Three Gay Catholics Leave the Church – Only to Return Again

Jam343 CC BY 2.0, Link
jam343 CC BY 2.0, Link
Desire of the Everlasting Hills is a documentary that follows three gay Catholics who left the church and their journey back again.

Paul, Rilene and Dan are the subjects of a documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills, which features their stories of how they left the Catholic Church, only to return.

While people leaving the church and then coming back isn’t unusual, what’s remarkable in this case is that Paul, Rilene, and Dan are all homosexuals.

Paul was an international model in the 1970s who got caught up in the madness of New York City. He went through various lovers, so much so that what a real relationship means was lost to him. After he lost about 90% of his friends to AIDS, he moved to San Francisco, where he started living with new partner, Jeff. One day, after mocking a strange-looking nun with an eye patch on television, what she said about God caring for you and wanting you to be happy in this life and afterward struck a chord and set him on his journey back to the Catholic Church.

The Nun was none other than Mother Angelica, the founder of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).


Three Gay Catholics Leave the Church – Only to Return Again[/tweetthis]

Rilene originally wanted to have her own family, but couldn't find the right man, and ended up falling in love with Margo, who would become her partner for the next quarter of a century. But she never felt comfortable in the relationship. When Margo proposed, that was the wake-up call that forced her to contemplate on whether she really wanted to be married to a woman. She ended the relationship and made her way back to the Catholic fold.

Desire of the Everlasting Hills – OFFICIAL TRAILER from Everlasting Hills on Vimeo.

Experiencing same-sex attractions as a teenager, Dan found that there was no one he could talk to, after his family had become Protestant. They had been Catholic earlier. As a young man, he went to a strip club to see if he had any feelings for the opposite sex, but only ended up talking about gardening with one of the dancers. He dated a woman from work but couldn't make the relationship last. He was tempted to go back to being with men, something which he had done earlier, but decided against it.

Their stories are meant to assure Catholics with same-sex attractions that it is not the end of the world. The documentary was released in July by Courage International, a Vatican-approved Apostolate that ministers to such people and encourages chastity. Dan had never come out of the closet and worried about what people might think, but the thought of helping others like him triumphed over all other. He added that their lives are actually better because of the Church's teachings on the subject.

The subjects of the documentary agree that the church should be educating priests better on the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality and giving them tools to help the Catholic homosexuals in their community.

Desire of the Everlasting Hills was screened at the 2015 JP2 Inter-Faith Film Festival.


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