'Total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman'

9:43 pm on 4 October 2015

The Vatican has dismissed a priest from his post in a Holy See office after he told a newspaper he was gay and urged the Catholic Church to change its stance on homosexuality.

Father Krysztof Olaf Charamsa (L), with his partner Edouard.

Father Krysztof Olaf Charamsa (L), with his partner Edouard. Photo: AFP

Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa was removed from his position at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal arm where he had worked since 2003.

The 43-year-old Polish theologian announced he was gay and had a partner in an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The Vatican said Charamsa's dismissal had nothing to do with his comments on his personal situation, which it said "merit respect".

But it said giving the interview and a planned demonstration was "grave and irresponsible" given their timing on the eve of a synod of bishops who will discuss family issues, including how to reach out to gays.

Father Charamsa said he was in a relationship and was "happy and proud" of his identity.

The Vatican called his actions "very serious and irresponsible" and said he could no longer be a member of its office protecting Catholic dogma.

Father Krysztof Olaf Charamsa (L), who works for a Vatican office, arrives with his partner Edouard to reveal his homosexuality during a press conference

Father Krysztof Olaf Charamsa (left), who works for a Vatican office, arrives with his partner Edouard to reveal his homosexuality during a press conference Photo: AFP

Father Charamsa said the Catholic clergy was largely made up of intensely homophobic homosexuals.

Speaking with his partner at his side, the Polish priest said he felt compelled to speak out against the Church's paranoia and hypocrisy in its attitudes towards gay people.

"Every homosexual person is a son of god," he said.

"It's time the Church opened its eyes and realised that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman."

Father Charamsa's statement came as bishops arrived in Rome for a synod that will discuss homosexuality, among other issues.

-BBC