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