He’s OUT! Polish Bishop Laicizes Priest Who “Came Out” on Eve of Synod

He’s OUT! Polish Bishop Laicizes Priest Who “Came Out” on Eve of Synod October 21, 2015

The Polish priest who declared his homosexuality on the eve of the Synod on the Family, Fr. Krysztof Charamsa, has been laicized. Bishop Ryszard Kasyno, bishop of Pelplin (Poland), sent a letter to Fr. Charamsa on Wednesday, October 21, notifying him that he may no longer celebrate Mass, administer the sacraments or wear a cassock.

The action against Fr. Charamsa comes as no surprise, considering the priest’s carefully executed attack on the Church he served. Charamsa, who held a press conference October 2 with his boyfriend and announced their love relationship, had apparently been planning to disrupt the Synod with his “coming out.” He presented a 10-point “liberation manifesto” against “institutionalized homophobia in the Church” and announced the upcoming publication of a book detailing his twelve years at the heart of the Vatican bureaucracy.

He was immediately fired by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he had worked as a senior official; but it took just a little longer to complete the investigation which resulted in his removal from priestly service.

While no longer permitted to exercise his priestly ministry, Charamsa remains an ordained Catholic priest. Inasmuch as the sacrament of Holy Orders imparts a permanent mark upon the soul of the person who receives the sacramental graces, Charamsa is a priest forever.

The bishop, however, has full authority to determine whether Charamsa will be permitted to serve; and after his public rebellion against his vow of celibacy, Bishop Kasyno took action. “This penalty,” Bishop Kasyno said,

…is intended to encourage Father Charamsa to mend his ways and can be rescinded, depending on his behavior.”

Any repentance is not expected anytime soon, however. Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, called the priest’s statements “very serious and irresponsible.” And at the press conference at which he announced his decision, Charamsa said,

“I dedicate my coming out to all gay priests. I wish them happiness even if I know that most of them will not have the courage to make the gesture I have made today.

“To my Church, I want to say that I reject and I denounce the current atmosphere of exasperating homophobia. Open your eyes to the suffering of gay people, to their desire for love.”

It’s easy to roll your eyes and write Fr. Charamsa off as a heretic and an enemy of the Church. Instead, I encourage you to pray for our Church, which needs strong men in the vineyard. Pray for Fr. Charamsa and for his partner, even if they do not personally solicit that prayer. Pray that they will come to accept God’s will in their lives, and will return to service to Christ and His Church.

Pray that, by God’s grace, we will meet him in heaven.

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  • Ransom

    Maybe I’m way off base here: Fr. Charamsa and other homosexuals seem always to talk about their “suffering and desire for love” when what they really mean is their suffering and desire for sex. Truthfully, they could “love” and live a life of love and devotion to someone of the same gender and not sin, something like celibate married couples or unmarried heterosexual couples do for various reasons. I’m not suggesting that homosexuals do not suffer. I’m just asking that they say what they mean.

  • Romulus

    The headline (and others) seems to be incorrect. I have seen no reports that this priest has been laicized — permanently returned to the lay state and forbidden to present himself as a priest. He has had his priestly faculties withdrawn, along with other disciplinary penalties, but still has the theoretical possibility of repenting and petitioning for the restoration of his faculties. I trust that true laicization is in the works and will be effected soon, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    • Spiritual Ronin

      Yes, this is correct, Charamsa has only been suspended, not laicized.

  • Paul

    Correction: Fr. Charamsa was suspended, not laicized. See http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_POLAND_GAY_PRIEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-10-21-13-22-10

    A bishop does not have the authority to dismiss a cleric from the clerical state by a decree. (Can. 1342 § 2.) Further, a bishop does not have authority to rescind a dismissal from the clerical state (Can. 293), even if the cleric “mend[s] his ways.”

    Suspension, however, is the sort of penalty that can be imposed by decree. It is
    also the sort of penalty that is easily rescinded once the cleric
    “mend[s] his ways,” as it is a censure designed to provoke repentance.

    • James Zahler

      Thank you for the clarification.

  • Fr. Jim Or

    He actually was suspended something his bishop can do for disciplinary reasons. Dismissal from the Clerical State (Laicization–a word that does not exist in Canon Law) can only be done by the Pope after a process involving his bishop and the Congregation for the Clergy–a process that takes more time than has transpired to date.

  • RodH

    Glad to hear it, but seriously, it is ironic that this fellow gets the boot when the Hand-Selected Holy Ones like the Heretic Cupich continue to be in the good graces of You-Know-Who…

    • LM

      Glad for the justified boot of the priest, but you make a good point about Cupich.

  • GaryLockhart

    ‘The Polish priest who declared his homosexuality on the eve of the Synod on the Family, Fr. Krysztof Charamsa, has been laicized(sic)’ Kathy Schiffer

    “While no longer permitted to exercise his priestly ministry, Charamsa remains an ordained Catholic priest.” Kathy Schiffer

    Wrong and contradictory, proving yet again that the wife of a Deacon is no authority on anything Catholic. The words laicize, laicized and laicization are secular terms not found in Canon Law. Dismissal from the clerical state is the correct terminology and it appears that at this writing Charamsa has had his faculties suspended and removed from public ministry, only. The decision to dismiss him from the clerical state has the Pontiff as the final arbiter.

    Michael Voris knows the difference, Mrs. Schiffer, why don’t you?

    • kathyschiffer

      Sorry, Gary–I do know the difference, but am traveling and had not taken the time to go back and correct this older post.
      And you’re catching me on a bad day, when I’m pretty fed up with rudeness in the combox. Where did you learn YOUR manners?

  • BTP

    Yeah, but he was a senior official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That kind of guy woking for the other side in this important Vatican department? How?