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BCM welcomes letters from readers. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and must be signed to be published. Our fax number is (617) 552-2441; our e-mail address is bcm@bc.edu

gay, catholic

As an openly gay Catholic in a 10-year partnership that has outlasted the marriages of many of my straight BC classmates, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the title of David Morrison's article, "Catholic and Gay: Thoughts on the Essential Nature of Love" (Summer 2003). Finally, I thought, BC's magazine has published a fair piece on gay Catholics in long-term, loving, same-sex relationships. I was very disappointed.

Although I respect Mr. Morrison's freedom to choose a celibate life with his partner, I dispute viscerally his assertion that homosexual sex is not "objectively loving," and I take offense at his apologia for a Catholic Church that continues to demonize gay Catholics as "intrinsically evil" despite overwhelming evidence that homosexuality is a genetic and morally neutral reality. Of course, Mr. Morrison can believe what he wants, but I resent that you provided such a prominent platform for his extremist viewpoints without so much as one word of rebuttal from a gay Catholic who has not so completely internalized the Church's toxic anti-gay dogma. We, your readers and gay alumni, do not deserve such disrespect.

If Boston College is serious about leading the Church into the 21st century, then lead by example; stop distorting our lives, get to know us, and facilitate an authentic reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the gay and lesbian family members that it has rejected.

Anthony E. Varona '89, JD '92

White Plains, New York

As one who participated in the April 28 Boston College discussion on "homosexuality in the Catholic context," I want to share my disappointment in your decision to print only David Morrison's view of the discussion. Certainly it is unfortunate that Andrew Sullivan "declined to allow his remarks to be published." But surely you recognized that the issue deserved an airing of the full range of opinions.

I wish to commend to readers a talk available on the Internet by Fr. James Alison, a self-described "unpartnered gay priest," given at St. Anne's Church in London on August 3, 2003: "Yes, But Is It True?"

Fr. Alison notes the absolutism of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's July 31, 2003, release "Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons." He invites us to wonder why no such absolutist statement was issued in the 1930s regarding grave Nazi moral evil in perpetrating the Holocaust. He points out how curious it is that the Vatican authors make statements like "experience has shown…" but then provide no example, no footnote, and no citation of any study showing that entrusting infants to the care of same-sex partners has any deleterious effect on their upbringing. Is it true? Where is the evidence?

Alison ends his statement saying, "I beg you not to yield to the temptation of being provoked, not to allow yourselves to be fascinated by the violence of the language in the recent document, not to indulge in the easy critique of the Vatican which our culture and our press offer us, but instead to keep raising this little question: Yes, but is it true?

"The only issue at stake for the Church in discussions of gay and lesbian anything is the issue of truth."

James Michael Hayes '71

Boston, Massachusetts


Fr. James Alison spoke at Boston College on the night of November 18. Plans are in place to make the event available for viewing at frontrow.bc.edu.

art appreciation

I was moved by the thoughtful article on being Catholic by Alice McDermott ("The Lunatic in the Pew," Summer 2003). As someone who has long contemplated the issues of God and Church in modern life, who makes art and teaches its creation, and who is as well the mother of three interested youngsters, I appreciate the complexity and frankness of McDermott's contemplations.

Lydia Panas '80

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

direct quote

I want to draw your attention to the fact that my words
were not properly quoted in "Culture Klatch," by Richard Higgins (Linden Lane, Summer 2003). All I said was that in Islam there is no concept of separation between religion and the state since the state would derive its legislation from Qur'an and Sunnah; likewise there is no "separation between church and state" as understood in the Western context.

Sadia Mahmood

Rawalpindi, Pakistan

talbot recalled

The recent passing of Felix Talbot, SJ, has evoked reflection on the wonders of receiving a Jesuit education. During the apathetic 1970s, I took Fr. Talbot's theology course, "The Nature, Dignity, and Destiny of Man." Preoccupied with other things, it wasn't until about 20 years later that I appreciated the subject. God bless you, Fr. Talbot, as you reach your destiny.

Joe Cordo '79

Sudbury, Massachusetts

yawkey considered

Having read Howard Bryant's Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston (2002), I'm a troubled native New Englander. The Red Sox's sorry record as the last team to integrate closely follows that of its home city. The role of former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey in this record must not be dismissed, for his legacy on race and integration reflects poorly on both the team and its city.

The $15 million donation that the Yawkey Foundation is making for a new athletic facility at Boston College must not lead to silence on the part of the University about Yawkey's legacy. Anything less than a full commitment to address historic and ongoing racial discrimination will lead to a diminished stature for the University.

Bill Vandenberg '91

Denver, Colorado

it's progress

Re "World-wise," by Charles Derber (Linden Lane, Spring 2003): The free exchange of goods, services, people, and ideas (globalization, if you want to call it that) is what brought us to where we are today, in terms of material progress and intellectual advancement. Few isolationist tribes run their own universities. The North Koreans have largely been spared the "horrors" of globalization, and, boy, must they be happy about it!

Without "exploitative" specialization, Professor Derber would be busy hunting dinner, growing breakfast, and worrying about surviving the night.

Patrick Franke '95

Frankfurt, Germany

author's query

In 1913, Boston College alumnus T.J. Hurley (Class of 1885) wrote what became the University's fight song, "For Boston." Nearly a century later, much information has been lost on Hurley's life and compositions.

Readers with any period documentation about Hurley or his works (letters, programs, newspaper clippings, etc.), please contact me at m.bellico.1@bc.edu.

Matthew Bellico '98

Brighton, Massachusetts

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