Total Catholic Woof: A FAQ for Catholic Bears and Their Gay or Straight Friends

FORMAL WEB ADDRESS:, in "Literary" section

__{Tom.Karmo} added his impressions
  of the 2004-01-21 (Toronto) Office of Catholic Youth 
  speaker-discussion evening on sexuality 
  __he also made small changes elsewhere
__{Tom.Karmo} decided to hint at 
  a degree of contrition regarding the ToolBox bar 
__he revised the phony-identity section moderately, 
  conceding a point to the criticizing theologian
__he fine-tuned his reading suggestions, 
  rewording the blurb for David Morrison and adding
  a pointer to Ron Belgau, and stressing with Belgau
  that for the Catholic mind theological 
  points are persuasive when incarnated
 __{Tom.Karmo} changed the nature of the work
   rather significantly, by adding around 3700 or 3800 words
   relating to the institutional Church  
   and performing significant tweaks elsewhere  
 __{Tom.Karmo} made it clear in introductory paragraphs
   that he is not too likely to be going BACK to the ToolBox bar,
   but that he is not profoundly penitent about his 
   expeditions there.
__{Tom.Karmo} added point (c) in the list of bear temptations
  against hope
  __an addition in part prompted by the Catholic sexual-abuse scandals 
    which broke in Lent of 2002  
__{Tom.Karmo} made it a bit clearer why the physicality of
  Christ's resurrection matters to this FAQ
 __{Tom.Karmo} cleaned up some small syntax or related errors,
   moderated language slighly in the twenty-years-closeted paragraph
  __{Tom.Karmo} wrote initial version 
    __version was quite polished, ready to be shown to friends 

What’s this FAQ about?

My name is Tom Karmo. I was born in 1953. I’m 5 foot 10, brown-haired, brown-eyed, bearded, and moderately (or more than moderately) attractive. I live in Toronto. I do, or seek, technical work. Over a period of some months, essentially in the spring, summer, and autumn of 2001, I spent several evenings in the ToolBox bar, geared up in biker jacket and jeans, and occasionally also in black peeled-down rubber hip boots. Though I may never repeat those perilous expeditions, and should not have made them (or even more perilous expeditions of an analogous character in the late 1970s and early 1980s) in the first place, I was there. And yet I’m Catholic.

A FAQ is a list of “Frequently Asked Questions.” This particular FAQ is a small spiritual-writing project. It's intended to help me and my homosexual and heterosexual friends get our thinking clear—perhaps so that we can be good Catholics, but first and foremost so that we can be faithful to the truth. (Since truth cannot be in conflict with truth, if Catholic theology is true, then we can’t go wrong, theologically speaking, in making truth our first priority.)

It’s quite possible that some things in this document, in the particular version that you happen to be reading, are not true. We can offend against truth in more than one way. We can tell a direct lie (as when we say that Exxon makes its primary goal the preservation of the biosphere). But more subtly, we can tell a lie by implication and insinuation (as when we say that the policies of Stalin led to the death in peacetime of at least two thousand innocent people—although the statement is literally true, it implies that the number of victims lay somewhere in the thousands, when the true number lay somewhere in the millions). If you (whether as a committed Catholic or as a committed non-Catholic) think you see an offence against truth, I’d like to hear about it, so that I can consider making a correction in later versions of this FAQ. To alert me to a potential problem, send e-mail to <>, preferably with the subject line error in Catholic woof. Or send me paper mail at Box 189, c/o Canada Mailbox Services, 253 College Street, Toronto M5T 1R5. Or phone me on +1 416-971-6955.

For more about me and my work, see my more general site The “Literary” section of that site houses not only the essay you are reading now, but other work, most notably my careful environmentalist manifesto “Utopia 2184”.