Vatican theologian announces he's gay and has a partner...

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I dedicate my coming out to a large number of homosexual priests who do not have the strength to come out of the closet, the fantastic gay, lesbian and transsexual asking for mutual respect of rights. I came out of the closet and I am happy. Coming out I brought to true happiness without chiaroscuro...  

- Monsignor Krysztof Charamsa during a press conference at the Vatican following his interview published today in the Corriere della Sera.

Today, just prior to the call to order of Pope Francis's Synod on the Family, an interview with Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa was released in which Charamsa made the announcement that he's gay and has a partner. Charamsa has been living in Rome for seventeen years. Since 2003 he has been a theologian attached to the Pope's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He's also been Assistant Secretary of the International Theological Commission of the Vatican as well as teaching theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.

Here are excerpts from the interview... 

translated into English by Simon Tanner who can be reached at www.simontanner.com.

I want the Church and my community to know who I am: a gay priest who is happy, and proud of his identity. ...it’s time the Church opened its eyes, and realised that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman.

...The Church is already behind in tackling the issue, and we can't wait another 50 years, which is why I've decided to tell the Church who I am. I'm doing it for myself, for my community, and for the Church. It is also my duty towards the community of sexual minorities”. 

It seems to me that in the Church we are ignorant about homosexuality because we don't really know any homosexuals. We have them all around us, of course, but we never look them in the eye...

...I would like to tell the Synod that homosexual love is a kind of family love, a love that needs the family. Everyone – gays, lesbians and transsexuals included – foster in their hearts a desire for love and family. Everyone has the right to love, and that love must be protected by society and law. But above all it must be nourished by the Church. Christianity is the religion of love, and love is central to the figure of Jesus we bring to the world.

The Bible says nothing on the subject of homosexuality. ...The biblical sodomite has nothing to do with two gays that love each other in modern-day Italy and want to marry. I am unable to find a single passage, even in St Paul, that may be seen as referring to homosexual persons asking to be respected as such, since at the time the concept was unknown.

The interviewer asks, "Catholic doctrine excludes gays from the priesthood: how did you manage to become a priest?"

The rule was introduced in 2005 when I was already a priest, and only applies to new ordinations. For me it was a shock. It didn't use to be like this, and I think this is a mistake that needs to be corrected.

The interviewer asks, "How did you go from denial to being happy about being gay?"

Through study, prayer and reflection. A dialogue with God and the study of theology, philosophy and science were crucial. ...Humanity has made great progress in its understanding of these issues, but the Church is lagging behind....

 

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!