Vatican boots openly gay priest from Holy See post

Openly gay theologian, Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa leaves his news conference in Rome October 3, 2015, after losing his Vatican Post. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi courtesy of Reuters.
Openly gay theologian, Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa leaves his news conference in Rome October 3, 2015, after losing his Vatican Post. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi courtesy of Reuters.

Openly gay theologian, Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa leaves his news conference in Rome October 3, 2015, after losing his Vatican Post. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi courtesy of Reuters.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – On the eve of a major Church meeting, the Vatican dismissed a gay priest from his Holy See job after the priest came out in a newspaper interview that challenged the Roman Catholic teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a Polish theologian, had worked at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal arm, since 2003. He was also sacked from his jobs teaching theology at pontifical universities in Rome.

Charamsa, 43, told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper that he was gay and had a partner in an interview published on Saturday. The Church does not consider homosexuality a sin but priests, whether heterosexual or gay, are meant to be celibate.

READ: Intense jockeying on gay issues precedes next week’s Catholic synod meeting


Charasma also held a news conference with his partner and gay activists at a Rome restaurant. They had planned a demonstration in front of the Vatican but changed the venue several hours before it was due to have started.

The Vatican said the dismissal had nothing to do with Charasma’s reflections on his personal life, which it said “merit respect”.

But it said giving the interview and the planned demonstration was “grave and irresponsible” given their timing on the eve of a synod of bishops who will discuss family issues, including the Church’s position on gays.

It said his actions would subject the synod, which Pope Francis is due to open on Sunday, to “undue media pressure”.

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.

“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.

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He suggested that a study be made of how many homosexuals work in the Vatican. “We can’t continue showing contempt and offence towards homosexuals,” he said.

The issue of homosexuality and the Church has dominated the aftermath of the pope’s visit to the United States last week.

“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.

The Vatican has been embarrassed by a row over the pope’s meeting during his U.S. trip with Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who went to jail in September for refusing to honour a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and issue same-sex marriage licences.

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  • While the title of this piece is technically correct, it’s not the reason Charamsa was dismissed. Therefore, the title is misleading and sensationalized.

  • Homosexuality in and of itself is not a sin. The homosexual lifestyle, being sexually active, whether in a “committed” relationship or not, ARE mortal sins. Judaism and the Church have always condemned these sins. The sinner is not condemned unless there is a refusal to repent and to return to obedience to YHWH. No person is sent to damnation. We do that ourselves by refusing to love.
    They are to be loved as are all people. Only the active lifestyle is wrong.
    The priest should have been fired long before this!

  • Oh, the irony!

    “Homosexuality in and of itself is not a sin.” According to your own catechism, we are intrinsically, gravely disordered just by existing. We are in possession of an inherent tendency towards moral EVIL. But thank the god I don’t believe we’re not actually sinning. Just intrinsically ordered towards evil.

    “The homosexual lifestyle, being sexually active, whether in a “committed” relationship or not, ARE mortal sins. Judaism and the Church have always condemned these sins…no person is sent to damnation.” Christianity spent the better part of 1900 years preaching that the Jews were the enemy of Christianity, and that all people who are not Christians will be damned.

    “No person is sent to damnation. We do that ourselves by refusing to love.”

    You said it. Not me. Oh, the irony! But I’m sure the irony of your statement is completely lost on you, and every so called Christian on these very pages who lies, slanders, and reviles gay people for existing.

  • Why does one wonder that? Maybe neither?

    You sound just like Be brave, always wondering what pother people are doing in bed.

  • What then was the reason for his termination? He gave an interview? Or was it that he was trying to pressure the synod? I’m not sure why that merits firing a teacher when it’s said that his life and work “merit(s) respect”.

  • Sister makes many good points. It is clear that some in the Church have hardened hearts and refuse to repent. Some great converts to the Church (like G.K. Chesterton) argued that the strength of the Catholic Church lies in its rock-like upholding of Christian morality and doctrine. Someone who wants to become a Catholic must change through repentance.

  • Respectfully, it’s more of the mixed up understanding of those who comment on Church teaching and don’t have the full picture. Most people aren’t interested in really knowing the truth. The Catholic Church’s teaching is clear and beautiful but when people pull one or two lines out of context, I can see where confusion reigns!

