ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Polish priest working at the Congregration for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has admitted his homosexuality and issued a manifesto demanding changes to Church teaching.
The priest, Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa, is a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University and has been on the Vatican's International Theological Commission since 2009.
In a video released yesterday by the Polish LGBT activist group "Artykuł Osiemnasty," Msgr. Charamsa declares his homosexuality and admits to having a boyfriend.
Also released along with the video was a 10-point manifesto of demands.1. Disposal of homophobia and anti-gay discrimination
2. Condemnation of punishment for homosexuality
We demand that the Church unequivocally speak out against punishment for sexual orientation and against the death penalty or imprisonment, against any acts of cruelty against any discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, as well as against attempts to undergo "reorganizational therapies" of persons belonging to sexual minorities.
3. Cessation of the Church's interference in guaranteeing human rights by democratic states
We demand that the Church revise its past behavior to states and nations which, through the democratic development of civilizations, seek to guarantee human rights, including the right of persons belonging to sexual minoritiesto love and to civil marriage. Civilized countries should respect their autonomy for the sake of the common good of all, not just Catholics.
4. Canceling incompetent and prejudicial documents
We demand the Pope revise the Catechism and repeal all the cruel documents that are incompetent to deal with the issue of homosexual persons, who are the object both of the Church's compassion and stigmatization — in particular, the documents of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the heir to the Holy Inquisition. Unacceptable documents include:
a) the declaration "Persona Humana" from 1975, discussing among other things the "pathological constitution" of homosexual persons, which by their nature supposedly "have difficulty adjusting socially" and carry an "disorder" that "without the necessary and significant adjustment" is considered a "depravity";
b) "Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons" of 1986, which calls for "compassion" for homosexuals, who "suffer" from same-sex attraction, and which accepts the existence of "fair discrimination" against homosexuals and rejects only "unjust discrimination" against them;
c) the outrageous "Considerations Concerning the Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons" in 1992;
d) "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Legalize Unions Between Homosexual Persons" from 2003, according to which homosexuality is "devoid of any genuine affective maturity," and homosexual relationships are devoid of any "human and ordered form of sexual relations";
e) the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" sections 2357–2359, teaches that not only same-sex acts but also homosexual orientation are "objectively disordered." It also emphasizes that by nature, homosexuals have no emotional complementarity with other human persons they love. And it adds that for most of us orientation is a difficult experience requiring compassion toward our neighbor, but not without avoiding just discrimination. How does the Church know what is our suffering and difficulty? Well, it is not sexual orientation, but homophobia from the Church. Learning via the Catechism is offensive, apart from the fact that the very definition of homosexuality is deficient, if not quite false. The analysis of the situation of homosexual persons is also deficient.
5. Immediate cancellation of discriminatory instructions about denying the priesthood to homosexual persons
We demand that the Pope immediately abolish regrettable instructions about refusing the ordination of homosexuals, endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
6. Initiate a serious interdisciplinary scientific reflection over the morality of human sexuality
We demand that the Church initiate a serious and objective scientific reflection on sexual morality, taking note of the development — which so far the Church has only viewed ideologically — of science and reproductive health services, medical, psychological, psychiatric, biological, sociological, anthropological, Gender studies, etc.
7. Revision of the interpretation of biblical texts on homosexuality
We demand that the Church treat seriously the question of its own interpretation of the Bible, freeing itself of fundamentalism, noting verses that talk about homosexual people, never condemning them, and contextualizing biblical texts that address homogenital acts.
8. Adoption of ecumenical dialogue with our Lutheran and Anglican brothers about homosexuality
We demand that the Church take seriously ecumenical dialogue on the issue of homosexuality with Christians, Protestants and Anglicans who, in an open and transparent process of maturation, have developed their own beliefs on this subject, which may help the Catholic Church understand the reality of it.
9. The need to ask for forgiveness toward homosexuals
We demand that the Church stop persecution and crimes against homosexuals and to cease committing similar acts from now on.
10. Respect for and belief in homosexuals and change in the distorted position of the Church on what a homosexual Christian life should look like
We demand that the Church finally open itself up to believing in homosexuals, who are baptized persons belonging to sexual minorities who still do not have the right to dispose themselves in total love and resignation to a healthy sex life, which expresses their nature in accordance with their sexual orientation.
Text of "Gazeta Wyborcza" received from Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa via Vox Cantoris. Translation slightly edited for clarity.
My name is Krzysztof Charamsa. Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa. I am a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ... the second secretary of the International Theological Commission. I'm a theologian, philosopher; I lecture in bioethics at the Pontifical Gregorian University. ... I am gay. ... I love our country, our fatherland, I am a patriot. ... when in parliament, in my fatherland, someone can put down a homosexual person with impunity, with impunity! And he does not turn off the microphone!
If someone can travel around, as does Fr. [Dariusz] Oko in my country with his theater of the absurd, demagoguery, ideologies, and do so with impunity!
When someone becomes the president of this country, and can be allowed with impunity to make insinuations about improper attire of my social group, and the next day not apologize for his words —with impunity!
When the former president for five years, didn't meet with homosexual families, not even for half an hour, to look them in the eye. With impunity ignore them! Those for whom they were established to serve.
The Church is silent, hideously silent, and when Dominic from Bierzun takes his own life, because he can't endure homophobia, the hate ... Then the Church is then silent, and legally, leaves everything before some prosecutor. When the Church should be a moral authority, She is then silent. That means we have struck a growing crisis, hypocrisy, falsehood, insensitivity. Where is our Gospel?
(Transcript courtesy of Toronto Catholic Witness)
Msgr. Charamsa is expected to give a press conference on Saturday at noon in Rome.
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