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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A St. Louis priest is going public about his experience of being gay while in the priesthood.

Fr. Gary Meier, author of "Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest," originally released the book anonymously in 2011. He has since decided to release a second edition next week under his name.

On Thursday, Fr. Meier spoke about the challenges of being part of a hierarchy that he referred to as hostile toward homosexuals. He says one of the toughest points is that the Catholic Church once stood for God's love for all people and he believes that is no longer true.

NewsChannel 5's Ashley Yarchin reached out to the Archdiocese of St. Louis and they released the following statement:
"The Archdiocese of St. Louis just learned that Fr. Gary Meier authored the book 'Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest' which was originally released anonymously in 2011. On May 22, 2013, Fr. Meier will release a 2nd edition of this book under his name.

"Fr. Meier has been on leave for the past year for reasons of vocational discernment.

"As a man who experiences same-sex attraction, Fr. Meier has before him an opportunity to be an example and mentor to Catholics in the archdiocese who struggle with the same feelings. Whether he will seize this opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Life which offers the truth about the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality, is entirely within is his control.

"The Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. It teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality -- whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, priest or lay person.

"Our Catholic faith teaches that we are defined by something far deeper than sexual orientation; rather we are defined by our identity as children of God. We agree with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he said, 'Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord's loving heart.' We encourage Catholics and all people of faith to pray for our culture."

Fr. Meier will hold a book signing and discussion at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 at the Boeing Auditorium on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.

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