The Vatican, on Saturday, sacked a senior priest, Krzysztof Charamsa, who, on the eve of a major meeting of church leaders to discuss the Church’s stance on social issues such as divorce and homosexuality, publicly declared to be gay.
The embattled 43-year-old priest has, however, pledged to dedicate his life to advocacy for gay rights, saying, “I’m out of the closet, and I’m very happy about that. I want to be an advocate for all sexual minorities and their families who have suffered in silence.”
The Vatican in a statement by a spokesman for Pope Francis described the Polish priest’s action as “very serious and irresponsible.”
In the statement, the Vatican noted that he would be immediately sacked from his post as a theologian in the Vatican.
The statement read, “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.”
Charamsa, who is a mid-level official in the Vatican bureaucracy’s dealing with church doctrine, flanked by his Spanish boyfriend while donning his priest’s collar, on Saturday, had earlier told a news conference in Rome that he was compelled to speak out against the “hypocrisy and paranoia” that he said had shaped the Church’s attitude to sexual minorities.
The fired priest had presented a 10-point “liberation manifesto” against “institutionalised homophobia in the Church,” which he said particularly oppressed the gay men who, according to him, make up the majority of priests.
He also revealed plans for a book about his 12 years at the heart of a Vatican bureaucracy, only just recovering from a scandal under previous Pope Benedict XVI over the influence of a “gay lobby” among senior clergy.