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John J. McNeill and Charles Chiarelli Gay and Lesbian Liberation Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John J. McNeill and Charles Chiarelli gay and lesbian liberation collection
    Dates: 1925-2001
    Bulk Dates: (bulk 1980-1995)
    Collection number: 2001-11-01
    Collector: McNeil, John J.
    Collector: Chiarelli, Charles
    Collection Size: 16 boxes 10 linear feet
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: This collection includes personal papers, correspondence, speeches, articles both about and by J. McNeill, typed manuscripts of three books, Maurice Blondel research and thesis, video and audio cassettes, engagement calendars, books and computer discs.
    Physical location: 5/I/1 - 5/I/3
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.
    Restricted files are primarily third party correspondence. Closed for 30 years. Open in 2031. The following files are restricted: Box 2, General Correspondence: File Folders 2-18 Box 2, Dismissal: File Folders 19-27

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    John J. McNeill and Charles Chiarelli gay and lesbian liberation collection, 2001-11-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    "The John J. McNeill and Charles Chiarelli Gay and Lesbian Liberation Collection" belongs to the larger archival collection of The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion, a member school of The Graduate Theological Union. Materials received November 2001. The GTU Archives is the designated repository.


    John J. McNeill (1925 -) was born in Buffalo, New York on September 2,1925. He attended schools in New York State and one year at Canisius College, Buffalo when in 1943 he volunteered for an officer's training program (ASPA) in the Army as an engineer. He spent six months in German POW (Prisoner of War) Camps. He served until November 29, 1945.
    He earned several degrees: Canisius College, A.B. (magna cum laude) in 1948; Bellarmine College, M.A. and Ph. L., 1954; Woodstock College S.T.L., 1960; Catholic University of Louvain, Ph.D. (with great distinction), 1964; and Institutes of Regional and Health, postdoctoral study, beginning in 1975.
    John joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order) in 1948 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1959. He remained a Jesuit until his dismissal in 1988. He was dismissed from the Jesuits due to his inability to continue to remain silent on matters of homosexuality and lesbianism.
    He has published several books: The Blondelian Synthesis: A Study of the Influence of German Philosophical Sources on Blondel's Method and Thought, 1966; The Church and the Homosexual, 1976; Taking a Chance of God: Liberating Theology for Gays, Lesbians and Their Lovers, Families, and Friends, 1988; Freedom, Glorious Freedom, 1995; and Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair: My Spiritual Journey, 1998. He has contributed chapters to many other books including Conscience: Its Freedom and Limitation, 1971 and published articles in several journals. He has been mentioned in many books and articles for his defense of gays and lesbians. He has received numerous awards and honors, some of which are in this collection.
    McNeill's academic work includes teaching at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, and at Fordham University in New York. He also was a professor of Christian Ethics at the Woodstock Jesuit Seminary and Union Theological Seminary specializing in Sexual Ethics. John was also active in the beginnings of Dignity, an association of gays who continue to be active in the Catholic Church.
    He is considered to be seminal in the field of gay and lesbian acceptance within the Catholic Church. At the time of this writing, John still works actively in this field.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    There is a small amount of material referencing how the material came to the Pacific School of Religion (PSR) in Berkeley, CA. This documents his interest in the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies in Religion and Ministry regarding the Collection's placement. Although there is some personal material from before John's ordination into the Jesuits, the majority of this collection consists of material related to the events leading up to and his dismissal from the order as well as his continuing work in the field of gay and lesbian acceptance in the Catholic Church. He has included some biographical details as well as manuscripts of his books. There are two scrapbooks, which are primarily material from his publicity tours for The Church and the Homosexual. There is extensive correspondence, primarily from men, who have been affected by John's ministry as part of the Jesuits, his dismissal from the order, or his work as a psychotherapist after his dismissal. There are engagement calendars from 1983 - 1997 (1990 and 1991 are missing). A calendar from 1976 is also included. There are cassette tapes of his speeches and a large number of videocassettes. The Collection contains John's Ph.D. thesis for the University of Louvain including research materials: books, journals, and pamphlets. Many of these materials are in French with a few in other European languages. Some of the books have been placed in the Rare Book collection at the Graduate Theological Union Library in Berkeley, CA (See Separation Notes below). A collection of his books in both English and other languages is also part of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Catholic gays-- United States-- Biography
    Church work with gays-- United States
    Ex-priests, Catholic-- United States-- Biography
    Gays-- Religious life
    Lesbians-- Religious life
    Gays-- United States-- History-- 20th century-- Sources
    Lesbians-- United States-- History-- 20th century-- Sources
    Homosexuality-- Religious aspects-- Christianity
    Homosexuality in the bible
    Jesuits-- United States-- Biography
    Philosophy-- French-- 20th century
    Sex-- Religious aspects-- Christianity
    Sexual ethics
    Twelve-step programs-- Religious aspects-- Christianity
    World War, 1939-1945-- Prisoners and prisons, German-- Personal narratives
    Blondel, Maurice, 1861-1949
    United States--Armed Forces--Gays--History--20th century

