Monday, March 15, 2010

In memory of Fr. Robert Carter,S.J.

An excellent obituary for Robert Carter S.J. appeared in today's (Mon., March 15) New York Times. Bob in my mind was the quintessential Jesuit. A brilliant scholar in Greek patritics, he converted from atheism to Catholcism while a graduate student in Chicago. While we were residents at the Woodstock community residence on West 98th street in NYC, Bob gave his complete support to me in founding Dignity as a refuge for GLBT catholics from the homophobia of the Catholic church.
Bob left academia during the AIDS crsis to become a full time counselor to AIDS patients. Bob became the "heart" of Dignity's ministry. He radiated the compassion of Jesus for those who were outcasts and in pain.
Jesuit superiors under Vatican influence after several years forbade Fr. Carter from saying mass for Dignity, New York. For many years Bob travelled every weekend to Philadelphia to celebrate mass with Dignity there.
Up to the time of his death Bob said that the best choice he ever made as a Jesuit was to come out of the closet and identify himself with the gay outcasts. It was this action that made him a true Jesuit i.e. a true follower of Jesus' example.
Bob's support for me in founding Dignity gave me the courage to forge ahead with certainty that what I was about was the will of God. Thank you Robert! May you have an extraordinary experience of God's love for all eternity.

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