Vatican Fires Priest After He Comes Out As Gay Ahead Of Bishops' Meeting
Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a 43-year-old Polish priest who revealed his homosexuality, and a same-sex relationship on the eve of gathering of bishops from around the world, has been stripped of his doctrinal responsibilities for what the Vatican says are "very serious and irresponsible" actions.
"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, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.
The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, a meeting of the world's bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families. The meeting begins on Sunday at the Vatican.
In an interview published in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza on Saturday, and later at a news conference with his partner, Charamsa called the Church's attitude on homosexuality "backwards" and said he was "happy and proud" to be gay.
At the news conference, Charamsa said he wanted to make "an enormous noise for the good of the Church" and apply "good Christian pressure" on the Synod not to forget homosexual believers, according to Reuters.
"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 (towards gays)," he said.
Charamsa, who had been a member of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith since 2003.
The Associated Press writes that Charamsa said he has written a book in Italian and Polish to "lay bare" his experience "in front of all those who want to confront me."
"Charamsa told ... Gazeta Wyborcza that he was motivated to make his sexual orientation public by hate mail that he received after publicly criticizing a right-wing Polish priest who is strongly anti-gay in the Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny.
" 'I have to say who I am. I am a gay priest. I am a happy and proud gay priest,' he told [the newspaper]."
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