Vat­i­can fires gay priest from his job at Holy See

News con­fer­ence with part­ner, on eve of synod, cited as rea­son

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD - BY PHILIP PUL­LELLA

VAT­I­CAN CITY — The Vat­i­can on Satur­day dis­missed a gay priest from his Holy See job on the eve of a ma­jor meet­ing, af­ter he con­ducted a highly public com­ing out that chal­lenged Ro­man Catholic teach­ing that ho­mo­sex­ual acts are a sin.

Mon­signor Krzyszt of 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 tha the is gay and has a part­ner, in an in­ter­view­pub­lished Satur­day.

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

The Vat­i­can said the dis­missal had noth­ing to do with Charamsa’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 Catholic Church’s po­si­tion on gays.

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

At the news con­fer­ence, Charamsa said he wanted tomake “an enor­mous noise for the good of the Church” and ap­ply “good Chris­tian pres­sure” on the synod not to for­get gay and les­bian 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 [to­ward gays],” he said.

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

“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 is­sue of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity and the church has dom­i­nated the af­ter­math of the pope’s visit to the United States last month. 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 last month for re­fus­ing to honor a Supreme Court rul­ing and is­sue same-sex mar­riage li­censes.

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