A Sexual Life, a Spiritual Life: A Painful Journey to Inner Peace

In this candid, at times raw, account of a life of turmoil, dissident Bishop Pat Buckley reveals how his battles with Rome were paralleled by an internal battle between his own sexuality and his deeply held spirituality. Sexually abused at the age of six by a trusted family friend, Pat Buckley went on to join the priesthood, eventually being consecrated as a Bishop, in controversial circumstances, in 1998. Throughout his life, he struggled with his homosexuality, finally coming out in 1999. A Sexual Life, A Spiritual Life is not just a confession of Pat Buckley's sexuality, however. He uses his own experiences to delve into the deep connection between sex and spirit, quoting St Bonaventure's maxim that the mind's road to God always begins in the sexual appetite . Further, he is highly critical of the way in which the Catholic Church has for centuries separated sexuality from spirituality, making sex a source of sin and shame, thereby doing such terrible violence to the human soul . The only way to restore peace to the human soul, Bishop Buckley argues, is to reconcile the sexual and the spiritual. It is this reconciliation, he says, which has at last brought him peace in his own life, and which the Church must face up to with compassion and honesty if it is to make peace with those it has alienated.