North St. Louis pastor Gary M. Meier took to his Facebook on May 15 to reveal that he identifies as gay.
The former pastor of Saints Teresa & Bridget Parist wrote on his website and public Facebook page that he was never in the closet, and all of his teachers during his religious education were aware of his sexual identity.
Meier also said not only is he gay, but he is also the anonymous author of the book, “Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest,” published in 2011.
Meier said he now feels comfortable enough to come out publically as the books creator.
When he first began his practice, he was not condemned for being homosexual, nor did it prohibit him from becoming a Pastor, said Meier. As long as Meier was celibate, his sexual orientation did not matter to the Catholic Church.
Meier explains that this all changed after scandals surronding pedophilia surfaced in the Church.
“In 2005 they come with this hard stance of, ‘we’re not going to ordain gay priests.’” He said he tried to fight against this, but was “unsuccessful.”
Meier explained that he doesn’t have a reason now to stay in the closet.
He wrote in an open letter to the archbishop, “I have no such intention. I am just a man trying to live a life of integrity and speak the truth that God has given me to speak.”
His future as a pastor of a Catholic Church is uncertain.
The archdiocese of St. Louis responded by stating, “as a man who experiences same-sex attraction, Father 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 is his control.”
Nevertheless, Meier insists he loves the Catholic Church, “I do not mean the church any harm and in fact I still love the church very much.”
Meier has been on leave, focused on obtaining his graduate degree at the University of Missouri in Saint Louis in the Clinical Mental Health Program.