A senior Polish priest, Krzysztof Charamsa (43) announced on Saturday that he has been fired from his post as a theologian at the Vatican, because he publicly came out as gay.
The announcement came on the eve of the Church’s meeting on social issues, such as divorce and homosexuality.
Spokesman for Pope Francis, stated on Saturday that Krzysztof Charamsa’s actions had been “very serious and irresponsible.”
A mid-level bureaucrat in Vatican, Charamsa told reporters in Rome that he had been compelled to speak out against the hypocrisy and paranoia that shapes the Church’s attitude towards sexual minorities.
"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," Charamsa said.
With the understanding that he will no longer serve as a priest, Charamsa said “I’m out of the closet, and I’m very happy about that.”
Standing next to his Spanish boyfriend, the former priest added "I want to be an advocate for all sexual minorities and their families who have suffered in silence."
Charamsa stated that he had planned to come out several times in the past. He presented a 10-point "liberation manifesto" against "institutionalised homophobia in the Church."
He also announced his plans for a book that will chronicle his 12 years at the heart of Vatican bureaucracy, Vatican is just recovering from a scandal under the previous Pope Benedict XVI, over the influence of “gay lobby” among the senior clergy.
"I dedicate my coming out to all gay priests," Charamsa said. "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."
Vatican said in a statement, "The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure."
Charamsa came out just a day after it was revealed that Pope Francis held a private meeting with a same-sex couple at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, during his visit to the United States last week.
Yayo Grassi, a gay Argentinean man and a former student of Pope Francis, traveled to the Vatican Embassy for a brief visit with the pope. Grassi and Francis greeted each other warmly and discussed his business ventures, but did not discuss gay issues.
On the other hand, the pontiff have also met well-known American gay marriage opponent Kim Davis during his visit to the US. The meeting was greeted with anger by many liberals and pro-gay campaigners in the US.
Kim Davis was taken into federal custody last month for repeatedly refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences and has become a centre of attention in the US, drawing both criticism and support.
The Apostolic Christian, jailed for being in contempt of court, told a US District, Judge David Bunning that her religious beliefs should free her from the obligation of signing the licences.