A gay former official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has written a letter to Pope Francis in which the Church is accused of homophobia.
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa told Francis the Catholic Church is “full of homosexuals” despite being “frequently violently homophobic”.
The Polish theologian called on “all gay cardinals, gay bishops and gay priests [to] have the courage to abandon this insensitive, unfair and brutal Church”.
On the eve of the synod on the family, Msgr Charamsa came out publicly as gay and announced he has a partner.
He subsequently lost his position at the CDF and was later suspended from priestly ministry by his diocese in Poland.
In the letter released to the BBC, Msgr Charamsa thanked Pope Francis for some of his positive words and gestures towards gay people.
But the theologian wrote that he can no longer bear the “homophobic hate of the Church, the exclusion, the marginalisation and the stigmatisation of people like me”, whose “human rights are denied” by the Church.
He said he had taken the decision to “publicly reject the violence of the Church towards homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people”.
The Vatican has not commented on the letter.
Mgr Charamsa, who now lives in Barcelona with his partner, told The Guardian that he still believed in the sanctity of marriage.
“I understand many people who say ‘we don’t need the institution of marriage. Our love is free’. I am not in this part of society,” he said.
“For me, [marriage] is part of the dynamic of love and I thank God that I live in a century where it’s possible, thanks to the homosexual movement and thanks to many homosexual martyrs.”
He added that LGBT Catholics also have a right to family life even if the Church does not want to bless it.
The final document of the synod last weekend ruled out any unjust discrimination against people with “homosexual tendencies”.
But the document stated that there is “no basis for any comparison, however remote, between homosexual unions and God’s design for marriage and the family”.
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The local N.Z. publication ‘CathNews’, which garners news from different sources (see above), has today published this article which divulges the content of an open Letter to Pope Francis on the matter of endemic homophobia still present in the Church.
The dismissed former member of the Vatican’s Doctrinal Commision, Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa, who ‘came out’ as a partnered gay priest immediately prior to the recent Roman Catholic Synod on ‘The Family’ – in order, as he said, to highlight the culture of homophobia in the Catholic Church – commends the Pope’s open sympathy towards the Gay community; while insisting that there are many gays in the Catholic Church who have a need to also ‘come out’, in order to release the Church from the hypocrisy of a situation that is not healthy, either for the Church itself, or for those in the Church who are, by their very nature, intrinsically gay. He emphasises the deep hurt experienced by people like himself, whose sexual-orientation has been considered by the Church to be ‘dis-ordered’. He claims the right, as a human being, to a faithful loving partnership.
It could be said, of course, that as a priest, Fr Charasma is bound by the rules of his clerical state which, in the Roman Catholic Church, demands that he be celibate (un-partnered), but his arguments might better be seen in the light of the Church’s unwillingness to recognise the fact of homosexuality as being a normal biological variation within the range of human sexual identity. His arguments also question the need for the imposition of celibacy for clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, which is another matter not entirely unrelated.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand