Vatican Fires Priest: Gay Priest Fired

Published: October 4, 2015

Vatican Fires Priest: Gay Priest Fired, The Vatican fired a priest Saturday after he came out as gay and revealed he has a boyfriend on the eve of an important meeting of the world’s bishops to discuss church teachings on family life, a topic that encompasses divorce, homosexuality and cohabitation.

Considered a high-ranking Vatican official, Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, 43, lived in Rome for the last 17 years and worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2003.

In several interviews, Charamsa said he was happy and proud to be a gay priest, and was in love with a man whom he identified as his boyfriend, according to the Associated Press. He said he wanted to challenge the church’s “backwards” attitude to homosexuality, the BBC reported.

“It’s time the church opened its eyes and realized that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman,” he said, according to the network.

Charamsa also said he knew he would have to give up his ministry but felt he had a duty toward sexual minorities to come out, BBC reported.

The Vatican reacted quickly by firing him and criticizing the timing of his revelations. On Sunday, Pope Francis formally opens the global meeting, known as a synod, where some 270 bishops from around the world will discuss church doctrine.

“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 undue media pressure,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

Charamsa can no longer work at the Vatican or its pontifical universities, Lombardi said. However, Charamsa remains a priest though Lombardi said further actions could follow.

In the 1960s, following the reforms of the historic Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Pope Paul VI established a synod system so that bishops from around the world could meet every few years and continue to foster a more collegial, collaborative and horizontal form of church governance.

It was designed to reduce the centralization of power in the Roman Curia, the papal bureaucracy, and allow input from bishops with pastoral experiences from different countries. The status of gay Catholics is among the most fiercely debated.

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