“I am Greg. I am a Roman Catholic priest. And, yes, I am gay!” A Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee has come out as gay. He wrote in an article that he will no longer live in the shadows of secrecy and plans to be authentic to his gay self.
The Rev. Gregory Greiten first disclosed his sexual orientation publicly to the St. Bernadette Parish. Surprisingly, he was greeted with a standing ovation from his parishioners, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Besides that he also wrote a column that was published in the National Catholic Reporter.
Most importantly, he said that the leaders in his church had urged him to keep quiet, said Gregory Greiten.
“Since my days in high school seminary in the 1980s, I was taught that homosexuality was something disordered, unspeakable and something to be punished,” he wrote in the National Catholic Reporter.
Students “lived in fear”, he added.
Why did he come out
Since being ordained Greiten has served as a minister for 25 years.
Above all, he often worried whether parishioners “would think of me differently if they knew who I really was”.
He struggled with repressing his true self which he said pushed back ever stronger in a desire to be recognized and accepted, particularly over the last year.
Finally, he took the decision to come out, he wrote: “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.”
Also, Father Greiten told Milwaukee’s local NBC affiliate his life has been “totally transformed” since publicly coming out.
“I feel like a new person,” Greiten said. “I just feel liberated. That kind of liberation comes when you live with that kind of honesty and integrity.”
Source – nbcnews.com, nytimes.com, independent.co.uk