The recently launched churchouting.org is a retaliation for the Catholic Church's strenuous efforts to fight gay marriage rights in Maine, DC and elsewhere. There is nothing mean-spirited in churchouting. It isn't even anti-Catholic. It is the creation of Phil Attey, a man who cares deeply about his Catholic Church, and one who could have become a leader in that church had he been able to stomach the hypocrisy of teaching his flock that gay sex is evil and had he been attracted to the downlow lifestyle of the gay Catholic clergy.
Phil Attey has kept this site in a sock drawer for a very long time, bringing it to life now because the American Catholic bishops have gone on the offensive in their homophobic campaigning. Gay priests in Maine, at the demand of their bishop, took up a second collection to fund the "Yes on Prop One" efforts. That's right, gay priests, many of whom are in loving same-sex relationships, many of whom have active gay sex lives away from the scrutiny of their parishioners and many of whom are completely closeted, actively solicited and collected funds to combat gay rights. In DC, gay Catholic bishops and priests won't join clergy of other denominations in compassionate work for marriage equality.
I think you should know the truth about why gay Catholic priests fight against gay rights.
If you are not a Roman Catholic, you probably wonder why a gay priest, bishop, cardinal or pope would be so two-faced. Chalk it up to guilt and self-loathing, and don't underestimate the power of security and status.
A gay priest, traditionally free from the need to "get a wife" in order to become a community leader with no suspicious aspects to his public persona, may not want to rock the boat. He has learned to cope and to survive. He has a well-constructed secret life that offers him respite from his solitude. He administers the sacraments of his church, he manages its finances and he guides its families to God. He begins to feel justified about his one dirty little secret.
As the years go by, his opportunity to jump ship and live an authentic life evaporates. At the age of forty or fifty, he realizes that there are almost no career options available to him that would afford him the same level of public authority and the same level of institutional security. He is not inclined to sacrifice the accomplishments of a lifetime on behalf of gay men who give themselves license to live the life he would not allow himself to enjoy.
If a gay priest, bishop, cardinal or pope simply remained silent about the Catholic Church's anti-gay stance, we could almost respect his double life. Almost. Initiating a well-funded anti-gay campaign changes this entirely and makes gay Catholic clergy fair game for those who can and now should out them.
Churchouting.org is a good vehicle because it provides a gay priest in DC with a fair option. If he signs on to the "Clergy United for Marriage Equality" pledge, he will not be outed.
I am sure that everyone is wondering how successful Churchouting will be. Will folks come forward with what they know to be true about various DC Catholic clergy who are not really invisible as they conduct their clandestine gay lives?
You can easily find them in gay bars, cruising online or at the baths, adult video stores and highway rest stops. Many people help maintain the secrecy of their lives because they feel no malice toward them. Those terms have changed.
If you know a Catholic priest who is gay, use this site to out him. You will actually be doing him a favor by freeing him from his secret shame. Once all the gay priests are pried out of their closets, it will be obvious to the bishops that unless they are willing to lose the majority of their workforce, their absurd homophobia must end.
I personally have gay priest friends. I have encouraged them to band together and to come out as a group. They remain hesitant and fearful. I think this will soon change. Churchouting.org is really just a gentle nudge in the right direction.