A senior Vatican priest who was stripped of his position and defrocked for being in a gay relationship has sent a strongly critical letter to Pope Francis, decrying the Church's treatment of homosexual Catholics, reported the BBC Thursday. Krzysztof Charamsa wrote in the letter the Church has made the lives of millions of gay Catholics worldwide "a hell."
Charamsa wrote that the clergy was "full of homosexuals" and noted what he called the hypocrisy of the Vatican's banning of gay priests. His note included a call for “all gay cardinals, gay bishops and gay priests [to] have the courage to abandon this insensitive, unfair and brutal Church,” according to Al Jazeera.
Charamsa, 43, had made similar comments about the Church on the eve of the synod, the assembly of bishops from around the world. The Polish priest who previously held a senior post at the Vatican at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, announced to Polish and Italian media, and then to a news conference, that he was gay and had a partner in early October.
He spoke of the “often paranoid homophobia” in the Church and said many Catholic officials were gay and within hours the Vatican had responded, calling his decision to come out before the synod “irresponsible,” according to the New York Times.
Charamsa was stripped of his post, and reportedly immediately wrote the letter released Thursday. The letter suggests the Church was "persecuting" homosexuals and that after a "long and tormented period of discernment and prayer," Charamsa had made the choice to "publicly reject the violence of the Church towards homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people," according to the BBC.
Pope Francis and the Vatican have not yet responded to the letter from the defrocked priest. Charamsa did thank Pope Francis for some of his stances towards gay people, which has been a complicated subject. Francis previously said in 2013 “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” via Quartz. He has also said that children should be raised by heterosexual parents. In his recent September visit to the United States he met with Kim Davis -- the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses -- the Vatican later expressing that the meeting did not indicate he necessarily agreed with her views. He also met with a gay couple on his visit to the U.S.
Toward the end of October as the synod came to a close, Bishops at the Vatican decided to remain largely unchanged in its stances toward gay couples while creating more openness on divorce, reported the Guardian.