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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Open Letter to Pope Francis

Dear Pope Francis,


I write this as one father to another. We share a deep love for Jesus and Church.


I honor your weighty fatherhood as Pope; I appreciate you more as my conversion progresses. I am only a 12-year-old Catholic. Jesus through the Eucharist (and the Church’s moral teachings) wooed me from evangelicalism. Without you and the structures that hold our Church together, the Eucharist loses its salt. I believe in you because I believe this Mother wants to feed us ‘the richest of fare.’


I pray for your righteousness; enough about wickedness in high places—let’s aim for righteousness! Your burdens must bring you low. I pray for your rising, daily.


Pray for my rising as a husband to one woman, a father of four grown children, and grandfather of eight. I am happy as a 65-year-old for a fruitful life but my boast is sourced in weakness. Through winsome Christians, Jesus called me out of LGBTQ+-identification and into a dynamic faith community while at UCLA. He restored me—body, soul and spirit. At every new threshold of struggle, He invited me to take next steps, to aspire to full integration as a man. Like St. Paul, I’ve yet to attain that fullness but I keep reaching, joyfully and with tears.


I reach for persons like me who have known the pain and shame of sexual disintegration in light of Jesus’ unfailing love for them. With our help over the last 43 years (desertstream.org), Jesus has set their feet on an even path toward wholeness, paved in Divine Mercy and bordered by the Church’s moral teachings.


For 4 decades, I have witnessed the splintering of America’s mainline Protestant denominations over homosexuality. I pray that such strife will not consume our Church. I champion Her clarity on what it means to be human and decry how inhuman we can be towards each other in our brokenness. How often do we mimic the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 who congratulates himself on freedom from exotic sins while withholding his riches from sinners!


I need to be careful to integrate my past as part of me, to live each day out His Mercy. Otherwise, I can project residual shame on LGBTQ+-persons who boast of what I have renounced. It is not hard to live mercifully. My life depends on it.


Maybe you have never met someone like me. I can’t tell from your public statements on homosexuality, which for me have been confusing. For that reason, I would love to meet you and share my experience of fathering and to understand yours, especially as it relates to accompanying LGBTQ+-identified persons.


This Lent, we are praying for you and the Church’s clarity for persons unclear in their sexual selves. I will submit to you a facet of my understanding and a prayer each week. Thank you for your willingness to engage. I hope to meet you in Rome soon.

Sincerely,

Andrew Comiskey

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