The Belfast Telegraph reports that Father Martin Dolan, a priest at the Church of St Nicholas of Myra for 15 years, made the unusual step of coming out in support of same-sex marriage and added, “I’m gay myself.”
The announcement on January 3 was met by applause and a standing ovation from his “proud” parishioners.
Dolan was encouraging the congregation to support marriage equality in an upcoming referendum on the issue in May.
“We are all very proud of Father Martin. Because he has admitted that he is gay he doesn’t change the person that he was before it,” community youth worker Liz O’Connor told the Irish Sun.
Dolan is currently on a pre-planned holiday and will return to his parish soon. The Dublin Archdiocese declined to comment until they had spoken directly to Dolan.
A recent poll showed that nearly 70 percent of people in Ireland are in support of marriage equality.