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PELPLIN, Poland, October 22, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - A gay priest sacked by the Vatican is now being disciplined in his home diocese in Poland.
Father Krzysztof Charamsa, who worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, came out as openly gay just before the Synod started, criticizing the Church's stance on homosexuality and demanding that it be changed.
He was immediately removed from the Congregation, and Wednesday his home diocese of Pelplin, based in Gdansk, suspended him, issuing a statement saying he can only be restored once he returns to the "the true teachings of the Church and the priesthood of Christ."
The statement clarified that the actions come as a result of Charamsa's failure to show signs of improvement. "This penalty is to arouse the priest Charamsa to a genuine improvement of life and can be revoked. However, this depends on the future conduct of the said priest."
In Fr. Charamsa's initial declaration of dissent October 3, he offered a 10-point list of demands on the Catholic Church, including revision of biblical texts condemning homosexuality, dialogue with non-Catholic faith groups to adopt their more welcoming attitude towards gays, and rejection of the Catechism's language that homosexuality is "objectively disordered," among other things.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi issued a statement the same day declaring that Charamsa had been removed from his position at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa it should be observed that, notwithstanding the respect due to the events and personal situations, and reflections on the issue, 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. Msgr. 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 competence of his diocesan Ordinary.
His ordinary in Pelplin then called on Charamsa to repent and lead a life consistent with his priestly state, but the priest has rejected such calls.
Charamsa's October 3 statement was also strongly critical of fellow Polish priest Fr. Dariusz Oko, most known for his paper "With the Pope Against the Homoheresy," which warned against a powerful homosexual network within the Church actively working against the Holy Father. In an interview with the Polish press, Fr. Oko commented that Charamsa's statement revealed a man with a "disturbed, immature and selfish personality."
He lamented, "It is something terrible, that he puts gay sex above God, so to speak. Even if he had these problems, such tendencies, he is still a priest there to serve the people for the most important thing — that is, to get to Heaven. For a priest this is the most important task, to which he must sacrifice everything."
The full text of ChurchMilitant.com's working translation of the statement from the Pelplin diocese follows:
On October 3, 2015, the bishop of Pelplin rebuked and called Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa to repent and return to the true teachings of the Church and the priesthood of Christ.
In the absence of any signs of improvement in his life and his public declaration to continue a life contrary to the rules of conduct of a Catholic priest, in accordance with the standards of the Code of Canon Law, the bishop of Pelplin on October 17, 2015 imposed on Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa the punishment of suspension, prohibiting the performance of all acts reserved to holy orders and the wearing of clerical garb.
This penalty is to arouse the priest Charamsa to a genuine improvement of life and can be revoked. However, this depends on the future conduct of the said priest.
Within the Catholic Church even the punishment of suspension is a calling for repentance. Because the duty of the bishop, imitating Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, is to seek after those who err in their views by rejecting the teaching of the Church. Having this hope, the bishop of Pelplin is applying the first step in canonical discipline.
Without losing hope for the full return of Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa to the priesthood of Christ, the bishop of Pelplin asks priests and the faithful to pray for him in this case.