In coming out as gay, Catholic priest sparks debate about church stance

As a Catholic layperson with same sex attractions, it infuriates me that a priest such as Rev. Gary M. Meier would decide to become a priest but refuse to abide and accept the Catholic Church’s rightful stance on the issue of homosexuality.

He says in his book, “Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest”, “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. 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.”

Meier also said he was troubled after a teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in Normandy was fired for planning to marry his male partner in New York.

While I disagree with the priest and think he is … well, misguided I guess, I have to admire his honesty. As the article said, there are probably thousands of “gay” priests who do not “come out” to avoid controversy. He is honest in that he doesn’t really believe what the Church teaches (I think - I didn’t read the article closely). Anyway, maybe that is a starting point, to admit he is having a problem with faith, and maybe in time he will be reconciled with the Catholic faith. I do think it’s better he is honest than go about teaching things that aren’t true.

If he’s not going to defend the truth, he has no place in the priesthood. Defrock him.

No, it would be better for the priest to teach what the Church teaches in honor of his promise of obedience, and to work through his difficulties in spiritual direction. It might also be prudent for him to take a leave of absence for a time, so he can come to terms with who he is in the context of his vocation (making sure that his understanding lines up with the Church’s understanding). Obedience matters the most when it is something one would rather not practice. I have been shocked to find even otherwise good Catholics stating that homosexual actions are not sinful. There is no room for priests who will teach anything other than what the Church teaches on this issue.

**Aren’t all priest to be chaste? Why would it matter as long as any priest is living a chaste vocation. Why is it different for any other priest that may struggle with an attraction to a woman or women.

Why has this become such an issue - we are missing the whole point? We are all called to live a chaste life!

So why has this become such an issue other than not everyone (including ordained) are in agreement with the teaching of the Catholic Church…a chaste life for ALL.**

I would imagine all priests struggle to be chaste. Look at the failings of the average person and adultery… 2/3? 3/4? of all men have committed adultery at least once in their married life. It must be a terrific strain on priests; I cannot imagine. We should pray for them to have the strength to help with their small piece of the flock to shepherd as well as their own difficulties to offer up their pain and hardship up to God.

It matters since the priest scandal. They discovered that most of the abusers abused those who were over 12 - so homosexual - as opposed to those under 12 - Pedophilia. I don’t know who picked up on the age of 12 but that is a concern anyway. Chastity/celebacy covers it all, but with abusers it becomes even more important.

It is my understanding that it is ok for a priest to have SSA and struggle with it. It’s when he becomes part of the gay lifestyle that it becomes an issue.

I believe that he took a leave and try to reconcile what he wanted to be true and what the church teaches. He could not. I will say at least he is honest about it. Perhaps he will become closer to god down the road. We can only pray.

I do applaud him coming out and admitting the truth. I do not approve of this attack on the Church though. The Church has stood its ground on homesexuality lifestyles since the beginning. He can go to another denomination that meets his requirements for his truths. I only pray that he finds his way home. After all, we all have crosses to bear.

Pedophilia, ephebophilia and hebephilia are all very differnt abnormal sexual preferences that are not - in clinical terms - always related to homosexuality. Does the media paint the that picture? Absolutely. Is is accurace? Absolutely not. It is one way to justifiy the devient behavior. Are some of those charged with this homosexuals - we all know that anser to that. Can it be blamed on that? NO. It is based on sexual preference - not sexual orientation.

Hebephilia is defined as a chronophilia in which an individual has a sexual preference or exclusive sexual attraction to individuals who are of early to mid stages of pubertal development, generally aged 11–14, although onset of puberty varies. Hebephilia differs from ephebophilia, which refers to the sexual preference for individuals in later adolescence, and differs from pedophilia, which refers to the sexual preference for prepubescent children 13 years of age or younger.

Statement regarding Fr. Gary Meier

The Archdiocese of St. Louis just learned that Fr. Gary Meier authored the book “Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest” which was originally released anonymously in 2011. On May 22, 2013, Fr. Meier will release a 2nd edition of this book under his name.

Fr. Meier has been on leave for the past year for reasons of vocational discernment.

As a man who experiences same-sex attraction, Fr. Meier has before him an opportunity to be an example and mentor to Catholics in the archdiocese who struggle with the same feelings. Whether he will seize this opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Life which offers the truth about the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality, is entirely within his control.

The Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. It teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality – whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, priest or lay person.

Our Catholic faith teaches that we are defined by something far deeper than sexual orientation; rather we are defined by our identity as children of God. We agree with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he said, ‘Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord’s loving heart.’ We encourage Catholics and all people of faith to pray for our culture.

The bishops were instructed in 2005 not to ordain homosexual men because it is too risky. I have seen and read things that lead me to believe that some bishops ignore this instruction, but I will link it below if you’re interested. I think it makes sense. I believe many bishops do not understand the instruction and think it is too harsh. Like most people, because of the pro-homosexual propaganda we are constantly bombarded with in our culture, they probably do not realize that homosexuality is a relational and often a gender-identity problem, not simply a sexual problem.

"In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”.

“Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

@Tim Watt…

Maybe he thought that by becoming a priest he could handle the chastity issue and then later on he discovered that it was more powerful than he realized.
I would doubt that he went thru all that education and training just to deny the teachings of his chosen profession.
He can continue to be a priest but now he should join the Episcopal church because I don’t think that he will ever be happy as a Roman Catholic.

Please Correct me if i am in correct, but it is not a sin according to the catechism to be homosexual just homosexual acts so shouldnt there be nothing wrong with a priest being gay as long as he lives a chaste life?:confused::confused::confused::confused::eek:

In reading his quote in the OP, he is using media buzz-words like “anti-gay” and even says the Church is becoming “increasingly” anti-gay? He also uses the propaganda terms that the Church needs to be “tolerant” and “accepting.” And he apparently criticized a Catholic school for firing a teacher that sought to “marry” a same-sex partner. He casually claims there may be “thousands” of secretly gay priests. And now he’s marketing a “book” decrying Church teaching???

Whether or not Meier truly believes the fork-tongued propaganda he’s spewing, I would not be quick to use the term “honest” with him. He sounds like an infiltrator, an impostor.

One is not gay unless they are actively living the homosexual lifestyle. Having attraction to members of the same gender, does not make one homosexual. Engaging in relationships does. This Priest is a prime example of the crosses many people carry. I sympathize with his cross but am ashamed by his selfish and unholy actions of defaming the Church. God have mercy on his soul.


Father, probably very faithful to his vow of celibacy…is now looking for integrity in his life and conscience with his SSA…but why is he lying about the Church being increasingly anti-gay and its hierarchy being increasingly anti-gay. Was he truthful about his SSA when entering the seminary? (maybe so during the time period he entered…numerous Rectors were pretty unorthodox back then).

Look at the preponderance of all the clergy abuse cases…gay priest were predators against young boys and teens. The Church hierarchy was blatantly “looking the other way” for nearly 50 years…and look what it got the Church. Now the Church is preaching the Gospel and Traditional apostolic teaching…that (SSA) Homosexuality is disordered…and acting out on that SSA disorder is gravely immoral…so being loyal to Christ is now “increasingly anti-gay”.

There is also the Law…having so many families and schools with boys and teens in the preponderance of its ministries…The Church was rightly taken to task for not following the law and removing or severely restricting SSA bishops, priests, religious and laity from these direct ministries…and developing a much more objective and realistic analysis of those with SSA who want to enter the Seminary or religious life. The Church sinned gravely by not protecting its children…entrusted to them by God and their families. It has caused the faithful well over $1 billion dollars…money to take care of the parishes and charity ministries was wasted by the actions of a very small percentage of clergy and religious with SSA…who acted on that attraction…and bishops/pastors who looked the other way. Even a secular private company’s Board & CEO…would have changed its policies on SSA men working mostly unsupervised with young boys and teen boys if the preponderance of its customers were young boys and teens. Like Michael said in the Godfather…"its not personal…its strictly business!.

Father needs to take counsel with Father Paul Check and his ministry… Courage A Roman Catholic Apostolate…incredibly pastoral and orthodox.

Lastly, I thank father for his faithful service…but can’t accept his blatant lies.

Pax Christi

Someone commented earlier that 2/3 or 3/4 of married men commit adultery. I don’t think it’s that high, but there’s probably some study done somewhere that came up with those numbers. Or like a lot of studies or polls, it is based on a small sample and is meant to justify some type of objectionable behavior.

I’m not sure this is adding anything new to this forum thread but…

  1. Unless I’m very much mistaken, public schools also expect their teacher’s private lives to abide by a certain code of conduct if that behaviour will in any way be seen by students. Since St. Ann’s is a Catholic school, that code of conduct would logically be a Catholic code of conduct.
  2. “increasingly” anti-gay? When has the Church’s teaching changed on homosexuality in the entirety of its existence? I thought that people’s problem with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality was that it hadn’t been changing.

Just as when a heterosexual priest becomes part of the heterosexual lifestyle, it becomes an issue. :slight_smile: You say No to ALL sex when you decide to enter the priesthood. Sjpeaking about the priest now…this is what is so contradictory about “not agreeing with what the Church teaches.” Millions of lay heterosexual Catholics never find their true mate, or are divorced, never granted an annulment. They are also bound by the same requirement to refrain from sexual activity. Yet I never hear a groundswell of complaint or “disagreement” from Catholics about how “unfair” it is that fornication and adultery are forbidden. It is only a crisis that homosexuals are told they can’t have sex. And somehow, not the individual, but the Church must “change” regarding that.

If you want sex outside of a valid heterosexual marriage, do not become a priest (celibacy is still mandatory at the moment, for priests), whatever your orientation. Because once you enter the priesthood – even if celibacy is later relaxed – it will never be relaxed for the already ordained. The option of the priesthood may eventually be instated for men who are already married.

Why is this a surprise to this priest?

And thankfully, the newer seminary programs/procedures now include an in-depth examination as to the candidate’s sexuality prior to acceptance into the priesthood. If you are attached to sex of any kind, do not become a priest: this was never news, nor is it now.

I think this priest shows the same double-message that many lay Catholics also have regarding hetero- and homo- sexuality. Somehow, the Church should ease restrictions on homosexuals, but not on unmarried heterosexuals. When you ask them why, you get emotional reasons and a bunch of illogic.

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