Italian Catholic Priest Comes Out

Don Mario Bonfanti

A Catholic priest in Italy made headlines recently for coming out as a gay man on Facebook on October 11th, International Coming Out Day.

According to

Don Mario Bonfanti, 41, is a priest in Pagnano, near Lecco, in the Italian region of Lombardy. And his openness about his sexuality is something of a revolution.

Openly gay priests, in Italy, are a rarity. The Italian Catholic church is know for not being tolerant of LGBT people.

In announcing his sexuality, Bonfanti stated:

“Truth makes us free, so Jesus said. But, strangely, the Church denies this sentence. Catholic LGBT people must come out. They have to accept the truth.”

Bonfanti had been transferred to another parish in March after he publicly endorsed same-sex unions.  His parishioners protested the bishop’s decision to move him.

A Facebook page entitled ‘Io sto con don Mario’ (‘I support don Mario’) has been established for people to show their endorsement of his coming out.  It has over 2, 000 “Likes.”

Complimenti (congratulations) to Don Mario!  May his courage inspire other Catholic priests and lay people to take similar steps!  May his action spark greater discussionof LGBT issues  in the Catholic Church in Italy!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

6 replies
  1. Fr. Andrew Smith
    Fr. Andrew Smith says:

    If only more Catholics had half the courage of Fr. Mario, what a better world this would be. Unlike the current trend in the Roman Catholic church, Jesus did nor exclude anyone no matter who or what they were. Thank God for Fr. Mario’s courage!!!

  2. bjmonda
    bjmonda says:

    What would the Catholic Church look like to day if all gay and lesbian priests, brothers and sisters came out a long time ago? The entire structure of the Church would be more humane and HONEST. Jesus would like this INTEGRITY. Perhaps we would even be living in a radically changed for the better world. Courage has consequences and they are good for all. Totally inspirational!!


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  3. […] 2.0 noted in October that Don Mario Bonfanti posted,“I’m a gay priest, I’m a happily gay priest” on Facebook […]

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