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A Roman Catholic priest is coming out as gay after anonymously publishing a book about his life as a gay man of the cloth in 2011.
Rev. Gary Meier of St. Louis, Mo., wrote about his life in Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest. The book was published anonymously in 2011. Meier took a leave of absence last year from the Saints Teresa and Bridget Church in St. Louis. His book was republished this month with Meier's name.
"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 writes in the 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."
Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America magazine, estimates that possibly thousands of Roman Catholic priests are gay and celibate.
"There are a number of reasons why almost all of them feel unable to be honest," he said according to the Associated Press. "They are either uncomfortable themselves, or they're told specifically by their superiors not to talk about it."
Robert Carlson, the archbishop of St. Louis, said Meier has the opportunity to help other Catholics "in the archdiocese who struggle with the same feelings," he added, "Whether he will seize the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Life, which offers the truth about the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality, is entirely within his control."