Gay Priest Was 9/11’s First Record Casualty

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters /Landov A mortally injured Father Mychal Judge is carried out of the World Trade Center by first responders, including Bill Cosgrove (in white shirt). Cosgrove says, "everybody you see in that picture was saved" from the North Tower's collapse, moments later.

I seem to remember hearing or reading something about Father Judge soon after 9/11. From my hometown ABC affiliate, The Denver Channel (KMGH):

You may not hear a lot about gay Roman Catholic priests.

But one such clergyman is getting a lot of attention this week: Father Mychal Judge, a Franciscan friar who donned a brown robe and sandals and who was the first recorded casualty of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Among the many hats Judge wore was as chaplain for the New York Fire Department. He was killed after going to the World Trade Center with some off-duty firefighters after the first plane hit.

Much of the coverage Judge is getting this week refers to him as the “Saint of 9/11,” the name of a 2006 documentary about the priest that was produced by a gay activist.

An apparently celibate priest, Judge reportedly told few about his sexual orientation. He made no secret, meanwhile, that he was a recovering alcoholic, attending two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a month.

You can also listen to the very moving profile NPR’s Morning Edition did on Father Judge.
Tip of the hat to AMERICAblog Gay for the lede.

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