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The 'persecution' of Msgr. Charamsa

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 12, 2015

At roughly the same time that Christians in Syria were being beheaded and crucified by the Islamic State, Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa was seated comfortably at an upscale restaurant in Rome, speaking with a public-relations expert about his plans for a public campaign against persecution.

Not the persecution of Christians in Syria, though. Msgr. Charamsa had a higher priority: himself. He planned to denounce the violence against, and persecution of homosexuals by the Catholic Church.

Let’s put this in context. Before his flamboyant exit from the closet (strategically timed just before the opening of the Synod of Bishops), Msgr. Charamsa had been living free and easy in Rome, supported by the Catholic Church. His salary was modest, but since his food, housing, and medical costs were all covered, he had extra cash available to spend on his recreation. His comfortable existence was subsidized by the faithful of the Diocese of Pelplin, Poland.

Would the pious Polish men and women whose sacrificial offerings paid his salary have been pleased to know that they might be paying for Msgr. Charamsa’s nights out with his boyfriend? Not likely. Was he taking their money under false pretences? Yes.

Msgr. Charamsa’s post in Rome was with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was paid, then, to help guarantee the integrity of Catholic doctrine. Yet as he would soon reveal, he regarded some aspects of established Church teaching as inhuman, and was dedicated to changing them. He was actively working to undo what he was paid to do.

Now that he is out of the closet and out of the Vatican, Charamsa is free to denounce the institution that has fed and clothed him and educated him, and tell the poor suckers in Pelplin that they belong to a repressive institution. He can charge that the Catholic Church encourages self-hatred by homosexual priests; no one will stop him.

But some day this failed priest may realize how many people he has betrayed. When that day comes, if he feels the stirrings of self-hatred, it won’t come from “the Catholic Church” but from his own burdened conscience. Let’s hope and pray he listens.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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