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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diary of a Gay Priest by Malcolm Johnson
Anyone who has been following the remarkable transformation of gay life in the UK over the past twenty years must have noticed how much more favourably disposed the public and many institutions are towards LGBT people and their lifestyles. But in the 1960s and before, things were entirely different, and to be gay or lesbian in religious circles, particularly in the Church...
Published 7 months ago by Ken Phillips

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker
This book would appeal to people who are church goers. I found the humour very mild. Although some of the entries touched on serious issues and these entries were interesting.
Published 5 months ago by Fernando


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker (Paperback)
Well written, engaging and honest. Malcolm Johnson has produced something that is rare - a well written and absolutely enthralling autobiography. It gives the human face to a life and career in the Church in often difficult circumstances, with a very honest view of what it was (and is) like behind the dog-collar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my houseguests had to amuse themselves, 28 Dec 2013
By 
Mr. D. P. Jay (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker (Paperback)
I read this in virtually one sitting at Christmas whilst my houseguests had to amuse themselves. I rarely say that I `couldn't put this book down.' It's partly because I lived through roughly the same period as the author and partly because he is deliciously indiscreet and I know several of the people who were in his circle such as Jeremy Younger, my former vicar, Victor Stock, Nerrissa Jones and others in the early days of Affirming Catholicism.. (Though he misjudges one priest who is supposedly straight. I had a highly unpleasant experience of being chatted up by said priest in one of London's Anglo-Catholic shrines. I found it difficult to get away from him.)

The author carried out his controversial ministry during a time of great change. He tried to follow George Macleod's advice: unpopularity is OK, providing you don't inhale.

Despite liberal attitudes gaining ground in secular society, the Church of England seems to have gone backward on `the gay issue' and he, like many other priests, inside and out of the closet, have suffered depression and committed suicide. But the author's ministry has been outstanding, not just to homosexuals but to the homeless. As a spiritual director, he has had as many as fifty people on his books at any one time.

Even a well-meaning liberal like Chad Varah, founder of The Samaritans, suggests that all he needs of a good woman. There was also a dose of psychotherapy, designed to turn him straight. A disastrous marriage lasted only for a year.

His use of rent boys and his suggestion that a little infidelity is necessary for people in gay relationships annoyed me, though I am no prude. Maybe gay men reacted so strongly to having been repressed that they `went too far the other way' and I suspect that young gay men who have grown up in a less repressive climate see things differently now.

One forgets how liberal the C of E had been compared to now. The Bishop of London, Robert Stopford, sought advice about the needs of gays and sought to fund the author by giving him light parish duties so that he could carry out a ministry towards them. This was the 1970s.

One feels that nothing has moved on when reading the recent Pilling Report.

Despite the Church's public face, the author enjoyed all the perks of establishment and I am astonished that many bishops happily came to dinner with him and his partner. Also that priests and partners were tolerated, despite the official line. This angers me because I think of many gifted people who would have made good priests but who never even thought of applying because they believed that they wouldn't be accepted if they were honest. Why are we laypeople kept in the dark as to what is really happening?

I always found Archbishop Donald Coggan to have been as dull as ditchwater so I was surprised to learn of the author's liking of him.

There is a delightful story of the Queen holding a conversation with a tramp.

Archbishop Richard Holloway comes out with one of his typically risqué phrases during an HIV/AIDS awareness session: who at the end of the day said that his vocabulary had been widened -- 'until now I thought that rimming and frottage were West Country solicitors.'

David Hope comes across as the nice person I always thought he was and, as other commentators have said, he didn't deserve the Peter Tatchell treatment (though the other bishops almost certainly did.)

The person who comes out worse in this book is the odious George Cassidy, now a retired bishop in this diocese. One of my friends tells me that he is a `lovely bloke' but I have seen no evidence that he has ever changed his inability or unwillingness to listen to anyone with a point of view different from his own.

I don't think this is right: Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford since 1997, and Fellow (formerly Senior Tutor) of St Cross College, Oxford (since 1995). Though ordained as a deacon in the Church of England, he declined ordination to the priesthood for political reasons. (My understanding is that Bishop Rogerson refused to ordain him priest because he wouldn't toe the line post Higton.

The author is a freemason. I need to learn some tolerance too as I don't give these folk the time of day with their silly rituals.

I had to Google `Leander Pink' (`Cerise..... a deep, vivid pinkish-red" and therefore a colour in its own right.')
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in the real world, 25 Nov 2013
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Mr. M. Dark "Mike Dark" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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If you're looking for a sanitised diary that will fit your stereotype of a priest then this is not it. If, on the other hand, you want an honest account of a man who served God and his fellow human beings by being true to himself then this is the book for you. He speaks of his struggles of being gay in a homophobic institution and his brave support for the ordination of women, in spite of opposition from many gay priests among others. You may not agree with everything Malcolm says but his honest account will not fail to move you.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker (Paperback)
This book would appeal to people who are church goers. I found the humour very mild. Although some of the entries touched on serious issues and these entries were interesting.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a Contreversial Book, 10 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker (Paperback)
I found it a very enjoyable and easy read and in some parts very moving as well as disagreeing with one or two things
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Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker
Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker by Rev. Dr. Malcolm Johnson (Paperback - 30 Aug 2013)
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