Washington DC activist and JMG reader Phil Attey has launched ChurchOuting.org, a site intended to publicize the names of Catholic priests who are socially out but professionally closeted. Via press release:
A new local Internet and social media campaign was launched today in response to increasing anti-gay attacks by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington and to a 57 page Pastoral Letter, which was passed today by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) affirming the national church leadership’s opposition to recognition of civil marriage between same sex couples.
ChurchOuting.org is a clearinghouse for reports of priests who are openly gay men in social settings yet professionally closeted in their parishes. The campaign will also accept reports of heterosexual priests who are involved in romantic or sexual relationships, yet support the Archbishop’s efforts to harm lesbian and gay families. “Their silence is criminal,” said Phil Attey, founder of ChurchOuting.org. “The increasing anti-gay attacks by the Archbishop and the USCCB not only harm gay and lesbian families seeking civil marriage recognition, but perpetuate the cycle of spiritual and emotional abuse that has harmed countless LGBT Catholic youth for generations.“
ChurchOuting.org provides an easy to use form to privately report priests in the Archdiocese who engage in romantic or sexual relationships, including detailed stories if available. Reports, once verified, will be used to pressure reported priests to vocally oppose the leadership’s anti-gay efforts, and ultimately to pressure the Archbishop to stop his anti-gay efforts here in Washington.
Attey: “The Church hierarchy has crossed the line in diverting the mission of the church from helping the poor and caring for the sick to waging political campaigns to strip LGBT citizens of civil rights protections. We can no longer remain silent while this happens. Nor can our parish priests.”