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Confessions of a Gay Priest: A Memoir of Sex, Love, Abuse, and Scandal in the Catholic Seminary

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“In demanding celibacy and damning homosexuality, the Catholic Church condemns legions of its best and brightest priests to lives of hypocrisy and shame. Rastrelli recounts his struggle with heart, wit, and courage. The Church’s loss is literature’s gain.”

—Mary Roach, author, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the VoidSpook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

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“Tom Rastrelli is a gifted writer whose personal journey is insightful and enormously important. Confessions of a Gay Priest is a riveting, powerful book, rich in detail and deeply relevant to the times we live in. It exposes painful truths that must be told. Read it.”

—Michelangelo Signorile, author, It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality, host of The Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM, editor-at-large at HuffPost

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“This forceful memoir will immerse readers in the strain of priesthood and the difficulties of living a double life.”

Publishers Weekly

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“Each page is pure beauty and heartbreak. I found myself unable to put it down, needing to know what happens next."

Alexis Record, reviewer, Rational Doubt

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“Tom Rastrelli’s brave, candid, self-critical memoir is part of a great tradition of spiritual autobiographies, from St. Augustine’s Confessions to Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain. Tom’s story differs from theirs because of his time and place. But he shares with them a commitment to honesty and to understanding the meaning of faith. This is an often beautiful, sometimes shocking, always important book.”

—M. G. Lord, author, The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to NoticeAstro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Scientists, and Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

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“Rastrelli’s carefully observed testimony speaks real truth to power. I am amazed by his ability to navigate a traumatic emotional landscape with such grace. This book is an essential document for the Church’s many victims of abuse.”

—Garrard Conley, author, Boy Erased

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“Tom Rastrelli is that unique blend of courage and talent, a remarkable personal story to tell, a passionate voice, and a sharp, skillful pen with which to fashion the tale.”

—Janet Fitch, author, White Oleander, Paint It Black, The Revolution of Marina M., and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral

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“Tom Rastrelli is a courageous man with a shocking story to tell. His compelling witness to the personal abuse he suffered at the hands of unscrupulous clergymen resonates with me as a human being, as a survivor of clergy sex abuse, and as a former Catholic priest. Confessions of a Gay Priest is a must read for anyone interested in getting a sense of how the real Catholic Church works; the bare knuckles, take no prisoners approach, not the ‘all sweetness and light’ PR Vatican officials want you to believe.”

—Richard Wagner, former Catholic priest, author, Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex in the Catholic Church

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“In Confessions of A Gay Priest, Tom Rastrelli has a remarkable ability to bring to life horrific abuses of power with an activist’s rage, a student’s curiosity, and a victim’s righteousness, always with a keen eye on the big picture: truth.”

—Tim Kirkman, director and screenwriter, Lazy Eye, Dear Jesse, and Loggerheads

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“Religious leaders discovered long ago that to control what people do in the bedroom is to control what they do with their checkbooks and in the voting booth. In Confessions of a Gay Priest, Tom Rastrelli accurately unmasks how religion can tear apart families, divide societies, and prevent people from becoming self-actualized human beings. Rastrelli’s journey is not only about personal and social integration, but the liberation and peace that can only be brought about by living in harmony with the truth.”

—Geoff Farrow, former Catholic priest, civil rights activist

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“Tom Rastrelli cuts to the core of the schizophrenic nature and inherent dishonesty of Roman Catholic clerical life. I have never read a memoir as true to seminary life as Confessions of a Gay Priest. Rastrelli’s brutal honesty honors what he, many others, and I experienced. Those who’ve been injured and horrified by the ongoing sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, have a friend, kindred spirit and voice in Tom Rastrelli.”

—Matthew Grey, former Catholic seminarian

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On shelves April 15, 2020

Purchase Confessions of a Gay Priest at University of Iowa Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and by preordering at your local independent bookstore. 

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