QUOTE TO NOTE: Gay Priest’s Orientation a ‘Blessing from God’

computer_key_Quotation_MarksAs part of Sr. Camille D’Arienzo’s regular interviews with extraodinary “ordinary” Catholics in the National Catholic ReporterFr. Ron Cioffi reflected upon his 47 years as an ordained priest. He spoke about being raised Catholic, his call to ordained ministry, connections with the Catholic Worker movement, and most of all the parish in New Jersey where he has served for many years. Then, asked if there is anything else readers should know, the priest came out, tying together beautifully his sexual identity with his vocation:

“Yes, I am a gay person whose self-identity includes an abiding call to ministry in our church. I wish to testify that there is nothing in seriously living out my life as a priest that dissuades me from any other conclusion than that my orientation is a blessing from God for use in and for the church that is called to help each of us discern and celebrate the good and always affirming love of God for all persons.”

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Fr. Ron Cioffi

Earlier in the interview, Fr. Cioffi said he had an as yet unrealized goal of establishing an outreach committee with a “focus on welcoming and credibly supporting” LGBT people. He explained at the interview’s end how his coming out as a gay priest might advance that welcome and support:

“In sharing this deeply personal fact, I hope it will give courage and hope to so many people who find their minority status a deeply wounding and unrelieved burden that too few religious leaders have moved to redress with a healing that acknowledges one’s full human dignity.”

Despite research suggesting that a high percentage of Catholic priests are gay, there are very few priests who are out publicly. Like other out gay priests before him, Fr. Cioffi provides an example which helps combat the stigma that keeps too many clergy silenced.  Such an example can heal the wounds of exclusion that too many LGBT people bear because of church ministers. This witness is, most certainly, a blessing from God!

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

4 replies
  1. James Sheya
    James Sheya says:

    Hope Father Cioffi does not receive a warning letter from his Bishop that coming out was the wrong thing to do and that it will only create more problems for the Catholic Church. May God bless this priest for being so brave in sharing with the world who he really is and that it does not affect his ministry.

    Reply

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  1. […] church. Ignored is the faithful service of gay men like Fr. Fred Daley, Fr. Michael Shanahan, and Fr. Ron Cioffi, who […]

  2. […] UOTE TO NOTE: Gay Priest’s Orientation a ‘Blessing from God’ | Bondings 2.0 […]

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