Life in Paradox

Title: Life in Paradox: The Story of a Gay Catholic Priest
Author: Paul Murray
Publisher: O Books, Winchester, United Kingdom
Year: 2008
Available: Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Many people believe that being gay and Christian is like being caught between a rock and a hard place. The life of a gay Christian can be filled with tensions between communities that, at times, appear to be at war with each other. The tensions between conflicting expectations and values are even more acute when a gay person is a Catholic priest.

Life in Paradox is an autobiography of Paul Murray. Paul shares his spiritual journey to the Catholic church and into the priesthood. Paul, a shy priest, feels drawn to serving his community, the gay community. When he starts to serve the gay community, as an openly gay priest, he finds himself feeling more and more isolated within the church. The isolation causes Paul to seriously consider leaving the priesthood, even though he feels called to ministry.

Those who help pioneer church work with marginalized members of society can find themselves fighting church bureaucracies that do not understand what to do. In Paul Murray's autobiography, we get a sense of how the Catholic bureaucracy in his diocese struggled with allowing priests to provide relevant spiritual guidance to members of the gay community.

Paul Murray's autobiography, Life in Paradox is an interesting read. Catholics who are struggling with reconciling faith and sexuality, as well as Catholics who are interested in the priesthood may enjoy Life in Paradox.