    Related Material

    • McNeill, John J., S.J. Kirken og den homosexuelle. København: Niels Steensens Forlag, c. 1978.
    • McNeill, John J. L'Église et L'Homosexuel: Un Plaidoyer. Paris: Editions Labor et Fides, c. 1982.
    • McNeill, John J. La Chiesa e L'omosessualita. Milano: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, c. 1976.
    • McNeill, John J., S.J. La Iglesia Ante la Homosexualididad: Relacions Humanas y Sexologia. Barcelona: Edicions Grijalbo, c. 1979.
    • McNeill, John J. Les Exclus de L'Eglise: Appredere a S'Aimer. Paris: Éditions Filipacchi, c. 1993.
    • McNeill, John J. Libertà, Gloriosa Libertà: Un Cammino de Spiritualità e Liberazione per Omosessuali Credenti. Torino: Edizioni Gruppo Abele, c. 1996.
    • McNeill, John J. Os Excluídos da Igreja. Tilgráfico, Brasil: Círculo de Leitores, c. 1988.
    • Berrigan, Daniel. Portraits of those I Love. New York: Crossroad Publishing, c. 1982.
    • McNeill, John J. Scommettere su Dio: Teologia della Liberazione Omosessuale. Torino: Edizioni Sonda, c. 1994.
    • McNeill, John J. "Sie Küßten sich und weinten ...": Homosecuelle Frauen and Männer gehen ihren spirituellen Weg. München: Kösel-Verlag GmbH & Co., c. 1993
    • McNeill, John J., S.J. The Church and the Homosexual. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, c. 1977
    • McNeill, John J., S.J. The Church and the Homosexual. New York: Next Year Publications, c 1985
    • McNeill, John J., S.J. The Church and the Homosexual. New York: Pocket Books, c. 1978

    Separated Material

    The following books have been returned to the Pacific School of Religion's Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies in Religion and Ministry. Items are listed alphabetically by author.
    • Cateura, Linda Brandi. Catholics USA: Makers of a Modern Church. New York, W. Morrow, c1989.
    • Jouhaud, Michel. Le Problème de L'Être et l'Expérience Morale chez Maurice Blondel. Paris, Béatrice-Nauwelaerts, c. 1970.
    • Renault, Marc. Déterminisme et Liberté dans "l'Action" de Maurice Blondel. Lyon, Emmanuel Vitte, c. 1965.
    • Shelp, Earl E., ed. Ethical Viewpoints in Transition. Dordrecht, D. Reidel Publishing Co, c. 1987. Sold and districted in the U.S.A and Canada by Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    • Virgoulay, René and Claude Troisfontaines. Maurice Blondel: Bibliographie Analytique et Critique. Louvain, Institut supérieur de philosophie, c1975-1976.
    The following books have been cataloged into the Graduate Theological Union Library Rare Rooks collection. Items are listed alphabetically by author.
    • Actes de Colloque Organisé par le Center International D'Etudes humanists et par L'Institute D'Etudes Philosophiques de Rome, ed. Démythisation et Morale. Paris, Aubier, c. 1965.
    • Archambault, Paul, ed. Hommage à Maurice Blondel. Paris, Bloud & Gay, c. 1946.
    • Archambault, Paul. Initiation a la Philosophie Blondélienne en forme de Court Traité de Metaphysique. Paris, Bloud & Gay, c 1946.
    • Archambault, Paul. Le Problème de la Philosophie Catholique. Paris, Librairie Bloud and Gay, n.d.Blondel, Maurice. Carnets Intimes (1883-1894). Paris, Les Éditions de Cerf, c 1961.
    • Bernstein, Samuel, ed. Uncommon Heroes: A Celebration of Heroes and Role Models for Gay and Lesbian American. New York, Fletcher Press, c 1994.
    • Blondel, Maurice. Attente du Concile. Paris, Les Éditions du Cerf, c. 1964.
    • Blondel, Mauritius. De Vinculo Substantiali et de Substantia Composite apud Leibnitium. Paris, Edebat Felix Alcan, c. 1893.
    • Blondel, Maurice. L'Action (1893): Essai D'une Critique de la View et E'une Sicence de la Pratique. Paris, Presses universitaires de France, c. 1950.
    • Blondel, Maurice. Le "Vinculum Substantiale " d'Après Lebneiz et l'Ébauche d'une Réalisme Supérieur. Paris, Beau Chesne Croit, c. 1930.
    • Blondel, Maurice. Léon Ollé-LaPrune (1839-1898). Paris, Libraire Bloud et Gay, n.d. (autographed by Maurice Blondel).
    • Blondel, Maurice. Lettres Philosophiques de Maurice Blondel. Paris, Aubier, c. 1961.
    • Blondel, Maurice. Maurice Blondel: Pages Religieuses. Paris, Aubier, c. 1942.
    • Blondel, Maurice. Philosophes. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, c. 1963.
    • Bouillard, Henri. Blondel et Le Christianisme. Paris, Éditions de Seuil, c. 1961.
    • Cartier, Albert. Existence et Vérité: Philosophie Blondélienne de L'Action et Problématique Existentielle. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, c. 1955.
    • Henrici, Peter. Hegel und Blondel. München, Verlag Berchmanskolleg, c. 1958.
    • Hyppolite, Jean, trans. La Phénoménologie de l'Esprit par G.W.F. Hegel: Tome II. Paris, Aubier, n.d.
    • Laberthonnière, Lucien. Le Realisme Chretien: Precede de Essais de Philosophie Religieuse. Paris, Éditions due Seuil, c. 1966.
    • LeFévre, Frédéric. L'Itiniére philosophique de Maurice Blondel. Paris, Édition Spes, c. 1928.
    • Paliard, Jacques. Maurice Blondel ou le Dépassement Chrétien. Paris, Julliard, c. 1950.
    • Riccer, Paul. Finitude et Culpabilité: I L'Homme Faillible. Paris, Aubier, c 1960.
    • Riccer, Paul. Finitude et Culpabilité : II La Symbolique du Mal. Paris, Aubier, c 1960.
    • Riccer, Paul. Philosophie de la Volonté: le Volontaire et l'Involontaire. Paris, Aubier, n.d.
    • Sommerville, James M. Total Commitment: Blondel's L'Action. Washington, Corpus Books, c.1968.
    • Via, Vincenza la. Teoresi: Rivista de Cultura Filosofica. Catania: Instituto di Filosofia dell'Università, 1949.