A Polish Vatican priest by the name of Monsignor Krysztof Olaf Charamsa is being fired for announcing to the Catholic Church on the eve of the assembly of bishops that he is gay. Charamsa says that the timing of his announcement was to bring awareness to the Synod of Bishops about homosexuality and to challenge the Church’s “backwards” attitude towards homosexuality.
Charamsa went on to say that his “decision of ‘coming out’ is a very personal decision in the homophobic world of the Catholic Church. It has been very difficult and very hard. I ask that you keep in mind this reality that is difficult to understand for anyone who has not lived through an identical passage in their own life.”
“The timing is not intended to pressurize anyone, but maybe a good pressure, in fact a Christian participation, a Christian voice that wants to bring to the synod the response of the homosexual believers to the questioning of Pope Francis.” He continued, at a press conference in Rome, in which his partner stood alongside of him, providing support. “It’s time the Church opened its eyes and realized that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman.”
The Vatican in turn has called Charamsa’s declarations “very serious and irresponsible” and stripped him of his duties as priest. The Vatican says that the decision for his dismissal has nothing to do with his personal claims but rather the timing, the eve of the synod of bishops, in which he has chosen to voice his concerns.
Charamsa has worked for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, since 2003 and taught theology at two Pontifical Universities in Rome, the Gregorian and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, which have also since dismissed him.
“Monsignor Charamsa will certainly be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith and the Pontifical universities,” said Father Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman.
His superior, a diocesan bishop or Ordinary will be in charge of investigating Charamsa’s future role in the Catholic Church and will be submitting his decisions to the Congregation of the Doctrine and Faith.
Father Lombardi went on to say, “the decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure,”
The subject of homosexuality and the Church has been at the forefront since the Pope’s tour of the United States in which he met with Kim Davis, a county clerk from Kentucky who was jailed in September for declining to issue same-sex marriage licenses in violation with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
“I ask the pope to be strong and to remember us, homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals as children of the Church and members of humanity,” Charamsa said, adding “every homosexual person is a son of God. This is the will of God for our life, also for my life with him.”