Coming Out as a Gay Priest: “If not me, who will?”

The existence of gay men in the Catholic priesthood is one that is surrounded by so many clouds of mystery. The reason for the mystery is that so few gay priests publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation. One priest who has “come out” reflected on the experience, and his insights shed some light on other priests’ reluctance to do so.

Father André Samson

Father André Samson of Ottawa, Canada, went public about his orientation on a popular Canadian talk show last year. The Ottawa Citizen recently interviewed him about his declaration, and his observations are important and poignant.

Samson sees it as an important responsibility for him to speak out: “If not me, who will?”

Most importantly, Samson said that the experience of being open has led to a strong sense of affirmation in his life. “It’s good to be me,” he stated.

Such affirmation was not present in his early life, where he said that growing up in a conservative Catholic family kept him from acknowledging his feelings. Adolescence found him bullied and beaten in school. He turned to the priesthood, he said, as a way to explain why he didn’t marry and to “regain a sense of dignity.”

Read the whole article on the New Ways Ministry’s blog