  • The Vatican did the right thing…this time.

    But this is not the last time the Vatican (or even the Pope for that matter) will be challenged.

    Goliath is still out there, demanding the Catholic Church’s surrender.

    Don’t surrender.

  • The Vatican apparently does not keep up with the biology of h-mo-se-xuality.

    A summary for their edification:

    From the Philadelphia Inquirer review “G-ay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes as-sociated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
    “Most scientists who study human se-xuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with h-omose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

  • Erika,

    When a gay person, such as myself, notes that the Catholic Church teaches that we are “intrinsically disordered,” I guess we have a “mixed up understanding,” “don’t have the full picture,” and “aren’t interested in really knowing the truth.” And, Is the “intrinsically disordered” label an example of Church teaching being “clear and beautiful,” or did I “pull one or two lines out of context,” and thus, “confusion reigns?”

  • “…a Catholic Church that is homophobic….and harsh (towards gays),”

    Even under this Pope the severe bigotry against all outsiders, including gays, must continue because it is in the medieval ‘scriptures’:

    “deem them unworthy…remove your blessings of peace.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:13)

    “Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    “shake their dust off…for a testimony against them.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

    When an ancient text is this bigoted, it needs to come with a warning label.

  • Mm,

    Long after Christianity takes its rightful place alongside Greek Mythology and all the other defunct religions, homosexuality will still exist, just as it existed long before anyone ever heard of Jesus Christ.

  • A heterosexual priest who called a press conference to announce he was violating his vow of celibacy would just as quickly be reassigned.

  • Richard,

    The Church teaches homosexual “acts” are intrinsically disordered, not gays, or people with homosexual tendencies. It has the same position about having sex using contraceptives. They are not open to life. However, what the Catechism clearly states (2358) is that people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and any sign of unjust discrimination must be avoided. The Church realizes that it is a hard call to celibacy, but it is the same celibacy it asks of unmarried people and priests.

  • Andy,

    Those Church teachings would be acceptable if they were confined to people who freely and willingly believe such things. But as soon as the Church tries to impose those teachings on others through civil law, it is out of bounds.

    The Church could take a lesson from the Amish who, as far as I know, are not campaigning to deny drivers licenses to people in order to protect the sanctity of traditional transportation as the union of one horse and one buggy.

  • Of course those teachings are only for those who want to freely and willingly accept them: if someone doesn’t agree with them they don’t need to become Catholics. That’s one of the reasons why I can’t understand the interest in making the Church change their teachings to “agree” with someone else’s.

    The argument about marriage is a completely different one though: it is the gay lobby which is campaigning to impose their view of what marriage should be. Many people (Catholics and not Catholica alike) defend traditional marriage because they realize the benefits it has, and because they entered that institution precisely for what it represented. Now I’m not against two gay men living together, formalizing that union and getting all the rights they should. But marriage is “the union of a man and a woman open to life and for the upbringin of children”. The moon is the moon, however many times you want to call it the sun. It’s like a 16 year old claiming a pension because of…

  • @Geraldine Marie: You have GOT to be kidding me? Did I read what you wrote correctly, or do you even recognize how contradictory your statement is?

    Tell you what, why don’t you ask your god about the bisexual animals he created like, oh, I don’t know – dolphins (for an obvious example) and fruit flies, macaques and chimps – just to name barely a few.

    Oh, and while you’re at it, DO ask him about his Laysan Albatross that mates for life with a homosexual partner.

    Are animals not ‘natural creatures’ created by your god?

    Does not ‘bisexuality’ also include ‘acts of homosexuality’?

    What about those poor creatures who are entirely homosexual, like 31% of said Laysan Albatross, who don’t understand your concept of ‘repenting’ of their ‘unnatural sin’ and ‘returning’ to your hateful god?

    Are you seeing the difficulties I’m having empathizing with your superstitious, fear-based, narrow-minded, petty, anal-retentive, hate-filled, stance?

  • After blowing my top at the ‘sister’s’ hypocritical comment above, I just want to applaud Monsignor Charamsa.

    I’d rather see people being LOVED than lost and lonely – and if that love comes in the form of a homosexual relationship, then – as far as I’m concerned – there’s two less people in the world who are lost and lonely.

    Isn’t that what’s important and real and tangible and good?