(CNN) — A Polish priest and Vatican official will no longer be to carry out his duties after announcing he is gay on the eve of the annual assembly of bishops, a Vatican spokesman said.
With his partner at his side, Monsignor Krysztof Olaf Charamsa held a press conference Saturday to break the news. The announcement was intended to draw attention to the topic of homosexuality before the Synod of Bishops, which meets to address issues facing families starting Sunday in Rome.
“My decision of ‘coming out’ is a very personal decision in the homophobic world of the Catholic church. It has been very difficult and very hard. I ask that you keep in mind this reality that is difficult to understand for anyone who has not lived through an identical passage in their own life,” Charamsa told reporters in Rome.
Charamsa, 43, has lived in Rome for 17 years and worked at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2003, according to Vatican Radio. He also serves as assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission and teaches theology at two of Rome’s Pontifical universities, the Gregorian and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.
“Every homosexual person is a son of God,” he said.”This is the will of God for our life, also for my life with him.”
“The timing is not intended to pressurize anyone, but maybe a good pressure, in fact a Christian participation, a Christian voice that wants to bring to the synod the response of the homosexual believers to the questioning of Pope Francis.”
The public nature of the revelation presents a challenge to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude that reigns in the Vatican, experts observed. Charamsa’s admission presents two issues: his sexual orientation and his apparent violation of his celibacy vow in acknowledging he has a partner.
Following Charamsa’s announcement, the Vatican said in a statement that Charamsa “will certainly be unable” to continue in his role with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities.
Charamsa’s role in the Catholic church will be determined by his superior, known as a diocesan bishop or Ordinary, who will carry out an investigation that will be submitted to the Congregation of the Doctrine and Faith.
“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,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.
“Monsignor 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 [responsibility] of his diocesean Ordinary.”