A Roman Catholic priest in U.S says he feels “liberated” after coming out to his church and the world  as a gay man.

The Rev. Gregory Greiten, who serves as the pastor of Milwaukee’s St. Bernadette Parish, received a standing ovation when he opened up about his sexuality to his church members this past Sunday.

I am Greg. I am a Roman Catholic priest,” he reportedly told the congregation. “And, yes, I am gay!

Greiten further detailed his journey toward self-acceptance in a lengthy column published in the National Catholic Reporter on Monday.

“A few Roman Catholic priests around the world have mustered up the courage to break through the wall of silence and speak the truth about their sexual identity,” he wrote. “I pledge to you that I will no longer live my life in the shadows of secrecy. I promise to be my authentically gay self. I will embrace the person that God created me to be.”

He continued:

“This fire burning deep inside my heart, I will no longer contain. I will not be silent any longer; the price to pay is way too great. I must speak my truth. 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. But rather, today, I chart a new course in freedom and in integrity knowing that there is nothing that anyone can do to hurt or destroy my spirit any longer. First steps in accepting and loving the person God created me to be.”

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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