Out and Gone

Holy See Removes CDF Official After He Admits to Being Actively Homosexual

The Vatican has dismissed a Polish-born priest who worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) after he announced he was living in a homosexual relationship and called for the Church to change its definitive teaching on homosexuality.

In a statement issued on Oct. 3, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said, “With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzysztof 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 that appeared in the Oct. 3 edition of the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Msgr. Charamsa planned to attend a conference of homosexual Catholics in Rome that day. Sources have confirmed that his announcement was specifically aimed at influencing the synod on the family, which began on Oct. 4.

His comments against the Church’s teaching on the immorality of homosexual practice contrast with a Rome conference held on Oct. 2 in which same-sex attracted men and women 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, and the Vatican has not commented beyond his dismissal from the CDF.