A Catholic priest received the blessing of his congregation after coming out.
I finally admitted to myself, "I am gay!"
Bernadette Parish church later explained his decision in an op-ed published on Monday in the National Catholic Reporter.
Greiten, the pastor of St. Bernadette parish in Milwaukee, writes, "Today, I break the silence and emerge free from the shackles of shame placed upon me at a young age".
"I love this community and what I learned is they love me", said Father Greiten.
"I can only imagine that day in our church when we are accepted for who God created us to be and no longer fearing that we might be dismissed from active ministry", Greiten said. I have lived far too many years chained up and imprisoned in the closet behind walls of shame, trauma and abuse because of the homophobia and discrimination so prevalent in my church and the world. "That kind of liberation comes when you live with that kind of honesty and integrity".
Martin, well known for claiming homosexuals don't have to be celibate, deriding Church teaching that same-sex genital acts are intrinsically sinful and that gay men should kiss during Mass, is praising Greiten, calling him a "pioneer". But he no longer feels that way.
Greiten believes that there are between 8,554 and 21,571 gay Catholic priests in the United States. "It's the same in the priesthood".
"I want people to know, in my own life, I've been a loving and caring priest", Greiten said.
The more he tried to suppress the secret, the more Greiten said he also felt compelled to share it - later realizing that pretending to be a straight man was causing him emotional pain - as well as contributing to a culture that silences and shames those who are struggling with their sexual orientation. "That's important to have those positive role models because it just hasn't been there".
Greiten hopes his story helps others. As priests who have made a promise to celibacy, we know that every week there are people in our pews who struggle with the question of homosexuality.
"As the Church teaches, those with same-sex attraction must be treated with understanding and compassion", he added. "Fr. Greg's own story reminds each of us of God's call to continue to grow in understanding and to live holy, chaste lives".