Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, April 23, 2018


I agree that helping people help themselves is a fine way to move disadvantaged people off direct payments for food and homes. We have a homeless camp outside our church of St. John the Evangelist in the Mission. We have the Gubbio Project in our church where homeless people sleep on mats on the floor of our parish. Many if not all have alcohol and drug problems. Some are seriously mentally and physically ill. Many are unemployable and untrainable. There are many complex reasons so many people are homeless and poor. Some direct payments for the care of basic human needs are necessary.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Quiet time is highly overrated. The emphasis on spirituality particularly during the last twenty years has urged meditation and quiet as ways of knowing God. My belief is that people are so different that many fail at these two methods of devotion. I was taught to meditate in seminary, in courses on meditation and on retreats. It never worked for me. I fell asleep, yearned for an end to the session or just got bored. Numbers of my parishioners testified to similar reactions.  Jamie Wright in TCC April 11, 2018, calls herself a bad Christian because she cannot find quiet in her busy life as wife and mother. The spirituality movement emphasizing quiet may cause guilt in some people and may turn them off from the church. I trust that God will find me in the turmoil of life and work.

Robert Warren Cromey
Episcopal Priest retired and living in San Francisco

3839 20thSt.
San Francisco, CA 94114

Sunday, March 25, 2018


I have written to demand The Episcopal Church Pension Fund, the Diocese of California and our financial advisor to stop investing in any organization that manufactures guns.  Remington Rand and Smith and Wesson lead the list. There are hundreds more. Look up Gun Control on the web. I hope all of us clergy and lay make similar demands. Sane gun control will only happen when gun manufacturers hurt at the bottom line.

Friday, March 02, 2018


Logical Family, a memoir
By Armistead Maupin
202 pages, Harper Collins

This is an exuberant story of a closeted gay man who became famous by writing Tales of the City for the San Francisco Chronicle. One of the characters in the story writes a most moving letter to his mother that he is gay. The letter is in the Epilogue of Logical Family. That letter is worth the price of the book.

Maupin tells vividly of his journey from childhood to the present day exploring his early feelings of arousal, shame, bewilderment, sexual fantasies and finally acting out sexually with another man. He speaks fondly about his very conservative Republican southern family. His adventures in the navy during the Vietnam War are hilarious as well as serious. He openly and casually tells of his many sexual adventures and the prominent men he knew like Christopher Isherwood and Harvey Milk. He is now married and lives in San Francisco.

It is also the story of a developing writer for newspapers, as a reporter, teller of tales and novelist. He and his family were Episcopalians. He got fired as a part time secretary by the rector of a San Francisco church because he came out as gay. The rector, whom I knew, was a closeted gay man. Homophobia was and is everywhere. Maupin says he left God and the Republican Party behind. Too bad he left the church, too. Wouldn’t it be a delight to sit next to him in church?

I loved the book. It made me laugh, cry and rage again against the injustice, prejudice and cruelty of church, family and state toward LGTB human beings.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Billy G. R.I.P.

The late Billy Graham, pastor to presidents, failed to use his influence. He believed in a fundamentalist personal piety of prayer and counsel. He did not influence presidents on religious and moral issues of race, LGBT, women’s rights, the environment or world peace. His Southern Baptist denomination was anti-abortion and LGBT rights. Those were Graham’s beliefs too.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Where do we get words like, gook, rag heads, japs, krauts, nigger, spics, and nips? The United States military teaches young men and women to use those words about enemies they may fight. Those words are meant to teach young people to dehumanize any enemy they might have to fight. Enemies, are not human beings. They are objects not people. Yes, the enemies are to be destroyed, killed, murdered and mutilated by bombs, bullets and bayonets.

Basic military training dehumanizes enemies. They become easier to kill if they are seen as not human, not flesh and blood, not fathers, sons, wives, daughters or loving people. They are objects.

I had a high school teacher who had been a navy airplane pilot in WW2. He strafed Japanese sailors helpless in the water, who were swimming from their sinking ship. He was following orders.

Military training dehumanizes American young people too. They become blind followers of their leaders. They must do as they are told. In the army, they are called grunts. They must run, jump, crawl through mud, climb walls, wade in mud. They must become strong, fit, muscular, not as human beings but as fodder to be sent anywhere at the command of their superiors. The military knows how to train killers.

As a Christian and a follower of Jesus, I want to love my enemies and forgive. That is why I am against war. It like military training, dehumanizes people. I know human beings will probably always find reasons and ways to go to war. I, however, with some others, am against war.