Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Boston-based gay author removed from Shrine

Boston-based GLBT author Scott D. Pomfret says the publicity surrounding his satirical gem, "Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir," fueled the friars of Saint Anthony Shrine in Downtown Crossing to remove the writer from a volunteer position he held since 2000 while terminating the GLBT Spirituality Group that was the subject of his book.

Pomfret says he knew something was up last Wednesday, Sept. 17.
"I went to the Shrine for the regularly scheduled meeting of the GLBT Spirituality Group, which met every third Wednesday of the month. As soon as I entered the Shrine’s lobby, I knew something was amiss. Our little paper rainbow flags that point the way to the meeting room were absent," he says.

As a practicing Catholic in a long-term committed gay relationship with a hardcore atheist, Pomfret explores his faith in the book (released in June 2008) with the hierarchy’s bitter attacks on same-sex marriage, adoption, GLBT seminarians, Capri pants, innate style and anything else remotely gay.

Pomfret, who works as a government attorney during the day and, with his partner Scott Whittier, is responsible for the "Romentics" series of explicit gay romantic novels at night, tells Loaded Gun that he's hurt by St. Anthony Shrine's knee-jerk reaction to his work.

"I felt sucker punched. Like a jilted lover. Not that I had not anticipated such a result from my book," he writes on his blog. "But the reality was difficult, made exponentially worse by the inability of my friends at the Shrine to show either courage or courtesy, to stand in good faith and express their feelings in an open dialogue."

Meanwhile, St. Anthony Shrine, which promotes the "All Are Welcome" signage on its doors, has abolished the monthly GLBT meetings.

Click here for my profile on "Since My Last Confession" author Pomfret.

UPDATE: The Boston Globe and Associated Press picked up on my news item on author Scott D. Pomfret. The Globe's religion reporter focuses on the more sensational aspects of "Since My Last Confession," like suggesting that the local clergy are sexually active while taking jabs at Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley.

Both articles pull one line from his bio where Pomfret describes himself as "a happy porn-writing Sodomite." This description is taken a bit out of context.

The Globe also quotes the Shrine's executive director, the Rev. David Convertino, as saying, "There were people who felt it was incompatible for someone to stand up publicly and say, 'I'm a pornographer and I'm a lector at St. Anthony Shrine.' "

Convertino says the GLBT spirituality group hasn't been eliminated but changed so that it will focus on "occasional" events.

Read the complete article here.


outnawayz said...

I made a lot more full answer to this at: http://www.universalhub.com/node/16651#comment-48621

I would just like to say here that Mr. Pomfret was not a practicing Catholic if he was an active homosexual. The local members of the Church have made a serious error if the let Mr. Pomfret live in sin and grant him the dignity of God's forgiveness.

The Gospel is the Word of life and of healing. Mr. Pomfret was denied the chance at healing until now. I hope that he can make his way out of the homosexual life. It's really not good for people; I know, I was in it for over thirty years.

Also, Mr. Pomfret removed himself from the Shrine. He wasn't kicked out. He decided to leave when he was asked to repent. I know how the Church works.

There's so much error in the way this has been reported. What's really going on is that the Church is finally applying what it teaches to people, not out of anger or condemnation but out of love for the sinner.

Sam Baltrusis said...

Outnawayz, thank you for the input.

I agree that there have been errors in the way this has been reported.

In contrast to the handful of reporters who've covered this story, I actually read the book.

Ultimately, "Since My Last Confession" is a re-affirmation of Pomfret's faith--not a condemnation.

The fact that the Shrine says "All Are Welcome" when we're clearly not all welcome--it's not only contradictory, it's just wrong.

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