A gay Italian Catholic priest who came out on Facebook has been excommunicated by his bishop.
Don Mario Bonfanti, a priest in a small town in Lombardy, made the headlines when he wrote on Facebook: ‘I’m a gay priest, I’m a happily gay priest.’
Now Monsignor Giovanni Dettori, bishop of Ales-Terralba, in Sardinia, decided to wipe don Mario Bonfanti’s name from the official register of priests.
But the move came after the gay priest had written a letter to the bishop saying: ‘I don’t believe in this Church, anymore. I am against its choices and decisions.’
The bishop considered this letter an act of what is called ‘apostasy’, the denial of the Church’s rules by one of its members.
Don Mario Bonfanti, in the last years, has been warned over his behavior and his thoughts. He defended the idea of gay marriage and holy communion for the divorced.
The last straw was his coming out on Facebook, where he usually promotes anti-war associations, Amnesty International and pro-gay groups and movements.
The bishopric’s newspaper published an article on him, declaring the Church’s position: ‘His letter and his departure make us sad.’