On the eve of the Roman Catholic holy day of All Saints Day, which this year falls on a Sunday, the TV network Al Jazeera America produced a report examining the lives of gay Catholics titled “What It’s Like To Be Queer In the Church.
”The report cited a report that’s more than a decade old by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which claimed that anywhere from 15 to 58 percent of priests and seminarians are gay. The report came out in 2004, the same year the Rev. Fred Daley, now the pastor at All Saints Parish in Syracuse, N.Y., came out.
Daley, who has been a priest more than 40 years, says he was inspired by what he called the “scapegoating” of gay priests during the church sex abuse scandal. He had previously been removed as a speaker at a September 11th observance in 2002.
In March 2004, he was awarded the “Real Hero” of the year by the United Way for his volunteer work in Utica, N.Y.
Daley said he decided he was ready for his community to know he was gay, and came out to a reporter interviewing him about the award, as a means to defend other gay priests.