Jesuit Priest “Comes Out” as Gay During Sunday Mass at Catholic University Parish

University has dedicated this year's Ignatian week to race and "diversity"


By John-Henry Westen

Father Thomas J. Brennan  PHILADELPHIA, November 5, 2007 ( - Before a packed church of some 400 on the campus of the famed St. Joseph’s University, Father Thomas J. Brennan announced that he is homosexual.  During the Mass he spoke of his homosexuality as one of "the worst kept secrets" on campus.  He failed however to mention that homosexual acts are considered intrinsically evil by the Catholic Church.

  Fr. Brennan, S.J., is an Assistant Professor of English at the University, who on his website lists "lesbian and gay studies" under "general fields of professional interest".

  The announcement came at the 10pm Mass to a congregation of mostly students and a smattering of alumni.

  The announcement could not have come at a worse time for the Jesuit University founded in 1851.  This week, Jesuits throughout the world commemorate their founding father St. Ignatius and the many holy men who have lived and died in the order established by him. 

  However, this year, the University has, according to a comment by Frank Morris, Executive Director of the Office of Mission in the campus newspaper, dedicated Ignatian week to race and diversity.

  Yet the University was unwilling to comment on the incident. received two calls from the communications office of the university both seeking more information on a request for comment but no comment was made by deadline.

  A call to Fr. Brennan’s office was also left unreturned.

  The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also did not respond to a request for comment.

  Matt Archbold, who runs the Creative Minority Resport blog with his brother Patrick, was in attendance at the Mass on Sunday.  Archbold told that reaction from the congregation at the Mass was "extraordinarily understated."

  Archbold, an alumnus of St. Joseph’s, suggested that suspicions on campus related to Fr. Brennan’s homosexuality may have been due to his having written a chapter in the book "Jesuit Postmodern" which was entitled "A Tale of Two Comings Out: Priest and Gay on a Catholic Campus."

  To express concerns to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia contact:

  222 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299

  Rev. Timothy R. Lannon, S.J.
  Saint Joseph’s University
  5600 City Avenue
  Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395

  See the blog Creative Minority Report:

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