Father Geoffrey Farrow is a gay priest who publicly opposed Proposition 8 in California. He is a serious man who wrestled with faith and unfaith over the years and came back to the church, to serve it, as a pastor. This kind of man is essential for the Church's future. And yet the price of his decision to speak out for the marginalized is that he has been removed from his parish, and his health benefits end after this month. But his story is, to my mind, a sign of what Catholicism is at its best:

Farrow said he still sees the church as home, and believes his new mission is to force this issue whether he's wearing a collar or not. "They said I've caused scandal to the church," he said. "I think the real scandal is the thousands of gay and lesbian children who feel abandoned by the church of their baptism."

When he was in seminary, Farrow interned as deacon at St. Vincent's Medical Center and worked with terminally ill patients. As the end nears, Farrow told me, people say the things they never could utter. They are "more alive than ever . . . because they realize the futility of fear." He found them all contemplating the same questions.

"Were you true to your conscience? Did you do what you felt was right?"

And one more.

"What do you have in the end but the love you gave away?"

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