Catholic priest comes out: ‘I’m a priest and yes I am gay!’
A Catholic priest on Sunday told his congregation: “I am Greg. I am a Roman Catholic priest. And, yes, I am gay!”
Reverend Gregory Greiten in the Milwaukee Archdiocese oversees the St Bernadette Parish.
The reverend came out on Sunday to his congregation and then on Monday to the world.
He wrote an article in the National Catholic Reporter after receiving a standing ovation from his parishioners when he came out.
The reverend says he wants to break the silence of gay men in the Catholic Church.
It is rare for Catholic priests to come out as gay.
In his article Greiten estimates that there are between 8,554 and 21,571 Catholic priests in the US.
But coming out runs contrary to Church teachings that homosexuality is a sin.
Greiten also attacked the Church for the stance that homosexuality is sinful, writing: “By choosing to enforce silence, the institutional church pretends that gay priests and religious do not really exist.
“Because of this, there are no authentic role models of healthy, well-balanced, gay, celibate priests to be an example for those, young and old, who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation. This only perpetuates the toxic shaming and systemic secrecy.”
Going on he writes that he stands with the “few courageous priests who have taken the risk to come out of the shadows and have chosen to live in truth and authenticity.”
He spoke of his personal journey to accept his own sexual orientation.
He said he realised his own sexuality when he was driving back to seminary at the age of 24.
Continuing, Greiten said he did not want to live in the “shadows of secrecy.”
“I promise to be my authentically gay self,” he adds.
“I will embrace the person that God created me to be. In my priestly life and ministry, I, too, will help you, whether you are gay or straight, bisexual or transgendered, to be your authentic self — to be fully alive living in your image and likeness of God. In reflecting our God-images out into the world, our world will be a brighter, more tolerant place.
“I have lived far too many years chained up and imprisoned in the closet behind walls of shame, trauma and abuse because of the homophobia and discrimination so prevalent in my church and the world.
“But rather, today, I chart a new course in freedom and in integrity knowing that there is nothing that anyone can do to hurt or destroy my spirit any longer. First steps in accepting and loving the person God created me to be. ‘I am Greg. I am a Roman Catholic priest. And, yes, I am gay!’ “