| Halsall Academic Pages | Radical Catholic Page | People With a History: LGBT History |


Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Catholic Handbook

This page's Web Counter says you are visitor since December 16, 1995.

Last Updated: November 16, 1999


The Lesbian and Gay Catholic Handbook is an attempt to organize and present a great deal of information, discussion, and argumentation that will be helpful to lesbian, gay, and bisexual Catholics. I have spent much time organizing, writing, and researching this information. Please let me know what you think.

The Handbook is specifically a copyrighted document [although parts of it are links to texts copyrighted by others]. At some point I hope to publish this in print.

Note: The abbreviation "LGB" stands for "Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual". Although I am supportive of transgendered people, I think the issues are different, and have not addressed them fully here. Sometimes, for brevity, I have just used "gay", but I wish to make it clear that my approach is always meant to be inclusive.


This website is structured as twelve chapters. Under each chapter heading are documents, images and links to others parts of the Internet. You can browse the entire handbook, or jump directly to a chapter by selecting it below.


To Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Catholics, other Christians, and friends visiting this site for the first time - Welcome! You will find much of interest here, and much to think about.

To people who are hostile to gay people, or to those who wonder what is the point or "agenda" of a site like this, please read on.

One of the commonest charges made by anti-gay religious people is that gay people have "an agenda" [as if Pat Robertson and his ilk did not.] Of course on a page like this I have - with respect to gays and Christianity - an "agenda". It is not though quite the agenda you might imagine. My goal is that Catholic, or indeed any, kids as they grow up will not have to suffer the hell of the closet compounded by threats of hell and damnation. Being gay should, for a kid, be like growing up left-handed: yes it makes you different, but it is not a matter of God loving you or not. Just like left-handers you will even have some gifts related to your difference. Although, since heterosexuality will likely remain the norm for some time to come [!], gay people will always have to go through some degree of discomfort, ultimately they [we] need to know that God cherishes us and does not hate us.

Since I think that Christianity - and its cultural remnants - are among the prime creators of the repression of gay people, I am concerned to change things. But more: I am also a Catholic who believes very deeply in the revelation of God in Jesus of Nazareth and God's continued presence in the world - to quote the English poet John Betjeman:

That God was man in Palestine,
and lives today in bread and wine.

I am outraged that gay people are denied access to this vision if they refuse to internalize self hatred - or more accurately if they even begin the process of recovery from the internalization of "normal" social values. Many gays and lesbians make the judgment that since religion rejects them, they must reject religion. My goal is to work towards "bringing the gay community to Christ, and Christ to the gay community." Non-gay people are not, for a change, the focus here.

In the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Catholic Handbook some of the work that has been done in this area of faith and spirituality is highlighted. I also write about it myself and, drawing primarily from my profound experientially based belief that the gay and lesbian communities can be especially powerful locii of Christ's love and presence, argue here that this love and presence is not incompatible with the erotic expression of gay love.

I freely recognise then that in what I do I have an "agenda". That is part of the reason why my academic work focuses on an area where I can never be so accused [Female Byzantine Saints !] But, having admitted I have an agenda, I also try very hard to be honest. In the bibliographies I compile I include any and all texts. In the reviews of John Boswell's works [essential reading for any Gay Catholic], I have distributed rather aggressive attacks on Boswell as well as defences. An agenda, yes this site has an agenda - but it also try very hard to be neither dishonest nor unfair. Above all it seeks to show why gay people can be Christians, and why Christians who despise gay people are wrong. My own approach to the faith is summarized in an evolving credo.

Chapter 1: Basic Bibliographical Guides

Chapter 2: Documents

Chapter 3: Discussion of the Bible

General Discussion

Discussion of Individual Texts- So-called "Anti-Gay" Texts

Discussion of Individual Texts- Pro-Gay Texts

Chapter 4: Discussion of Catholic Theology

The Roman Catholic Magisterium

Why Stay Catholic

Re-Visioning Ethics

Gays and Theology - Ecumenical Perspectives

Chapter 5: Dealing With Religious Attacks on Lesbian and Gay People

Specific Arguments/Books

Coming Out of Religious Abusive Organizations

The Radical Religious Right and "Ex-Gay" Organisations

Although they will not provide information about positive approaches to gay and Christian issues, we are not afraid. Some of the links here are to extremely anti-gay groups. If you are worrying about your sexual identity, I suggest calling the Dignity hotline at 212 620 0369: you need to have a pretty string stomach to read some of this stuff.

Chapter 6: Lesbian and Gay Catholics

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Masses/Liturgies

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Catholic History

Lesbian and Gay Catholic Organizations

Lesbian and Gay Catholic Clergy

Lesbian and Gay Catholic Spirituality

Lesbian and Gays in Catholic Countries Around the World

General Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual History

Chapter 7: Lesbian and Gay Marriage

Chapter 8: Witnesses to Truth: Writing in Support of LGB Catholics

Chapter 9: Other Ways of Looking At The Issue: Read for Fun!

Chapter 10: Miscellaneous Issues

Really Miscellaneous

Being Gay and Lesbian

Gays and Lesbians - Studies

Chapter 11: LGB Catholic Resources

Resource Documents

World Wide Web Links

Lesbian and Gay Catholic and Other Christian Sites

Dignity - the North American LGB Catholic Organization

AXIOS - Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic LGB Organization

International Catholic

Ecumenical LGB Christian Groups

Other Christian LGB Churches and Organizations

Non-Gay Catholic Sites

Non-Christian LGB Spirituality Sites

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sites

Chapter 12: LGB Christian Resources in Other Languages

The author and maintainer of this site is Paul Halsall [a picture!]. He can be contacted by email at halsall@fordham.edu

Please do not hesitate to mail comments or suggestions.