Vatican fires gay priest from his job at Holy See
News conference with partner, on eve of synod, cited as reason
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.