“Today, I break the silence and emerge free from the shackles of shame placed upon me at a young age.”
Reverend Gregory Greiten, a Milwaukee Roman Catholic priest, has disclosed to his congregation, and thus the wider world, that he is gay. Parishioners of St. Bernadette Parish greeted the announcement normally. The priest was reportedly given a standing ovation. Father Greiten also wrote a piece on it in National Catholic Reporter. He wrote in detail about his journey towards accepting his true self.
Father Greiten wrote that only a few priests belonging to Roman Catholicism have gathered up the requisite courage to smash the ever-present wall of silence. They are afraid to come out when it comes to their sexual identity. He then promised to the congregation that he will not live in secrecy anymore. He will be himself as a gay person and embrace himself as God wanted him to be. He said that the only reason for his silence until now was prevalent discrimination and homophobia. The Reverend continued on to say that since he has come out from his earlier seclusion, there is no one or nothing that can destroy his spirit any longer.
Father Greiten repeated the words Pope Francis said in 2016 when he requested the church along with other Christian communities to make an apology to the transgender, lesbian, bisexual, and gay communities. The Roman Catholic Church, he admitted has offended a number of other groups throughout history.
— Heather Buen (@LetsGoHeather) December 18, 2017
Father Greiten was right to stay in the shadows all this time. The church follows a strident silent stance when it comes to gay priests perpetuating systematic secrecy and toxic shaming. It is a fact that the church requires healthy role models for the priests who struggle to reconcile with their own sexual orientation. According to the spokeswomen of the archdiocese, Greiten met Jerome Listecki, the archbishop of Milwaukee, prior to admitting publicly as a gay individual.
Archbishop Jerome Listecki issued a formal statement, saying that the church supports Father Greiten in his personal journey. The statement goes further on to add that the church teaches that those who are attracted towards the same sex be treated with the requisite compassion and understanding. The archbishop said that as priests, they have made a pledge of celibacy. He said that the church knows that there exist people in the pews who struggle with the issue of homosexuality.