Back in 2000, when I was acting editor of Catholic World Report, we published an article by Father Paul Shaughnessy, a Jesuit and a chaplain serving with the US Marines, called “The Gay Priest Problem”. The article caused an uproar and was a major landmark in the pre-Scandal days for naming the problem before the rest of the world would acknowledge it. It was really groundbreaking.
But now Fr. Shaughnessy is being recognized in a different way: for battlefield heroics as he accompanies Marines under fire into the cemeteries of Najaf, granting the sacraments to the wounded and dying, standing with them as mortars explode and bullets fly. Want to show your sons and nephews a priestly role model they can look up to? A priest who is unstintingly faithful and orthodox, and equally determined to confront corruption in the Church as he is to serve the men standing on the front lines? Fr. Paul Shaughnessy wouldn’t be a bad place to start.