Catholics and especially those supportive of gay and lesbian rights have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions because of confusing and even conflicting reports, rumors and innuendo on Pope Francis’ so-called “private meeting” with anti-gay Kim Davis and on the audience granted by the Pope to a same-sex couple.
Now comes a report from Reuters that the Vatican has dismissed a gay priest from his Holy See position and that the priest was also fired from his jobs teaching theology at pontifical universities in Rome.
Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a Polish theologian, who has worked at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal arm, since 2003 was dismissed Saturday for declaring that he was gay and for challenging the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings “that homosexual acts are a sin,” according to Reuters.
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.
Charamsa 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 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 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 a 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.
Charamsa also said, 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),” and 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.
Read more here.
In a related piece at HotAir, Ed Morrissey defends the Vatican’s decision:
…I assumed that it was pretty common knowledge even outside of Catholic circles that priests are to remain celibate. Regardless of sexual orientation, a priest who starts dating anyone is going to find himself removed from his ministry as soon as the relationship is discovered. It wouldn’t make any difference if it was “a Spanish man” [referring to Charamsa’s partner] or Monica Bellucci.
Read more of that here.
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The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.