John McNeill (theologian)

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John J. McNeill (born September 2, 1925 in Buffalo , New York , † September 22, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale , Florida ) was an American psychotherapist , author and Christian theologian .

Youth and Studies

Born on September 2, 1925 in Buffalo, New York, John McNeill enlisted in the US Army at the age of 17 during World War II and fought under General George S. Patton . In 1944 he was taken prisoner of war in Germany, after six months he was released in March 1945. After his discharge from the army, he enrolled at Canisius College in his hometown. Upon completing his studies, he joined the Jesuits and was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1959 .

academic career

McNeill earned a Ph.D. in 1964. - Degree from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. In his doctoral thesis he dealt with the religious and philosophical approaches of Maurice Blondel , this work was later published as the first part of the series Studies in the History of Christian Thought . He then taught philosophy at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York and as a PhD supervisor at Fordham University in New York City . In 1972 he moved to Woodstock Jesuit Seminary and Union Theological Seminary as a professor of Christian ethics, specializing in sexual ethics .

In 1975 he began postgraduate studies in psychotherapy at the Institute of Religion and Health (IRH), after which he opened a private psychotherapeutic practice and taught at the IRH. During this time he was the director of the urban ministerial training program. As an associate professor, in 1990 he gave courses on the “Psychological and Spiritual Dimension in Pastoral Care of Gays and Lesbians” at Union Theological Seminary . Queer theology is one of his main published areas of interest .

Pastoral activity

In 1974, McNeill co-founded the New York office of DignityUSA , an organization for Catholic homosexuals. He has been involved in the pastoral care of homosexual Christians for more than 25 years, holding workshops, lectures and published writings on this topic.

Fonts (selection)

  • The Church and the Homosexual
  • Taking a Chance on God
    • German: They kissed and cried ... Homosexual women and men go their spiritual path . Kösel, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-466-36386-1
  • Freedom, Glorious Freedom
  • Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair
  • Sex as God Intended


  • Grand Marshal of the New York City Gay Rights Parade in 1987
  • National Human Rights Award in 1984 for contributions to lesbian and gay rights
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Blanton-Peale Institutes of Religion and Health in 1989
  • Humanitarian Award in 1990 from the Association of Lesbian and Gay Psychologists
  • Distinguished Contribution Award from the Eastern Region American Association of * Pastoral Counselors for exceptional contributions to pastoral care
  • United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches Special Award for his “dedicated” work in spreading the faith within the lesbian / gay community
  • DignityUSA Prophetic Service Award in 1997
  • Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco: Living Saint Award in 1999

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 'Patron saint' of LGBT Catholics, John J. McNeill, 90, dies