Fr Rob Galea has withdrawn from The X Factor after struggling to balance the demands of the show with pastoral commitments.
The 33-year-old priest stepped down during the time-intensive boot camp phase of competition, which took him away from the Bendigo parish of St Killian’s where he is assistant parish priest.
Fr Rob said he was “grateful for the opportunity to have auditioned” but that he could not “reasonably honour” his pastoral, music and touring commitments while competing on the show.
“After getting through to boot camp and having attended the boot camp in Sydney, I came to understand the incredible commitment needed to go through with the competition,” he said.
“Thus, during the filming of one of the singing challenges I stepped forward towards the judges and asked to leave the competition.”
Fr Rob auditioned for The X Factor in order to evangelise to its broad television audience, and instantly drew praise from judges and fans alike.
“Even though some may argue that this is an evangelisation opportunity missed, my first commitment is to my relationship with God and to the Church to whom I am already committed,” he said.
“My heart is filled with gratitude towards God, to those who have supported me, and others who have in some way been encouraged by this short X Factor journey.
“I thank you for your understanding and ask that you continue to pray for me as I strive to serve God and do His will.”
Footage of Fr Rob’s decision to exit the competition will not be aired.