To the editor:
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is a local parish in the heart of Chicago's Boystown. It is situated between Halsted and Broadway, a major artery of the Lake View business district. Many Halsted LGBT+ bars are close and within walking distance.
Each year, the Pride Parade passes by the front of the church's doors. The parish has a fine school for parish children and othersso, for me, it was painful to hear that Fr. Pat Lee was removed as parish pastor by Cardinal Blase Cupich because of an accusation of child sexual abuse.
The parish is also the home to the Chicago ArchdiocesanGay/Lesbian Outreach ministry ( AGLO ). Lee, in addition to being pastor of the parish, was also the archdiocesan liaison for AGLO. In other words, he was in charge.
I have known Lee for more than 15 years, and am amember of Immaculate Conception, where also served. He would attend our Christmas tree-trimming parties with my departed lover and myself, and he ministered to my dying lover. When my partner passed, Lee said the funeral mass at Immaculate Parish.
So I am not removed from the spiritual darkness of this situation, and understand how it must be affecting many good people, gay and straight. However, I also understand that good people can make evil choices in life.
The sexual abuses of children by clergy predators require that justice, love and support be given to the victim of these crimes. I want to thank Cupich for moving quickly to remove this accused predator from both the parish and hopefully replacing him with a new archdiocesan AGLO liaison; perhaps its time to appoint a lay person to this position.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victim of this heinous crime, and the good people at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and AGLO, who must be experiencing a dark night of the soul.
Rainbow Sash Movement
( GLBTQA Roman Catholics )
[Note: Windy City Times contacted AGLO, but received no response as of the press deadline.]