Senior Vatican priest comes out as gay and is immediately sacked
| October 3rd 2015
A high-ranking Vatican priest who came out as gay the day before a meeting of the world's bishops was immediately sacked.
Krzysztof Charamsa opened up about his sexuality in newspaper interviews in Italy and Poland.
He said he was happy and proud to be a gay priest and that he was in love with his boyfriend Eduard, whom he posed for pictures alongside.
But Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi denied he was sacked because of his sexuality, claiming it was in fact due to the timing of his announcement.
He said: "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."
Despite his dismissal, Mr Charamsa remains a priest, although Mr Lombardi hinted that his superiors could take further action.
Mr Charmsa initially planned a press conference in front of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith's office, but moved it to central Rome after the Vatican action.
Mr Charamsa told reporters that the timing of his disclosure was not related to the bishops meeting on the family, but said he hoped it might add "a Christian voice" to the synod that is expected to address how the Church can better minister to the homosexual faithful.
"I came out," he said.
"This is a very personal, difficult and tough decision in the Catholic Church's homophobic world."
Mr Charamsa told the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza that he was motivated to make his sexual orientation public by hate mail that he received after publicly criticising a right-wing Polish priest, who is strongly homophobic in the media.
He told Gazeta Wyborcza: "I have to say who I am. I am a gay priest. I am a happy and proud gay priest," he told Gazeta Wyborcza.
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By Sara Okuoro