A Polish Catholic priest, who has come out as gay, is to be relieved of his duties, according to Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi.
The priest, Monsignor Krysztof Olaf Charamsa, announced that he was gay, and called for Pope Francis to revise the church’s doctrine on homosexuality, when he held a press conference in Rome yesterday, Saturday 3rd October. This very public announcement comes just before the Synod of Bishops, and was intended to put the church’s attitude to homosexuality on the Synod’s agenda. The Synod, a three-week meeting of bishops from all over the world set to begin today, Sunday, considers matters which Catholic families have to face.
“My 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 pressurise 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”.
Charamsa, who is 43, also has a partner, and he was with him at the press conference. This in itself presents a second problem for the Vatican, as priests of any orientation are not supposed to have a partner,
Vatican spokesman, Father Lombardi, stated:
“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.
“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, while the other aspects of his situation shall remain the responsibility of his diocesan Ordinary”.
Charamsa is also assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission, according to Vatican Radio.
As part of his announcement Charamsa stated:
“Every homosexual person is a son of God. This is the will of God for our life, also for my life with him”.