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164                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            Galileo, the heliocentrist, was lucky to have escaped alive. If these changes
            signify anything, they mean that Rome’s vision of homosexuality was, is,
            and will be changing in the modernization of sexuality that will inevita-
            bly occur in Church teaching. If the priest molestation and child abuse
            scandals are anything, they are a wake-up call for the Church to update
            its understanding of sexuality and to bring it into the 21  century.
               Politically, esthetically and erotically, I know that without Catholi-
            cism I could never have lived some of the rich rituals of S&M published
            both in Drummer and in some of the more sublime sex scenes, particularly
            the “crucifixion” of the bodybuilder, in Some Dance to Remember, Reel
            3, Scene 7. Catholicism proved also to be a key to understanding the
            reactionary infrastructure of American witchcraft and Satanism in my
            research for Popular Witchcraft (1972; new edition 2005).
               This essay written when I was twenty-three and completed when I
            was twenty-four, is Exhibit A of the kind of participatory journalism that
            always interested me, and that I specialized in at Drummer. When I was
            fourteen, I figured a writer had to live it up to write it down. I also knew
            that if anything interesting was going to happen to me, I had to make
            it happen. I exited the seminary twenty-three days after the assassina-
            tion of my idealized lover, my dear Jack, in Dallas. November 22 ruined
            everything way more fundamentally than either Pearl Harbor or 9/11.
            By the time this essay was published in 1965, I was well on my way out
            of the closet and into the leather culture of Chicago, New York, and San
               In 1964, fresh out of the Josephinum and beginning graduate work at
            Loyola University in Chicago, my mentor, the Very Reverend Monsignor
            Leonard J. Fick continued to stand by me as he had since we first met in
            1953. In a letter dated September 6, 1964, he who always typed sent me
            a handwritten note:

               Dear John, Here in the uplands of Missouri [where he visited
               his family in the summer], without benefit of typewriter, I shall
               only — by way of an interim reply to your recent communica-
               tion — say that I have forwarded my appraisal to Loyola, and
               that  I  am  sure  the  fellowship  will  be  yours.  I  know  nobody
               [underscored] more qualified. Best wishes, Leonard J. Fick.

               Recalling him makes me well up with a deep and abiding human
            love. He was my Mr. Chips. This celibate and pure intellectual who had
            no children fathered me as writer from 1953 at age fourteen when he took
            me under his chaste wing and nurtured me as a student and assistant edi-
            tor for eleven years. Only twice did he scold me. The first time was in an

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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