Well, this certainly isn’t your everyday alter call. Recently, Roman Catholic priest the Rev. Gregory Greiten came out to the church. Not only that, his announcement was in the middle of Sunday service. Greiten, the pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Milwaukee, took to the pulpit to tell the congregation:

“I am Greg. I am a Roman Catholic priest. And, yes, I am gay!”

What was more shocking than the announcement was the reaction—a standing ovation from the parishioners.

The following day, Greiten published a column in the National Catholic Reporter. In his statement, the priest of over 20 years detailed his journey:

“A few Roman Catholic priests around the world have mustered up the courage to break through the wall of silence and speak the truth about their sexual identity. I pledge to you that I will no longer live my life in the shadows of secrecy. I promise to be my authentically gay self. I will embrace the person that God created me to be.

This fire burning deep inside my heart, I will no longer contain. I will not be silent any longer; the price to pay is way too great. I must speak my truth. I have lived far too many years chained up and imprisoned in the closet behind walls of shame, trauma and abuse because of the homophobia and discrimination so prevalent in my church and the world. But rather, today, I chart a new course in freedom and in integrity knowing that there is nothing that anyone can do to hurt or destroy my spirit any longer. First steps in accepting and loving the person God created me to be.”

Greiten also went on to speak with NBC affiliate TMJ 4, where he said:

“Whether you’re a gay priest or a straight priest, it makes no difference. I’ve owned the truth for many years, and it’s just very much been a part of my life, even if people didn’t know that it’s always been a part of who I am. … The difference for me now is I get to live a life that’s open. It is honest and it’s full of integrity, and that’s what’s most important to me.”