Italian Catholic Priest Comes Out as Gay

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com October 18 2012 11:29 AM ET

A Roman Catholic priest in Italy used International Coming Out Day to come out as gay on his Facebook page, Gay Star News reports.

On October 11, Don Mario Bonfanti, 41, a priest in the Italian region of Lombardy, wrote, "I am gay. Or, better, I am a happily gay priest," according to Gay Star News' translation of the priest's Italian.

"Truth makes us free, so Jesus said," Bonfanti continued on his Facebook page. "But, strangely, the Church denies this sentence. Catholic LGBT people must come out. They have to accept the truth."

While it's unclear whether the Italian Catholic Church has formally responded to Bonfanti's coming-out, a Facebook group with nearly 2,000 members has sprung up, titled "Io sto con Don Mario," or "I'm with Don Mario."

Details surrounding Bonfanti's announcement are somewhat scant and subject to translation-based interpretation, but Gay Star News reports that Bonfanti had a run-in with his archdiocese last March when he was barred from a parish in Brianza for supporting same-sex unions.