Catholic Priest Bernard Lynch Reveals He’s Been Married To A Man For 14 Years

In a new book, Father Bernard Lynch—whose pro-LGBT views have irritated Rome for years—reveals that not only is he not celibate, he’s been in a committed relationship with another man for more than a decade.

Oh Lord.

Lynch, who took orders 42 years ago, has just released If It Wasn’t Love: Sex, Death and God, in which he discusses for the first time his 14-year marriage to his husband, Billy Desmond, with whom he lives in London. (Lynch has claimed that approximately half of all Catholic priests are gay.) He also reveals that he has been officiating wedding ceremonies for same-sex Catholic couples for some time.

In the book’s description on Amazon, reviewer Jim Cotter describes Love as shining “a necessary if often uncomfortable bright light on the personal, political and spiritual dimensions of our half-understood and half-lived sexuality.”

Love also examines how the demands of celibacy are actually detrimental to Catholic clergy. In an interview with Michelangelo Signorile, Lynch explained:

“I do not believe celibacy can be mandated. I believe celibacy is a gift from God and it’s a very small minority of women and men who are gifted with this. They are such a small minority—and to equate priesthood with that gift is an abuse of the priesthood.”

“Most priests, straight or gay, do not have the gift of celibacy. They get twisted in their own psychosexual development. And they end up, most unfortunately, visiting that twistedness on the most vulnerable, which happen to be children.”

He maintains that now-recanted child-abuse charges that mired him in scandal in the 1990s were the work of conservative Catholic groups and the late Cardinal O’Connor, aggravated by the priest’s outspoken activism on behalf of people with AIDS and the LGBT community.

Lynch was suspended from his order last November, but he’s is savvy enough to the new book could bring him even more trouble, telling Huffington Post he’s  “under threat of suspension from the priesthood.”

So why doesn’t he just walk away? Become, say, a Unitarian?

“It’s my church—and I’ll be the last out after the Pope,” he said.


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  • Matt

    This guy is a hypocrite and closet queen.

  • Aquarelle

    So this dirtbag has been a) lying to his employer for 14 years while drawing a salary under fraudulent conditions, and b) lying to his parishioners for almost a decade and a half? This man is a complete piece of shit.

  • Triple S

    @Matt and @Aquarelle: You comments are similar to saying to a Nazi;

    “You are lying to Hitler and allowing those filthy Jews to live! And you were getting paid for all that time! You piece of shit!”

    The system that priests have to follow is wrong here. It demands almost impossible sanctions for a human to follow and orders them to act in unfair ways.

    At least he’s trying to go against a corrupted and unfair system that can’t work for much longer. Plus, in different churches, priests can get married, and although Catholicism says no to that, with the amount of different ‘Christianities’ around, everything becomes blurred and unclear (ie; what’s the TRUE Christianity?)

  • F Stratford

    Oh so the jokers are here! Found em.

    Yeah no. I don’t trust this so-called priest either. Quit the fu darned church and take the parishioners with you. That would really set them free.

  • B

    Re No. 2 · Aquarelle wrote, “So this dirtbag has been a) lying to his employer for 14 years while drawing a salary under fraudulent conditions, and b) lying to his parishioners for almost a decade and a half?”

    Hey, if this church could provide cover for perverts who abused children, it could certainly look the other way regarding a non-celibate gay priest.

    What evidence do you have the he was lying to anyone? Do parishioners, for example, ask a priest if he is celibate? Possibly he just never brought the subject up. But if his pro-LGBT views didn’t clue them in, just maybe they really didn’t want to know.

    While you can argue about fraudulent conditions, if his apparent claim about being framed or falsely accused regarding sex-abuse charges is true, the church wasn’t exactly an innocent victim. Also, there is no indication that he was defrauding the church financially in any way so “fraudulent conditions” is kind of a weak claim.

  • jack

    I worked in a Catholic H S for 35 years. I think a majority of the priests were gay and a majority of them were celebate. Some occasionally strayed fom the path, mostly with other adults.I do know that most of them gave their lives to the church and its people. A finer group of people would be hard to find. Not perfect, but good guys,

  • axon

    Half of the Catholic priests are gay…? That’s what a relative of mine once said, because “you can live among men, no one expects you to marry, and you get to wear a dress. ” (Yeah, I know, don’t bite my head off for that last part.)

  • EdWoody

    He’s right – the Catholic church’s doctrine on sexuality is completely contrary to actual human reality. No one should be surprised when all that repression and denial comes out ugly.

  • Gigi

    @Aquarelle: To be in the priesthood one must be a liar. The RC church is a duplicitous scam designed to build the wealth and careers of the church and it’s members while systematically destroying those who stand in the way. God bless!

  • Ramon H.

    Half the priests are gay? It’s more like half are ped0s!

  • darkorient

    He complains a lot, but he’s still in there. WTF? I don’t understand him. Then again I don’t understand gays who have faith in their gay-hating religions but still have sex with the same sex anyway. Hypocrite much?

  • Rando

    @darkorient: That’s because many don’t believe being gay is a sin. I don’t believe gay is a sin, yet I’m would identify myself as mostly in the area of Christianity. Religion is a belief system. You can’t force someone to believe something they don’t believe, which is why I don’t believe in “faith institutions” like a church. Everyone sharing the same exact belief? Impossible. Faith is open for interpretation, otherwise you cannot have faith.

  • the other Greg

    I don’t believe in God, and I didn’t grow up Catholic, so maybe I’m missing something – but I’m surprised nobody’s complained about the mistake in the headline and story.

    The UK doesn’t have same-sex marriage even now, never mind 14 years ago, and of course his church doesn’t have them. So are they referring to a UK civil union? Are they referring to some (legally meaningless) commitment ceremony by another church? Has Lynch (or Queerty) redefined “marriage” to be “any two guys who live together”? Or what?

  • jarvisbearcub

    Actually, the Vatican itself claims that 1 in 2 priests are gay. And this was just 2 or 3 years ago. (That’s 50% percent). In fact, I wonder if a search of this blog’s archives would bring up that story. So it’s not like Lynch is making an outrageous claim.

    If you read either of the books by Robert Goss, there is a very nice discussion of gay life in the priesthood.

    And based on personal experience, I’d say the number is well over 50%, especially when you count Anglicans :).

  • B

    No. 14 · jarvisbearcub wrote, “Actually, the Vatican itself claims that 1 in 2 priests are gay.”

    I saw a similar claim when the sex-abuse scandal hit. The claim was made by a therapist who had been treating priests. It seems that in the past a lot of them entered a seminary at the age of 13 or 14, only to spend years in a sexually repressive environment that made all of them come out a little weird. The large number of gay priests was apparently due to the pressure to get married in some Catholic-dominated cultures. One of the few acceptable excuses to not get married was to become a priest, so they jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

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  • InscrutableTed

    Only half of Catholic priests are gay?

    In the Anglican church, it’s gotta be, like, 90%. (Of the males ones. I don’t know about the female priests.)

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