TDR: The Drama Review 45.4 (2001) 97
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Thursday, March 19, 1998 * Vol. XXXI No. 109
The Independent Newspaper Serving Notre Dame And Saint Mary's
Gay Priest Resigns in Protest
[Performances of Self-Disclosure]
Letter to the Editor
This letter is to inform you that I have tendered my resignation from the faculty of the University of Notre Dame, effective at the end of the 1997-1998 year.
It is my intention that this resignation shall serve as a heart-felt protest against the refusal of the officers of the University to make a legal provision for the equal rights for gay persons at Notre Dame. It is my hope that this protest will stimulate informed and productive public exchanges here at Notre Dame on homosexual issues in general, and on social justice for gay persons in particular. It is my belief that Notre Dame, my beloved Alma Mater, will one day take the lead in the liberation of gay people from discrimination, derision, and false witness.
On a more personal note, my resignation serves as a protest against the treatment that I have received from Notre Dame's administration since The Observer published a letter from me on April 4, 1996. In that letter I presented a Catholic perspective on homosexual issues and I came out as a gay, celibate priest in solidarity with our gay students here on campus. Shortly after the publication of that letter, I was suspended, without notification, from Eucharistic and Confessional ministry at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
The Basilica had been my primary forum for priestly ministry to Notre Dame students, since I am not a chaplain in a residence hall. The ministry of mine has now been barren for a year and a half. Only last November did I discover that an actual suspension order had been given. Now I have been told that I was suspended from Basilica ministry because of the poor quality of my homilies. After a full review of the available facts about my suspension, I decline to accept this explanation.
In my opinion, I would not have been suspended from the Basilica if the University's non-discrimination clause had listed "sexual orientation according to the teachings of the Catholic Church" as a protected minority status. I close this letter with a quotation from Psalm 123, which is the prayer in the heart of every gay believer: "Have pity on us, O Lord, have pity on us, for we are more than sated with the mockery of the arrogant, with the contempt of the proud."
Rev. David A. Garrick, C.S.C.
Dept. of Communication and Theatre
March 17, 1998