The Vatican is back in the limelight! Just after Pope Francis’ well received tour of the United States the Vatican finds itself in the media’s crosshairs. The Catholic Church’s crime? The dismissal of a priest, Krzysztof Charasma, after he came out as homosexual and revealed that he had a partner.
Charasma worked at the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith and taught at several pontifical universities in Rome. With the Synod on the Family (a meeting of bishops where social issues, including the Church’s stance on homosexuality, are discussed) coming up soon, Charasma’s very public outing was clearly an attempt to influence the discussion of homosexuality and add media pressure to the meeting.
Upon his admission the Catholic Church relieved Charasma of his duties, and the liberal media immediately leapt into action. “Vatican Sacks Gay Priest!” “Vatican Fires Gay Priest for Coming Out!” “Vatican Priest Comes Out, Says He Has a Boyfriend, Is Promptly Fired!” the headlines proclaimed, painting the Catholic Church as intolerant and bigoted for their behavior. But there’s one thing very wrong with this whole scene: Charasma was not fired for being gay.
The Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality is that it is only a sin if people act on homosexual urges. It is possible for a gay priest to serve as long as he does not break his vow of celibacy. For those of you unfamiliar with the Catholic Church, priests take a vow, forgoing any sexual or romantic activities, heterosexual or otherwise, if they were unmarried before entering the cloth. Charasma’s real crime? Breaking that vow by pursuing a relationship.