Concerned Woman, Dennis Lynch, has issued an article declaring that Father Mychal Judge was definitely not gay. Judge was the priest who died on 9/11/01 in service to victims of the terrorist attack and the firefighters that were attempting to rescue them and who became known as a hero.
Lynch bases the bold assertion on the following:
Prior to Father Mike’s death, everyone who knew him for any length of time would never describe him as a homosexual. In fact, never has even one homosexual activist ever provided evidence that Father Mike was “gay.” Yet, in newspapers immediately after the funeral mass, Brendan Fay was quoted saying that Father Mike was a homosexual. Fay arranged a media event where many people spoke of Father Mike’s concern for the homosexual community and claimed Father Mike was “gay.” This was news to me, and I knew Father Mike for nearly a decade.
The Media Lies About Father Mike
After the first series of newspapers stories reported that Father Mike was a homosexual, suddenly politicians were standing up in Congress lamenting the death of “Father Mike, the gay priest.” Concerned that Father Mike was being used by homosexual activists, I began to contact many people who knew him for as long or longer than I did. I wanted the truth about Father Mike to be published. Not one of these longtime friends every heard or saw anything that Father Mike did that would indicate he was homosexual. I personally spent weeks at a time with Father Mike where he and I spoke about many personal matters. Not once was there even a suggestion that Father Mike was “gay.” He was a celibate Catholic priest and nothing more.
That is the extent of Lynch’s argument.
Lynch’s, like so much of the anti-gay crowd, bases his argument on a distorted logic: if you can’t prove something is true, then that proves it’s false. He presents nothing to support the idea that Judge was not gay, simply that there wasn’t proof enough for him. He doesn’t claim that “there’s inadequate information to determine his orientation” but states as fact that Judge was NOT gay.
Based on the tone of the article, I find it highly unlikely that Judge, or anyone else, would consider coming out to Lynch. The rest of the article is an attack on Brendan Fay and other “homosexual activists”. It is quite clear that he views gay people in a very negative light.
Further, to Lynch, Judge’s homosexuality existed only if heard or seen. A celibate gay priest doesn’t fit into the definition of homosexuality as undestood by the Concerned Women and the anti/ex-gay movement. Because Lynch wasn’t “living a homosexual lifestyle” they don’t have language to reconcile his being gay.
In contrast, the New York Times quotes a close personal friend of Judge:
The former city fire commissioner Thomas Von Essen, a close friend of Father Judge’s, said Thursday that excluding men of his caliber from the priesthood would be simply “a shame.”
Mr. Von Essen, a married, practicing Catholic who said that Father Judge came out to him years before his death, added, “To sacrifice your life to God and try to do so much good every day and to be prevented from doing that – it’s no wonder they can’t get anyone to join the church to become a priest or a nun.”
On one hand there is the personal testimony of Von Essen, a reputable person without an obvious agenda, that Judge declared himself to be a gay man. On the other is a assertion that Judge was not gay based a vacuum of information. It is not difficult to decide whom to believe.
If you are still having doubt, consider too that Father Judge was a longtime member of Dignity, a gay Catholic group, and was a longtime activist for gay rights. The Times also reports that he had told several friends, both gay and straight, that he was a celibate homosexual.
Lynch did state something in his closing paragraph with which I agree:
Although homosexual activists have hijacked this truth, I know that, from heaven, Father Mike would want you to know the truth about him. He would also want you to pray for those who bear false witness.
I believe that Father Judge would have wanted the truth to be known. He would also want you to pray for those who bear false witness.
Those who make statements about that which they do not have evidence and based wholly on what they choose to believe, by definition are bearing false witness.
Feel free to pray for Dennis Lynch.