Priest's coming out prior to synod stirs controversy

Vatican sacks priest, says announcement timing 'irresponsible'

05 October, 15:26

    (ANSAmed) - VATICAN CITY, OCTOBER 5 - Polish-born priest Krzystof Charamsa's announcement on Saturday that he is gay and in a steady relationship continued to stir controversy and criticism on Monday, just one day after the official opening of a 20-day Catholic synod on the family.

    The Vatican announced on Sunday that Monsignor Charamsa would no longer be able to continue his work with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the organisation responsible for promoting and defending Catholic Church doctrine) or his teaching at pontifical universities.

    "The choice to make such a sensational announcement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, because it aims to put the synod assembly under undue media pressure," said Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi.

    Yoyo Grassi, an openly gay former classmate of Pope Francis's with whom the pope visited on his recent trip to the United States, also believed the announcement was strategically timed to attract media attention.

    "The timing was wrong and the way he chose to do it was wrong," Grassi said in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica.

    "I don't think he did any favors for the cause of homosexuals or for Pope Francis," said Grassi.

    Roberto Formigoni, a senator with the New Centre Right (NCD) party who openly practices abstinence as a member of the Catholic Memores Domini Lay Association, called Charamsa's announcement "an act of pride".

    "Living in chastity and being celibate isn't an extra step for heaven. And Charamsa can even say that he can't resist. It's human. But he can't make it a moral lecture for us," Formigoni said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa.

    Formigoni said he felt "pain" when he read Charamsa's announcement.

    "But I'm not surprised. These types of positions are widespread, unfortunately," Formigoni said.

    "I'm talking about the fact that the Church's teachings could be so blatantly rejected by a believer, by a priest no less, for years, as a matter of fact a manager in the office for the defence of the Catholic faith," he said.(ANSAmed).

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