The Vatican fires gay monsignor who came out truthfully about his sexual orientation on the eve of a meeting between the world’s bishops, gathered to discuss potential outreach to LGBT communities, divorcees and Traditionalist Catholic families. Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa revealed the news during several interviews with local newspapers from Italy and Poland.
Charamsa claimed to be happy and proud of his identity, while also being fully devoted to his faith and Catholic calling. Monsignors are high members of clergy who have received certain ecclesiastical honorific titles from the Pope.
The Church however was untouched by Charamsa’s personal story, quickly removing his titles and barring him from ever working at the Vatican or its pontifical universities and affiliated institutions ever again.
“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 undo media pressure,” said Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Charamsa however has claimed that he remains committed and will continue to practice his priesthood. In response, Lombardi has warned of legal consequences if the 43-year-old former Monsignor does not renounce all affiliation with the Vatican.
Yet, Charamsa has said that he wants to inspire others in taking actions against the Church’s “backwards” attitude towards homosexuality. Many have criticized the Vatican’s decision, saying it sends a contradictory message to the purpose of the summit, which was supposedly meant to discuss ways to be more inclusive towards gay members of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis has previously taken a somewhat different position from the Church’s rigid stance on marriage and homosexuality. In the past, the Pope has asked for a better understanding and acceptance of gays as part of God’s children. This has led to internal turmoil and controversy, with members of clergy and more traditionalist Catholics criticizing the Pope’s statements.
However, when he formally opened the synod of bishops on Sunday, Pope Francis started his talk by reiterating the importance of “traditional marriage.” He went on to say that this represents
“God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self.”
For many, including Charamsa, the Pope’s speech came as a disappointment and a major leap backwards for the Catholic Church on the issue of LGBT rights. Nonetheless, Charamsa has promised to continue his activism and do his part in fighting bigotry at religious level. He has written a book about his experience as a gay priest in the Catholic Church, in which he details all the trials and perils he had personally encountered.
Charamsa hopes that through his honesty he can influence others to join the struggle for inclusion and tolerance.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia
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