On 13 May 1988 Father Bernard Lynch was indicted on five charges of child abuse. On 21 April 1989 the prosecution case collapsed, as it became apparent that the evidence against him had been fabricated. Since 1977 Father Lynch had ministered to the Catholic gay community in New York, whose members were, and still are, forbidden to worship on Catholic Church property. The upsurge of AIDS in the 1980s prompted Father Lynch to found a Catholic AIDS ministry, but his work with AIDS sufferers incurred severe censure from Rome. Specifically, his attempts to explain homosexual relationships as acceptable and loving, sometimes even in the face of death, were at odds with the strict teaching of the Church, and provoked bitter conflict with New York's Cardinal O'Connor, who ordered Father Lynch to end his ministry. Determined to continue his work, even if it meant doing so without official Church blessing, Father Lynch remained undiscouraged. "Being identifed with the oppressed', he has observed, `means that I am going to be oppressed". A relentless persecution campaign was mounted in a bid to get him removed from his post at a boy's school, and this led to hie false indictment.
In this book, he tells his life story, bringing into focus his often controversial attitudes to gays, the Catholic Church, God, love and sexuality. Central to the book is a detailed reconstruction of the trial, a courtroom drama reminiscent of "The Bonfire of the Vanities".show more