A senior Vatican priest, stripped of his post after admitting being in a gay relationship, has launched a scathing attack on the Roman Catholic Church.
In a letter to Pope Francis this month, Krzysztof Charamsa accused the Church of making the lives of millions of gay Catholics globally “a hell”.
He criticised what he called the Vatican’s hypocrisy in banning gay priests, even though he said the clergy was “full of homosexuals”.
Pope Francis has yet to respond.
Until October 3, Monsignor Charamsa held a senior post at the Vatican at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the department that upholds Roman Catholic doctrine.
The Vatican immediately stripped him of his post after he held a news conference in a restaurant in Rome to announce that he was both gay and in a relationship. Roman Catholic priests are meant to be celibate.
At the time, the Holy See said the priest’s decision to come out on the eve of the Vatican’s synod on the family had been “irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure”.
The Polish priest has released to the BBC a copy of the letter he sent to the Pope, written the same day as the announcement, in which he criticises the Church for “persecuting” and causing “immeasurable suffering” to homosexual Catholics and their families.
He says that after a “long and tormented period of discernment and prayer”, he had taken the decision to “publicly reject the violence of the Church towards homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people”.The 43-year-old says that while the Roman Catholic clergy is “full of homosexuals”, it is also “frequently violently homophobic”, and he calls on “all gay cardinals, gay bishops and gay priests [to] have the courage to abandon this insensitive, unfair and brutal Church”.