Openly homosexual Canadian priest, Fr. Karl Clemens, who claimed to be living chastely when he publicly “came out” as a homosexual four years ago, will be entering a same-sex “marriage” on Saturday, reports Sun Media.
In fall 2005, Fr. Clemens appeared on Vision TV to announce: “I’m a Roman Catholic priest and I’m gay.” Claiming to be the first priest in Canada to “come out,” he and the show’s host used the occasion to express their anger at the Catholic Church’s approach to homosexuality.
The priest has had his faculties removed by his bishop, meaning that he cannot publicly act as a priest by doing such things as offering masses.
Clemens, nearly 70, is a priest with the Archdiocese of Kingston, but retired early to become an advocate for Toronto’s homosexual community on Church Street, where he has worked for more than a decade.
He told Sun Media that he will be the first priest in Canada to enter a same-sex “marriage,” and possibly even the first in North America.
“I’m not doing it to start a revolution, but if people want to exercise their right, and so forth, that’s terrific,” he said. “I feel very strongly about it.”
The renegade priest does, however, see himself as blazing a trail for others. “I’m leading the way, or pioneering, as it were, in something that I think is very important,” he said. “It’s a human right.”
In fall 2006, Fr. Clemens sought election to the Toronto Catholic School Board, but came second in his zone. Before the voting, Toronto’s Archbishop, Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, had a letter read at the zone’s parishes to remind parishioners that the priest was running for office in defiance of canon law, which requires permission from the local bishop.
Cardinal Ambrozic also noted that Fr. Clemens’ had lost his capacity “to function as a priest in public.”
Regarding his forthcoming “nuptials,” the priest said he expects a strong reaction from Catholics, but, he continued, “those are consequences we have to be willing to deal with because we feel strongly about the issue at hand, which is the right to be able to enter into same-sex marriages.”
Shortly following his 2005 appearance on Vision TV, Fr. Clemens gave an interview to the homosexualist news source Xtra, during which he expressed his frustration over the presumption from some that his identification as a homosexual meant he was violating his vow of celibacy.
“Someone had … reported that I was leading an openly gay life here and that I wasn’t … being celibate,” he said. “That’s a lie. Openly gay life can be interpreted in many ways. Am I going about seeking out gay relationships or I am [sic] gay? But I am a priest and living as a priest and I am living a celibate life. If I was any more celibate I don’t think I’d be alive.”
Fr. Clemens will be “married” to his partner, Nick, on Saturday in the home they share on Sherbourne Street in Toronto.