Seeking Freedom in Same-Sex City:
An Allegory Concerning the Gay Debate in the Church,
by Dermot O’Callaghan.

Preface Foreword 1. - A Troubled Conscience - Page 8
2. - Dismantling Familiar Boundaries - Page 10
4. - A Painful Return - Page 23
Bibliography - Page 25


This booklet is based on a talk delivered as part of a debate organised by the Church of Ireland pressure group Catalyst under the title Christian and Homosexual? The format of the occasion involved Dr Linda Hogan, a lecturer in International Peace Studies at the Irish School of Ecumenics, and myself giving formal presentations following which the audience were able to participate with questions and discussion.

The debate was arranged following the publication by Catalyst of a pamphlet under the same title, which consisted of essays by four writers. It is necessary to differentiate clearly between the debate and the Catalyst pamphlet, however, in that neither of the participants in the debate had been a contributor to the pamplet. No vote was taken in the debate.

The debate took place first in St George’s parish church in Belfast in September 2005 and was repeated at the Church of Ireland Theological College, Dublin a month later, by which time Dr Hogan had been appointed Professor of Ecumenics at Trinity College Dublin. Canon Trevor Williams acted as chairman on both occasions.

The audiences responded well to the invitation to participate in the discussion. In particular I appreciated individual conversations with several homosexual people after the formal proceedings had been concluded.

One regret that I have is that, owing to the constraints of time, it was not possible for me to elaborate on an important aspect of the matter under discussion, which the reader will note is alluded to at both the beginning and the end of my allegory. I refer to the way in which the Church has dealt with homosexuality in the past.

To me it is shameful and utterly unacceptable that homosexual people should have been subjected to medical ‘treatments’.

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