A priest who was dismissed by the Vatican for announcing he was openly gay and introducing his long-term male partner to a press conference on the eve of the Synod of the Family has launched a scathing attack on the Catholic Church in a letter to Pope Francis.
Mgr Krzysztof Charamsa, 43, told Francis that the Catholic Church is “full of homosexuals” despite being “frequently violently homophobic” and he called on "all gay cardinals, gay bishops and gay priests [to] have the courage to abandon this insensitive, unfair and brutal Church".
In the letter released to the BBC in which he also thanks Pope Francis for some of his positive words and gestures towards gay people he wrote that he can no longer bear the "homophobic hate of the Church, the exclusion, the marginalisation and the stigmatisation of people like me", whose "human rights are denied" by the Church.
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Mgr Charamsa had worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) since 2003 before he was dismissed from his post by the Vatican.
During his period at the CDF, which in 2003 issued a document opposing legal recognition of gay unions and describing homosexuality as “a troubling moral and social phenomenon”, the polish theologian worked under Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinal William Levada and most recently Cardinal Gerhard Müller.
The Vatican has not commented on the letter.
Mgr Charamsa, who now lives in Barcelona with his partner Eduard Planas, told The Guardian in a telephone interview that he still believed in the sanctity of marriage.
“I understand many people who say ‘we don’t need the institution of marriage. Our love is free’. I am not in this part of society,” he told The Guardian. “For me, [marriage] is part of the dynamic of love and I thank God that I live in a century where it’s possible, thanks to the homosexual movement and thanks to many homosexual martyrs.”
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He added that LGBT Catholics also have a right to family life even if the Church does not want to bless it.
The final document of the synod last weekend failed to make any recommendations for a change in doctrine over homosexuality. While it is against any unjust discrimination it talks of people with “homosexual tendencies” and states that there is "no basis for any comparison, however remote, between homosexual unions and God's design for marriage and the family".