BERNARD

Bernard lynch.jpg

QUEERABILITY PODCAST

EPISODE 19: PRIEST ON TRIAL PT1

For seven years Bernard studied philosophy and theology in preparation for ordination to the priesthood at the African Missions College twenty-six miles from Belfast. This happened during the inception of the troubles in Northern Ireland. After ordination, I worked with the Bemba people for two years in North Central Zambia before going to the U.S.A.

Bernard has an interdisciplinary doctorate in counselling psychology and theology from Fordham University and New York Theological Seminary. For fifteen successive years, Bernard was a Theological Consultant to the Board of Directors of Dignity New York - an organization for Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered and Bisexual Catholics and their friends - and founded the AIDS/HIV Ministry of Dignity New York in 1982, which continues its work to the present day.    

For over ten years, he was a member of the Mayor of New York's voluntary Task Force on HIV/AIDS, and was the only Roman Catholic priest to testify before the City Council for the successful passage of Civil Rights legislation for the LGBT community in 1986. Bernard continued my work with HIV/AIDS in London until 2011. Presently I am available in an advisory capacity for HIV/AIDS work.  

He has been profiled three times on Channel Four.  

In February 1993, his book, 'A Priest on Trial' was published by Bloomsbury Press. Since then he has published articles on Spirituality and Sexuality in different magazines, as well as participating in TV and Radio programmes on similar subjects. 

Bernard has been interviewed many times by Sky News and the BBC. He participated in Protest the Pope (YouTube Father Bernard Lynch). His book 'If It Wasn't Love, Sex, Death and God' was published by Circle Books in 2012. Zeinab Badawi interviewed him for HARD TALK for the BBC World Service. 

He continues to work as a priest and psychotherapist, especially in areas of social justice and oppression. For ten years, he was chair of Camden LGBT Forum. In 2015, Bernard became the first representative of the Irish LGBT community to City Hall for the London Saint Patrick's Day Parade.

He participated in the Irish Marriage Referendum by augmenting the 'Take the Boat to Vote' in London. He also participated in organising the victory party to celebrate a world first in LGBT equality by the Irish people on May 22nd 2015.

January 2017 brought the culmination of a Life Dream when Bernard married his husband Billy Desmond on the Wild Atlantic Coast near where Bernard was born.

The occasion was honoured by the President of Ireland giving us a private audience. New York City Council honoured my Life Work by presenting me with a Proclamation on January 27th the day of our wedding.

This is part one of a two-part series.

In this episode we discuss:

  • HIV

  • New York gay scene leading up to the AIDS epidemic

  • Religion and the LGBTQ+ community