Sometimes I hunt down information, sometimes it finds me. I have been looking up information for a forthcoming post on openly gay or lesbian politicians of ministerial rank – and came across this piece on a politician who is also relevant to another of my interests – gay priests !
For now, I post without further comment the entry from Wikipedia:
Raymond Gravel (born 1952 in Saint-Damien-de-Brandon, Quebec) is a priest and politician from the Canadian province of Quebec, who was formerly the Member of Parliament for the riding of Repentigny, as a member of the Bloc Québécois. He was elected to the House of Commons in a November 27, 2006 by-election following the death of Benoît Sauvageau.
Gravel had an eventful youth during which he worked in bars in Montreal’s Gay Village; he has been open about the fact that he was a sex-trade worker during that time. He entered the seminary in 1982 and became a priest. Gravel is controversial among the Catholic clergy and laity for his support of abortion and same-sex marriage — two issues officially opposed by the Church. He is currently the priest at St-Joachim de la Plaine Church in La Plaine, Quebec.
He was acclaimed as the Bloc’s candidate on October 29, 2006. He received a dispensation from Gilles Lussier, bishop of Joliette, to enter politics. Elected with a large majority in the Bloc stronghold, he became the Bloc critic for seniors’ issues.
However, following his opposition to Bill C-484, which would have recognized injury of a fetus during a crime as a separate offence from an injury to the mother, and his support for Dr. Henry Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada, Gravel was ordered by the Vatican to either give up the priesthood or leave politics, and he finally announced he would not run in the 40th Canadian federal election, saying that the priesthood was his life. He cited as his biggest regret his inability to pass hisprivate member’s bill C-490, which aimed to improve seniors’ access to guaranteed income supplements.
- Gay priests: coming out, discovering love – 2 (queering-the-church.com)