When Father Daniel Berrigan passed away in late April, tributes and anecdotes poured out about this Catholic priest who was peacemaker, poet, and much, much more.
Absent from almost all of these accolades was Berrigan’s outreach to lesbian, gay, and bisexual Catholics and to persons who had HIV/AIDS.
Tom Roberts wrote about some of Berrigan’s LGBT solidarity in the National Catholic Reporter. For instance, in the late 1960s the priest sponsored a gay group at Cornell University, according to LGBT advocate Brendan Fay. This act, in Fay’s view, revealed Berrigan’s “heart and his embrace and his willingness to go beyond the clerical comfort zone and to reach out and say ‘yes’ to a need instinctively.”
Berrigan attended Dignity services in New York after Cardinal John O’Connor expelled this group of LGBT Catholics from Church property in the city, and he ministered to Dignity communities elsewhere. In his book Portraits of Those I Love, Berrigan profiled former Jesuit and noted gay theologian John McNeill as “The Jesuit,” a chapter in which Berrigan admiringly called McNeill a person who was “unafraid of the cross.”
Source: Bondings 2.0