Who Was Thomas Gumbleton’s Wife? Was The Bishop Ever Married?

Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, a national religious figure in the 1960s, passed away at 94.

By Chakku HaruPublished on: April 5, 2024 Updated on: April 5, 2024
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Thomas J. Gumbleton, a retired prelate of the Catholic Church and a social activist, had never officially married.

He played a significant role in advocating for a more compassionate and understanding approach to issues of marriage and sexuality within the Church.

“In married life, the Catholic Church at one time taught married people that you could not engage in sexual intercourse and not commit sin because you would experience pleasure,” Bishop told PBS. “Now people would be astounded at that. And yet that’s what we taught. Now there’s a much deeper understanding of the importance of intimacy and sexual intimacy within marriage as a way to strengthen and build the bond between two people. And that the sexual relationship is a very important part of the whole married relationship. Nothing wrong with it.”

His personal journey, particularly influenced by his brother’s coming out as gay, led him to confront and reassess his own beliefs and the Church’s teachings on homosexuality.

“Until suddenly in my own family I was confronted when my brother wrote a letter to my siblings and me and my mother coming out–saying He is gay and had been all his life–had struggled against it in various ways as many homosexual people do,” Thomas told PBS. “Because first of all, you’re taught it’s wrong. And so you somehow feel it’s wrong. And you’re trying to do the right thing. So you’re trying not to be who you are.”

He distinguished between homosexual orientation, which Gumbleton views as not sinful, and homosexual activities, which the Church traditionally condemns.

Gumbleton also encouraged the Church to evolve, adopting a more nuanced, empathetic approach to marriage and sexuality.

“The Church, over the centuries, has tried to teach about sexuality in single life, married life, homosexual life, and our teaching has evolved. And that’s true of almost any moral teaching within the Church,” Gumbleton further said to PBS.

He Died At 94

Thomas, known for his activism against war, racism, and social justice, died at 94 on April 4. His 50-year service was highlighted by his stance against the Vietnam War in the 1960s, leading him to become a key figure in Pax Christi USA, a Catholic peace movement.

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Gumbleton was from Detroit, Michigan. (Image: National Catholic Reporter)

“Bishop Gumbleton was a faithful son of the Archdiocese of Detroit, loved and respected by his brother priests and the laity for his integrity and devotion to the people he served. We in the Archdiocese join his family and friends in praying for the repose of his soul and asking God to grant him the reward of his labors,” said Allen Vigneron, the current archbishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit in Michigan to The Detroit News.

However, Gumbleton faced criticism for his views, which included opposing military service, and his journey was marked by encounters with victims of violence worldwide.

Born in Detroit, Thomas became a priest in 1956. He later served at St. Leo’s with a notable Black congregation and advocated for sexual abuse victims and LGBTQ+ rights until his retirement in 2006.

About Author: Chakku Haru

Chakku, a seasoned celebrity content writer with a profound passion for the entertainment industry. With years of experience in the field, Chakku specializes in capturing the essence of actors, singers, YouTube stars, and journalists. His expertise extends to providing in-depth insights into their lives, from their career milestones to personal anecdotes that resonate with fans worldwide. Through his captivating writing, Chakku brings the stories of these luminaries to life, leaving readers inspired and engaged