The director of the Holy See press office has issued a statement in response to Vatican official Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa's declaration in a recent interview that he is homosexual and has a boyfriend. Msgr. Charamsa, 43, granted a video interview to Italian agency Corriere della Sera published on Oct. 3 in which he, speaking in Polish, announced that he is "a homosexual priest, with a partner." Following the revelation, Fr Federico Lombardi, S.J. issued the following Oct. 3 statement: “Regarding the statements and interviews released by Msgr. Kryzstof Charamsa, it must be considered -- notwithstanding the respect warranted to the events and personal situations and reflections on the issue -- the choice to make such a pointed statement on the vigil of the Synod’s opening seems very serious and irresponsible, since it seeks to impose on the Synodal assembly undue media pressure.” Certainly, he said, "Msgr. Charamsa will not be able to continue performing his previous duties at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Universities, whereas other aspects of his situation are under the competence of his diocesan ordinary.” In the Corriere interview, Msgr. Charamsa said that he made the announcement so that the Church and community would know his true identity. He said he was proud of his orientation and suggested the Church's stance on sexual abstinence for homosexuals is "inhumane," asking for change. Msgr. Charamsa has served as an official for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Since 2009 he has served on the theology faculty of Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and Regina Apostolorum University. In 2011, he was appointed as secretary of the International Theological Commission. The CDF is responsible for appointing theologians to the International Theological Commission. On Friday, the day before the Corriere interview was published, a conference was held featuring testimonies by persons with same-sex attraction who are living chaste lives. Sponsored by Courage, an apostolate which offers pastoral support for men and women with same-sex attraction, participants called for the Synod fathers to defend the Church's teaching on chastity. The international gathering was entitled "Living the Truth in Love: Addressing the Pastoral Needs of Men and Women with Homosexual Tendencies," and was held at the Pontifical Thomas Aquinas University, also known as the Angelicum. The Synod on the Family will be addressing pastoral care in the Church for persons with same-sex attraction. It begins tomorrow, Oct. 4, and will close Oct. 25.
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