The Vatican has dismissed an official working in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith after he announced he was living in a homosexual relationship and wished to change the catechism’s teaching on homosexuality.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said:

“With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa it should be observed that, notwithstanding the respect due to the events and personal situations, and reflections on the issue, 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. Msgr. Charamsa will certainly be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities, while the other aspects of his situation shall remain the competence of his diocesan Ordinary.”

The Polish priest, who has worked as an official in the CDF since 2003 and served as assistant secretary to the International Theological Commission, released a video calling on the Church to change what he saw as her “homophobic” ways. He also gave an interview which appeared in Saturday’s edition of Corriere della Sera.

Msgr. Charamsa planned to attend a conference of LGBT Catholics in Rome on Saturday. Sources have confirmed that his announcement was specifically aimed at influencing the Synod on the Family which begins this weekend.

His comments against the Church’s teaching on homosexual practice contrast with a Rome conference held Friday in which homosexuals witnessed to the beauty and value of the Church’s doctrine in this area after turning away from a homosexual lifestyle to embrace a life of chastity.

Msgr. Charamsa, 43, was known in the Vatican as a diligent, scholarly individual who taught theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He reportedly never said anything to undermine Church teaching, but acquaintances noticed that his demeanor and appearance radically changed after he started a relationship with another man. It’s not clear if he will leave the priesthood, but he is expected to launch an “activist career” in this area.

His announcement has been viewed by some as an attack on the Vatican and Polish bishops, but informed sources deny this. Instead, it is more likely he sees greater possibilities under Pope Francis’ pontificate for acceptance of homosexual activity which the Church has always taught is sinful behavior.

Although no concrete evidence confirms he belongs to a homosexaul lobby, which is widely believed to exist at the highest levels of the Vatican, Msgr. Charamsa made public his orientation this week after launching an eight-page attack on Father Dariusz Oko in "Tygodnik Powszechny", a leftist Polish newspaper.

Father Oko, a respected theologian and expert in the works of Jesuit philosopher and theologian Bernard Lonergan, is also widely known in Poland to have a detailed knowledge of the homosexual lobby existing in the Polish church.

An English translation of Father Oko's response to Msgr. Charamsa's attack can be found here.