Still Active in Ministry: The Rev. Robert Cromey ’56

Robert Cromey cropThe Rev. Robert Warren Cromey (Class of 1956) retired from his post as Rector of Trinity Church, San Francisco in 2002, yet he remains active in ministry as an author and therapist. For the last four years he has delivered a guest lecture on Religion and Healing to medical students at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The talk focuses on how faith and religious practice can promote healing by helping people discover their values and be responsible for their sickness and health. Cromey draws on his own experiences ministering to parishioners stricken with AIDS at the beginning of the crisis in the 1980s.

In the mid-1980s, Cromey’s Church held funerals for 72 men who died of AIDS, and he has been a long-time ally of the LGBT community. In 1964 he was among the group to found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual with the purpose of developing dialogue between straights and gays in local churches. In the Fall of 1968, Cromey performed a wedding ceremony for a lesbian couple as Vicar at St. Aidan’s, San Francisco. In 1982, as rector of Trinity, he allowed a gay couple to be married in the church. Many more same-gender marriages were celebrated at Trinity under Cromey’s tenure, and the parish continues to do so under his successor.

In private practice as a therapist in the 1970s, Cromey often wrote letters and articles in both secular and church newspapers and magazines about the need for gays and lesbians to have full rights in church and state. He is the author of several books, including In God’s Image: Christian Witness to the Need for Gay/Lesbian Equality in the Eyes of the Church, and has received many awards for his work and ministry.

Cromey is married, has three daughters and six grandchildren. He enjoys hearing from people and can be contacted by email at twocromeys@earthlink.net. You can also find him on Facebook or on his blog at http://cromey.blogspot.com/