(Monsignor Krxyzstof Charamsa was a senior theologian with the CDF and and lecturer in theology, before coming out publicly as both gay and partnered. In a wide-ranging interview with the Spanish language publication Religion Digital, he discussed the place of gay priests in the Church, the spiritual value of coming out, the Church’s persecution of homosexuals, and alleged CDF intrigues against the Franciscan papacy. The interview was published in Spanish, but contains a great deal of really important information, which deserves to be more widely available. With the help of Google translate and reliable partial translations sent to me by a native Spanish speaker, I am publishing a free English translation of the complete text in a series of posts.)
From the opening of Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital:
Were you happy during your years of priesthood?
Yes, I’ve always been a happy priest. I am happy serving people, listening and advising people. I am happy when I communicate the word and grace of God. But at the same time, I was not happy about the denial imposed by the Church of my natural sexual orientation. In the priesthood, these two feelings were in conflict. In the end, unhappiness prevailed, caused by the homophobia of the Church. I understood that to be happy as a priest, I must tell my church that it is paralyzed by homophobia, and this does not make anyone happy.
Are you in favor of optional celibacy in the Catholic Church? Why?
Yes, in the light of my studies on celibacy, I am convinced that the only acceptable discipline is that of optional celibacy, as is found in the Eastern Catholic churches today, where candidates can really decide if they want to live as celibate or married. There is, however, another problem. I think that today we should also discuss and review the human value of celibacy. Obligatory celibacy, imposed in the Latin Church, without the possibility of personal decision, is certainly an inhumane practice. We must confront the discipline of celibacy with the statements of modern science about man and with the dramatic experience of many priests. The Church often hides a double life in its community of clergy.
Were you called ‘traitor’ for coming out of the closet and breaking your celibacy commitment?
You would be a traitor if you continued being in the closet. Only then would you be a traitor to God and to humanity. You would be a liar. I have not betrayed anyone. I have freed myself of the church’s homophobic paranoia, which is irrational and absurd, and not open to debate because it is full of ideological indoctrination. Personally, I see the one who is the traitor as the Church as a community of believers and as the hierarchy, because it is unable to review a position which it can no longer defend. This betrayal is very obvious in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Vatican in general. The double life of some of the clergy is betrayal . The double fife for me is not just about having a partner, male or female, which is very healthy and actually advisable for a priest. The double life is also to masturbate regularly or be dependent on masturbation as are many priests and at the same time to fight against masturbation, which is part of a healthy sexual life as a couple.
Why not speak with the Pope, before making public their situation?
I talked to all those people with whom you could talk. I talked to all those who could understand the inhuman situation of hypocrisy and falsehood of the Church of Rome, which are not many. The current situation is an institutionalized scandal. Rather than make public my situation, I have to know the situation of the Church in which I have lived. This is very different. Thank God it’s no longer my problem. I released the scandal of the Church that I have made known publicly. He wanted to help the Church to wake up, offering the assurance of my experience at the Vatican. Someone should clearly say.
See also the full series: