourages more than tolerance towards homosexual persons and that they should be welcomed into their local faith community as full and active participants and have an active and contributing role in faith communities and life of the Catholic Church.

      [From here forward I will use the acronym LGBT for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender which is more inclusive than the term homosexual

      REALITIES:

      • Bishops cardinals, bishop conferences, president of the Knights of Columbus and other Catholics have spent and are spending millions of dollars, purportedly in the defense of marriage, to defeat or overturn marriage equality, same-sex marriage, and civil rights and equal protection of LGBT persons. I have not heard or read about any new Church programs designed to promote preparation for sacramental marriage, married and family life, marriage stability, or parenting.
      • Rhetoric and actions by members of the hierarchy and institutional Church incite or lead to violence and discrimination towards LGBT persons.
      • Denial of holy communion to Catholic mayors, governors, legislators, and judges promoting or upholding marriage equality, same-sex marriage, or equal rights and protection (such as non-discrimination policies) for LGBT persons.
      • Denial of the Sacrament of the Sick (Last Rites), and the rites of Christian burial to LGBT Catholics.
      • Firing of church employees and removal of volunteers from lay ministry and parish councils who uphold marriage equality, attend or participate in same-sex civil marriage ceremonies, or are in same-sex civil marriage relationships or partnerships.

      “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministry” is a statement of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family issued September 10, 1997.

      The major tenets of the document include:
      • Parents of homosexual children should accept the child or children with the understanding that they are loved by God as part of God’s loving creation.
      • Every person has an inherent dignity because he or she is created in God’s image.
      • Parents are encouraged to embrace and nurture their child or children with love and respect and maintain contact rather than rejecting them.
      • Parents should encourage the homosexual child or children to maintain contact with the Catholic faith community.

      REALITIES:

      • Children of gay or lesbian parents have been denied Baptism, First Communion, and enrollment in Catholic schools.
      • It is reported in the StarTribune, a newspaper of Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, that in a reply letter to the nother who pleaded for the acceptance of her gay child, Archbishop John Nienstadt,replied, “I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed. Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversion of heart on this topic.”

  9. Jersey says:

    Ben,
    I agree…it would be a good thing if the USCCB is told to impose a moratorium on firing anymore LGBTQ Catholics soley because of their orientation and to also provide better pastoral care for ALL their people.

    • Friends says:

      Amen! But don’t hold your breath. When you look at the caliber and progressive attitude of the presiding bishops in much of Europe, and in parts of South America, the American bishops by comparison are truly like something dug out of the horrific and repressive Jansenist Church history of the 18th and 19th Centuries. It’s hard to explain why and how this happened in America — except that the tenures of John Paul II and Benedict XVI pitched the Church’s episcopal appointments toward the extreme far right wing of the theological spectrum. Somehow and some way, many of the European bishops survived to think and act to for themselves, as did our much-loved Pope Francis in Argentina. As I’ve said before: somebody could generate a fantastic doctoral thesis from exploring how and why these aberrations happened so significantly in the United States.

  10. Tim Massie says:

    Very, very powerful and well written. I have known Ben since his undergraduate years at Marist College as we shared common interests such as history and our faith. I am proud of Ben, who is a kind, generous soul with a warm heart. Ben is not asking for the Jesuits or the Church to become “more gay.” He is asking for the Church and the Jesuits to be more welcoming to LGBT Catholics whose time, talent and treasure they gladly welcome, until they come out and/or get married (though the Church doesn’t even “recognize” these marriages). Would Jesus want someone to lose his or her job, its pay and health benefits, solely because they are LGBT? Of course not. Yet, particularly in America, this is how LGBT people are treated by parishes and dioceses. THAT, is, in itself, a grave sin.

    Ben knows my journey as well, from seminarian in Rome nearly 30 years ago and the pain inflicted there, to where I am know, a very happily married gay man who has found other, and dare I say, better ways of serving God and others than through ordination. I fear the Catholic Church will never change toward LGBT people. What is particularly galling is that so much of the hierarchy is gay and due to their self-loathing and deflection, are vehemently anti-gay in their words and deeds. If there is a Final Judgement, they will be asked why they persecuted LGBT folk, which is the antithesis of what Jesus would have them do. It’s hard to keep the faith when one is told s/he is disoriented evil, that family members and friends should shun them in their moment of great happiness (their marriage), and that those who treat LGBT people with unconditional love and respect risk an eternity in hell — all statements from American Catholic hierarchy. They will deny this by saying LGBT people deserve love and respect, yet fire them from jobs, ban them from ministries, and deny them full participation in the Church.

    Ben, consider this an opportunity to do something that heals rather than hurts. You will find the true vocation to which you are being called. Everything you have done up until this point has prepared you for it. You have many, many people, including me, who love and support you.

  11. Bill Freeman says:

    I have absolutely no issue with the majority of Jesuits, like priests — and by logical extension bishops, being gay. What I have enormous issues with is the hypocrisy and silence while the institutional Church continues its unrelenting pogrom against the GLBT community.

  12. bwelch3 says:

    Ben, thank you for your courage, being your authentic self, your integrity, the contents of your open letter, and sharing your convictions, feelings, and life journey.

    I have much empathy towards you. I too struggle, not solely as an authentic gay Catholic with integrity, but also as a Roman Catholic with sixteen (16) years of formal Catholic education. I have spent a lifetime in the search of truth by researching, challenging and testing the foundations of Church doctrine and teaching. I find many with falsehoods and lacking in cohesive facts, evidence, and logic.

    In the matter of priestly vocations and priesthood, Pope Benedict XVI, and I believe Pope John II as well, decreed that men with inclination or orientation to same sex attraction (SSA), or SSA affliction, were to be removed from the seminary and denied ordination to the priesthood as a solution to the sexual abuse by clerics crisis. In effect, members of the church hierarchy were placing the blame of the abuse crisis on gay priests. Despite the attrition rate and diminishing number of priests available for serving parishes and faith communities, candidates for ordination to the priesthood must be bonafide straight, heterosexual males who commit to a vow of celibacy as members of most Catholic rite churches.

    In defense of limitations to straight heterosexual priests it has been argued that such priests sacrifice, or give up, intimacy with women, including sexual intimacy, raising a family, and family life, whereas gay priests would not make such a sacrifice.

    I don’t have the foggiest idea of how the church achieves positive proof that candidates for ordination to the priesthood are bonafide straight heterosexual nen with the capacity of intimacy with women, sexual reproduction, and parenting.

    Ben, God’s blessings be with you, and best wishes as you continue your journey in life.

    Be yourself and all you can be. Live and act with integrity.

  13. Rosa G. Manriquez, IHM says:

    Blessings on you, Ben. I will keep you in prayer.

  14. juliemmurray says:

    What amazing integrity and prophetic choices, Ben! You have my deepest respect and I am sure you will be guided to continue to work on behalf of justice in all Church communities and institutions….but it looks like it will be a slow process of transformation!

    • What we need to focus on is the individual, straight or gay, in the service of God and all of God’s creation. If I am in need of a priest or anyone else, do you really think I care if he or she is straight or gay. What I really care about is do they know anything about what it is I need and do they know how to provide for what it is I need. He or she and me, straight or gay, are children of God who I have been taught to believe is a loving, caring, merciful, forgiving, and just God. I have met many priests and particularly Jesuit priests, since I am graduate of Fordham University as an undergraduate and graduate student. I also spent several years in the US Marine. Believe me, I never thought about whether or not the Marines I served with were straight or gay when each of us knew our lives depended on each other.

      • bwelch3 says:

        Michael, thank you for your laudable and much appreciated response.
        I am a gay retired army officer. Thanks for your service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
        Peace and best wishes
        Major Bill

  15. […] post originally appeared on Bondings 2.0, the blog of New Ways […]

  16. […] post originally appeared on Bondings 2.0, the blog of New Ways […]

  17. […] post originally appeared on Bondings 2.0, the blog of New Ways […]

  18. […] post originally appeared on Bondings 2.0, the blog of New Ways […]

  19. […] post originally appeared on Bondings 2.0, the blog of New Ways […]

  20. […] post originally appeared on Bondings 2.0, the blog of New Ways […]

  21. Maryna says:

    You are so bold and forthright – Our Catholic Church needs people like you and Pope Francis so desperately. And now just when we need you, you are thinking of leaving the priesthood? It takes a long, long, long time to make a change in views within the Catholic Church.
    This has been a great source of embarrassment to our Catholic religion. The Church in the US is given direction by the Vatican pundits who refuse to abandon outdated teachings and many of whom are totally ignorant about actual facts, science, human physiology and even about interpreting Jesus’ Teachings correctly. The Church in the US cannot break away from the Vatican. They have to preach what the Vatican tells it to do. Right? If they break away, then we will be like the Protestants breaking away from the True Church. But now with Pope Francis coming on board, the Catholic Church is on the brink of making an “about face” with several of its glaring stigmatic views on current issues like LGBT, marriage after divorce etc. In fact one of his top Vatican bishops, just yesterday, publicly made a statement about embracing unconventional couples within our Church. It is all going to happen Father. Please give it some time. Do you realize what an outstanding gift you have in choosing to dedicate yourself to priestly vocation? Please do not leave it. The Catholic Church needs people like you.
    You are in my daily prayers. So is Pope Francis and all other priests and all the lay people who have been dedicated to their catholic faith and have been fired from work by catholic employers because of LGBT issues. God Bless You

    • Emil says:

      Dear Ben,

      Your letter to Pope Francis has touched my soul to its’ core and makes me weep. The pain and suffering you have endured in your formation as a Jesuit moves me deeply. Thank you for your candor in sharing your innermost reflections on this turbulent and demanding question. I am in agreement with what Maryna wrote on Aug. 30, 2014.

      I am a gay man, retired from a career in clinical psychology, and was away from the church for some 40 years. I recently experienced an (to me) amazing calling by the Holy Spirit and after much reflection and a short directed Jesuit retreat have returned in a conversion to grace. Perhaps I know something of the struggle you have encountered, maybe not a great deal, but at 72 years of age, I’ve had lots of encounters with condemnation, hypocrisy, and marginalization.

      We are living in a time of great and rapid change. The world has exploded but there are institutions that are crystalized and have difficulty making what for them are radical changes. I believe that Pope Francis is a gift from God in a way that no other pope of whom I am aware ever was. Change, albeit dreadfully slow, is accelerating.

      We need people like you in the church; your understanding, empathy, Christ-like caring, and insights are invaluable especially to LGBT individuals but also to a vast many others who seek God’s love and community. You are young and quite understandably want more immediacy in response to what you have accurately perceived as serious flaws in the church. I’ve lived radical changes in society’s attitudes toward we LGBT persons and am still amazed at how far we’ve come just since I came out to the world and myself.

      Be patient my brother; take time and rest your soul. You have high and noble ideals and I firmly believe that Jesus wants you where he has situated you for all these years. PLEASE stay with us in His church. Our struggling brothers and sisters NEED YOU DESPERATELY. I’m no theologian, but know that among other things, Jesus was put to death for his “radical” ideas. Yours is a noble cross to bear, I don’t think it will require being put to death, though at times it may appear so. I don’t know about the church hierarchy, but there is an urgent need for the kind of man God blessed you to be. You are in my prayers. I hope to hear you’re doing well and that whatever you decide, that you find peace and fulfillment. You’re a good man Ben, may God bless and keep you near.

  22. […] at New Ways Ministry reported on two stories of courageous clergy who are openly gay.   Ben, wrote a letter to Pope Francis explaining why the firings of his LGBT brothers and sisters has led him to leave […]

  23. […] Society of Jesus (the Jesuits),” writes Benjamin Brenkert in the letter, posted on the blog of New Ways Ministry, a group that advocates for LGBT equality within the church. “I am full of gratitude for this […]

  24. […] querido dirigirse públicamente al papa Francisco mediante una carta abierta publicada en el blog New Ways Ministry (iniciativa católica dedicada a la defensa de las personas LGTB). En ella, Brenkert reconoce su el […]

  25. […] Jesuit Benjamin Brenkert, who previously wrote to Pope Francis about his decision to leave the Society, suggested the media’s coverage of last […]

  26. […] remember thankfully, too, the gay Jesuits who came out in the 1970s, and also Benjamin Brenkert, who recently left the Society of Jesus because he could no longer remain closeted or accept the […]

  27. […] in on the firing was Benjamin Brenkert, who last year resigned from the Jesuits to protest the unjust firings of LGBT people from Catholic […]

  28. […] Today’s post is from guest blogger Benjamin Brenkert, a contributor to The Daily Beast.  Brenkert will pursue doctoral studies in education at Columbia University, New York, in the fall.  His previous contribution to Bondings 2.0 can be read here. […]

  29. […] Today’s post is from guest blogger Benjamin Brenkert, a contributor to The Daily Beast.  Brenkert will pursue doctoral studies in education at Columbia University, New York, in the fall.  His previous contribution to Bondings 2.0 can be read here. […]

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