A lot of gay priests use the priesthood as ‘a sort of cover because priests do not marry,’ he claims
The Northern Irish priest was speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Stephen Nolan Show. His comments were voiced by an actor because he feared ostracism by the Church and his family.
The unnamed priest said he has known he was gay since he was 10 years old, but still struggled with his sexuality.
“For someone to say it is a lifestyle choice is nothing short of a disgusting slur,” he said.
“There are times I wish I wasn’t gay, so that dismisses the whole theory, in my view, it is a lifestyle choice.”
“Saying it is a lifestyle choice, referring to gay people as not natural, that they have chosen to be that way, basically sickens me. Many gay men and women have taken their lives, some priests have done so because they felt demonised by such terminology.”
He said being gay had ‘partly’ pushed him towards the priesthood.
“I suppose a lot of priests use it as a sort of cover for being gay because priests do not marry. It’s a convenient way, perhaps, of dealing with it,” he said. “It took quite a time to accept it as part of me and who I am. It has been a very, very hard journey. It has driven me, at times, to feel like committing suicide.”
He said he was disappointed last month by a Catholic Synod in Rome which was due to discuss homosexuality.
“There were great expectations from many within the Church that Pope Francis would take a most softer approach and would show compassion, but the result was absolutely no change,” he said.
“It says one thing and does another. It speaks of accepting gay people, that you should not discriminate. But I think it is very hypocritical when it comes to accepting if priests are gay.”
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