In 2011, the book “Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest” was published by an anonymous author. This month, that author came out.
Father Gary Meier of Saint Louis has announced he’ll publish a new edition of the book, this time with his name attached to it. He created a video explaining his decision (available at the link above) and also wrote a column for the Huffington Post about his choice to come out:
I have tried over the years to reconcile my silence as a gay priest with that of the Church’s increasingly anti-gay stance, but I have been unsuccessful. At the heart of every authentic call to ministry is the desire to live a life of integrity. It was my desire to live a life of integrity that led me to the priesthood and it is that same desire that has led me to where I am today. In the end it became clear that I could no longer be anonymous — that is, I could not live as a gay priest, which means living in silence while publicly pretending to support the hierarchy’s teachings on homosexuality.
A teaching that has caused and continues to cause harm to many gay men and women, young and old, who are looking for acceptance and love but instead find silence and shame. I am especially concerned for our LGBT youth. It’s hard enough to be a “straight” teenager dealing with the standard ups and downs of hormones and emotions, but to be a teenager with same-sex attractions in a community where your spiritual leaders, the people you look to for guidance and affirmation, are telling you that you have a disease like alcoholism and that you’re a threat to life. Can anyone survive it intact? Yet that’s precisely the message our Church is sharing. LGBT youth are hearing that they are disordered, diseased, defective, damaged goods, wrong when they should be right.
I’m in awe of his bravery. The book is available on Amazon and elsewhere if you’re interested!