The Vatican fired a priest who admitted to being gay, and the issue has sparked controversy. Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa did not want to be discreet, and he came out of the closet with a long interview which was published in newspapers in Italy and Poland. According to People magazine, Charamsa said that not only was he happy and proud to be a gay priest, he also had a boyfriend.
“I have to say who I am. I am a gay priest. I am a happy and proud gay priest. This decision of mine to come out was a very personal one taken in a Catholic Church that is homophobic and very difficult and harsh [toward gays],” Charamsa said during a news conference.”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,” he expressed.
Upon learning of Charamsa’s announcement, the Vatican reacted harshly, and he was quickly fired from his Vatican post as a theologian at the Pontifical universities and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Vatican’s reaction to Charamsa’s announcement was immediate, and he was stripped of his doctrinal responsibilities for what the Vatican says are “very serious and irresponsible” actions, NPR wrote.
“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 Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.
With his annoucement, Charamsa rattled the Vatican’s walls just one day before the start of the synod in which the bishops will discuss, among other topics, homosexuals in church. Many suspect that the major announcement from Krzysztof Charamsa, who says he will write a letter to the Pope telling him to explain his decision, was not accidental. Crux reported that Charamsa told reporters that the timing of his disclosure was not related to the bishops meeting on the family, but said he hoped it might add “a Christian voice” to the synod that is expected to address how the Church can better minister to the gay faithful.
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“Do not apologize for what you are, because you’re full members of the community, and in the case of the baptized, of the Church. [You’re part of a] civilized community, and the Church doesn’t have the moral right to deny your right to love and get married,” Charamsa explained.
Charamsa’s announcement was particularly shocking because the 43-year-old is no ordinary priest. He had been a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith since 2003 and was precisely responsible for defending the doctrine of the Church.
He dedicated his gesture to “so many gay priests who do not have the strength to come out.” Charamsa stated that he was prepared to pay the consequences, but he feels it is time for the Church to open their eyes to gay believers and understand that their views towards the gay community is inhuman. In 2013, Pope Francisco broke a major taboo by advocating that we must integrate homosexuals in society. However, the doctrine of the Church has not changed.
“The church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them,” Pope Francis said.”This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self,” he expressed.
We are all sinners. Let us be transformed by God’s mercy.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 8, 2015
[Image via Pool/Getty Images News]