In a decision that risks his career with the Roman Catholic Church, Rev. Gary Meier announced he is gay and the author of a previously anonymous book, “Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest.”
For 15 years Meier tried operating in a church that condemns being gay as “intrinsically disordered,” until he took a leave of absence last June.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Meier has only watched the Church’s anti-gay stance harden over time.
“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. “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.”
The Church has taken considerable measures to discriminate against LGBT people, including a threat to fire gay teachers, dropping the Boy Scouts for lifting its gay ban, and directing Church members to campaign against marriage equality.
Pope Francis has only affirmed the Catholic Church’s anti-gay stance by condemning same-sex marriage as “a scheme to destroy God’s plan” and “a real and dire anthropological throwback.” So far, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said that Meier has “opportunity to be an example and mentor to Catholics in the archdiocese who struggle with the same feelings.”
Perhaps as few as two or three priests are publicly gay in the U.S., according to Rev. James Martin, editor-at-large at America magazine. Meier said he would like to continue as a priest, though he acknowledges it is unlikely.