The Lavender Bishop

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Diary of a Gay PriestDiary of a Gay Priest:  The Tight-Rope Walker
by Rev. Dr. Malcolm Johnson
Christian Alternative Books.  220 pages, $16.95

 

IN 1969, his marriage of only a few months crumbling all around him, aware at last that his homosexuality was unalterable, Malcolm Johnson went to his Bishop to resign his post as one of the chaplains to the University of London. The Bishop refused his resignation, reasoning that as a college chaplain, “the staff and students of the college would understand and probably not be very interested.” This response tells us a lot about Johnson and the Anglican Church at this time. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and the church is remarkably tolerant as long as things are kept quiet.

Diary of a Gay Priest is one of the funniest and sanest memoirs I’ve ever read, with almost none of the solemnity and religiosity that one might expect. It is a sign of what’s wrong in publishing that the book has come out of an obscure press and will probably not find the readership it deserves.

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