Gay Vatican Theologian: Coming Out “A Profoundly Christian Step”

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa is not the first gay Christian to observe that coming out is a Christian process: Daniel Helminiak has written that it is an experience of both spiritual and psychological growth, Chris Glaser that it has so much spiritual significance, that it should be seen as a kind of sacrament. For lesbian and gay Catholics, however,  Msgr Charamsa’s observation carries special weight. He is not simply a gay Catholic, a gay priest, or even “just” a gay theologian. He is (or was) one of the most influential of all theologians of the Catholic Church. As a senior theologian with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it was his job to know more about approved Catholic theology, including the theology of sex, than just about anyone else.

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That he also knew, from both study and from his personal experience of love, that this approved theology is a load of codswallop will have been an extremely stressful influence in his life, leading ultimately to his decision to come out publicly.




In an interview published in this mornings Coriere, he and his partner describe the experience, in terms that will be totally familiar to to just about any other gay man who has done so, noting in particular the feeling that a burden has been lifted, and likening it to a deeply spiritual moment. He goes further than most though, in offering  a theological explanation why this should be so.

“It’s a huge change for him and also for me, but I’m not scared – he (Eduard Planas) says.”When he began to speak on Saturday, I felt an atmosphere in the room like a spiritual tension: his words entered the heart of the people.”

On Saturday and Sunday Charamsa and Planas were almost alone, after communication with the world in which the theologian had previously lived stopped abruptly.

“But this was not the most difficult – says Planas -, the harder transition for Krzysztof and for me that was close was to free ourselves from the oppressive shame of not being heterosexual.” “This I learned from you – interrupts Charamsa gently -. And I am convinced that it is a profoundly Christian step, because it reflects our truth and allows us finally to dedicate our hearts to God and to others free from complexes and guilt”, he says returning for a moment to speak as someone who is at home among the theology  books

Source – Il Coriere

(My own translation from the Italian original, emphasis added)

Books:

Murray, Paul Edward  Life in Paradox: The Story of a Gay Catholic Priest

Dodman, Donald A Priest’s Tale: Autobiography of a Gay Priest

Monetter, Maurice: Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey

Coles, Richard: Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit

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