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Tom Rastrelli
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Tom Rastrelli is a 2011 graduate of the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing program. Some previously held jobs that inform his writing include Catholic priest, janitor, actor, yard man, wedding singer, and research assistant in HIV prevention among barebacking meth addicts. He is currently a freelance writer and editor. Tom also has a B.A. in Theater Arts and a Master of Divinity.

Entries by Tom Rastrelli

The End of 'Skim-Milk Marriage'? A Response to the Supreme Court's DOMA and Prop 8 Rulings

(2) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 5:28 PM

"The days of skim-milk marriages are over," Roberta Kaplan, attorney for Edith Windsor, declared this morning after the Supreme Court declared Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had no standing to bring that case...

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Why Cardinal Mahony Should Not Vote for the Next Pope

(39) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 3:22 PM

Catholic Cardinals William Levada and Roger Mahony are fighting back. This weekend, Catholics United delivered nearly 10,000 signatures to Mahony's parish residence demanding he recuse himself from the papal election because of his participation the church's ongoing sexual abuse scandal. On Monday, Levada responded: "There are...

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Confessions of an Ex-Priest: Matthew Shepard and Laramie -- Their Meaning Then and Now

(11) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 6:04 PM

"It's hard to talk about Laramie now, to tell you what Laramie is, for us."
--Jedadiah Schultz in
The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project

Oct. 6 is the anniversary of Matthew Shepard being kidnapped, brutally beaten, tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyo., and...

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A Response to Father Benedict Groeschel's Apology

(59) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 4:08 PM

The condemnations and apologies have been forthcoming since Father Benedict Groeschel, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, told the National Catholic Register that some teenage victims of sexual abuse seduce their priest perpetrators. He also referred to convicted sex felon Jerry Sandusky as "this poor...

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Confessions of an Ex-Priest: Learning to Drink Like a Catholic Cleric

(11) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 12:14 PM

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, San Francisco Archbishop-elect Salvatore Cordileone, one of the creators of California Proposition 8, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Cordileone endangered the lives of pedestrians, other drivers, and his passengers: his elderly mother and a foreign exchange student,...

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Confessions of an Ex-Priest: How Catholic Seminary Forms Victims and Forces False Forgiveness

(1038) Comments | Posted August 19, 2012 | 9:20 AM

On Sunday night around midnight, in the small town of Woodburn, Ore., a 12-year-old boy ran down a street screaming for help. A man dressed only in his underwear pursued him. The boy saw a group of people standing in a driveway and screamed, "Help me, a guy is chasing...

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Confessions of an Ex-Priest: The Doctrine of Justification for Lying by Clergy

(32) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 3:45 PM

People don't expect their priests and bishops to lie, but as Michelangelo Signorile's recent post illustrated, clerics do lie. Some even make a virtue of it. I know this from experience, for I was ordained a Catholic priest on a lie.

In spring 2002 I walked with my...

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Confessions of an Ex-Priest: My Flirtation With the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

(127) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 10:23 PM

On Friday, July 27, the U.S. Catholic hierarchy took another leap to the anti-LGBT right when the Vatican named Bishop Salvatore Cordileone the next Archbishop of San Francisco. Cordileone, who helped draft California's Proposition 8, is the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the...

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