Writing in his book, a gay Catholic priest in the US state of Missouri, has reflected on coming out as gay in within the church, and how he went against its official teachings against homosexuality to do so.
After taking a leave of absence “to discern what ministry God was calling me to do,” Reverend Gary Meier, 49, told St Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson he would no longer teach the official Catholic line against homosexuality.
“I have tried over the years to reconcile my silence as a gay priest with that of the Church’s increasingly anti-gay stance. I have been unsuccessful,” Meier wrote in his book, Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest.
“I was hopeful that I could find a way to have integrity while remaining part of a hierarchy that is anti-gay — I was unsuccessful,” he continued.
The book was originally published anonymously in 2011, but was re-published last week, with his name on the cover.
Since coming out as gay, Meier said he had received a lot of support from his parishioners, and through his Facebook page. One Facebook user, however, attacked him for criticising the church for its “lack of love”.
“That’s not at all what I’m saying,” Meier said. “But I am accusing the church of a lack of tolerance and acceptance.”