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Courage to love; a gay priest stands up for his beliefs

Leckie, Will and Barry Stopfel

6 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385486723 / ISBN 13: 9780385486729
Published by Doubleday, New York, 1997
From Bolerium Books Inc. (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xxiv, 291p., illustrated with photos, personal inscription signed by both authors to married Episcopal priests Jonathan and David Abernethy-Deppe, with their bookplates, very good first edition in boards and unclipped dj. Bookseller Inventory # 133527

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Courage to love; a gay priest stands up for ...

Publisher: Doubleday, New York

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


No one should have to endure what Rev. Barry Stopfel and his gay companion Will Leckie have. As a Christian, Stopfel loves God; so much so that he committed his life to serving the church as an Episcopal priest. He has also committed himself to a relationship with the person he loves, Will Leckie. In his eyes, loving God and loving Will need not be mutually exclusive. And Barry and Will have paid a high price for their love of God and each other.
Until 1995, the personal cost was a private matter, which took its toll on each individually and on their relationship. But then the Episcopal Church decided to put retired Bishop Walter Righter on trial for heresy, because he had ordained Barry as an openly gay priest. All Barry wanted to do was serve the Lord he loved through full-time ministry in the church, yet his openly homosexual lifestyle forced him into the spotlight of theological and public debate.
Stopfel and Leckie's life together is a microcosm of our turbulent times. Homosexuality is a hot-button issue for us, and raises questions about legal recognition of same-sex marriages, health care and benefits for same-sex partners, job discrimination, homophobia, AIDS. This book boldly tells of the personal struggles of the authors and draws in readers with its wide-ranging implications.


It is one thing for a television personality to openly proclaim her homosexuality; it is another for a priest to do the same. As homosexuals are increasingly gaining acceptance by secular society, organized religions face the options: accept, ignore, or condemn. When Barry Stopfel forced the Episcopal Church to decide, "ignore" was no longer an option. Under the polished writing of Will Leckie, Stopfel cuts a compelling figure, and as a catalyst in the Episcopal struggle, we see the dual story of a man's love for his Christian church and his church's difficulty with Christ-like reciprocation.

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