A Vatican theologian who told a Milan newspaper he is gay will not be allowed to continue working in his professional capacities, a Vatican spokesman said Saturday.
Krzysztof Charamsa, an assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission who teaches at the Pontifical Gregorian University, told the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera he was gay.
“I would like the Church and my community to know who I am: a homosexual priest, happy and proud of my own identity,” Charamsa told the Milan paper.
The admission comes ahead of a three-week bishops’ synod that begins Sunday in the Vatican to discuss questions of marriage and family. The meeting is expected to tackle sensitive social issues that include homosexuality, abortion and contraception.
“The decision to make such a sensational announcement the day before the opening of the synod seems very serious and irresponsible,” ANSA news agency quoted Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi as saying.
“It aims to bring the synod congregation under undue media pressure,” Lombardi added.
Catholic Church teachings hold homosexual acts as sinful and “contrary to the natural law,” and Charamsa is the first theologian with an active Vatican role to identify as homosexual, Corriere della Sera reported.
Charamsa, a native of Poland living in Rome for 17 years, has also said that he has a partner.
“The time has come for the Church to open its eyes to gay believers and recognize its suggested solution of complete, life-long abstinence is inhumane,” Charamsa said.