Michael B Kelly is an openly gay, Catholic Australian scholar and spiritual director and writer on gay spirituality (“Seduced by Grance”). His doctoral research on spirituality and contemporary gay experience was entitled: “Queer Flame of Love: re-imagining the Christian mystical tradition in light of the experience of contemporary gay men.”
On facebook this week, he described how after organising and leading a panel presentation on LGBT spiritual issues at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2009, he came to be interviewed for the “Portraits in Faith” series.
Daniel Epstein, creator of the series, writes about Dr Kelly,
I got to know Michael Bernard Kelly when I attended the Parliament of World Religions in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Michael organized and led a panel discussion about new Christian approaches to the integration of sexuality and spirituality, grounding this message in the gospel and in the practices of Jesus and his disciples.
Michael is a man who felt called to the Roman Catholic priesthood as early as three years old, but his emerging understanding of not just his attraction to men but of the impossibility of repressing the sexual energy in his life eventually led to him leaving the seminary and seeking other ways to live out his vocation. Michael poured his heart and soul into a variety of lay ministry and religious education roles. That is, until he felt called to come out as a gay man, which effectively ended his 19 year career in Catholic education.
Michael is truly a spiritual warrior and one of the most resilient people I have ever met. He continues to serve in any way he can.
You can read the rest of Epstein’s tribute, and explore many others who have been interviewed for the series, at the Portraits in Faith website, where you can also view the full interview – or click on the image above, to view it on Youtube.
Embracing Sexuality and Spirituality
Kelly, Michael B: Seduced by Grace: Contemporary spirituality, Gay experience and Christian faith