Krzysztof Charamsa, who held a post at the Vatican until early October, expressed these sentiments in a letter to Pope Francis, written the same day as his coming-out announcement, the BBC reports. Charamsa provided the network with a copy.
In the letter, he takes the church to task for “persecuting” and bringing “immeasurable suffering” to LGBT Catholics and their loved ones. After a “long and tormented period of discernment and prayer,” he wrote, he decided to “publicly reject the violence of the Church towards homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people.”
He denounced the “homophobic hate of the Church, the exclusion, the marginalisation and the stigmatisation of people like me,” and said that while there are many gay people in the church, including clergy, the institution is “frequently violently homophobic.” He urged “all gay cardinals, gay bishops and gay priests [to] have the courage to abandon this insensitive, unfair and brutal Church.”
Charamsa thanked Pope Francis for some of his conciliatory remarks about LGBT people but said they will be meaningful only if the church reverses some of its attitudes. The priest condemned a statement by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, that homosexuality is “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and he said the church should nullify its policy barring men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” from the priesthood.
Despite the policy, there are gay Catholic priests, Charamsa said. But he has noted previously that during his time at the Vatican, he had met only the occasional “isolated” one, and no “gay lobby,” said to exist by a variety of observers, even Pope Francis.