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Gay priest sacked after he comes out on the eve of Vatican summit

Krzystof Charamsa smiles as he leaves at the end of his news conference in downtown Rome Photo: Reuters

A priest has been dismissed from the Vatican after coming out on the eve of a major church meeting.

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, 43, a Polish theologian, gave a newspaper interview revealing he was gay and had a partner on Saturday.

The demonstration was planned for the eve of a meeting where the Vatican would discuss family issues and their stance on homosexuality.

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a Polish theologian Credit: Reuters

The Church does not consider homosexuality a sin but priests, whether heterosexual or gay, are meant to be celibate.

Charasma also held a news conference with his partner and gay activists at a Rome restaurant. They had planned a demonstration in front of the Vatican but changed the venue several hours before it was due to have started.

The Vatican said the dismissal had nothing to do with Charasma's reflections on his personal life, which it said "merit respect".

But it said giving the interview and the planned demonstration was "grave and irresponsible" given their timing on the eve of a synod of bishops who will discuss family issues, including the Church's position on homosexuality.

It said his actions would subject the synod, which Pope Francis is due to open on Sunday, to "undue media pressure".

At the news conference, Charamsa said he wanted to make "an enormous noise for the good of the Church" and apply "good Christian pressure" on the synod not to forget homosexual believers.

This decision of mine to come out was a very personal one taken in a Catholic Church that is homophobic and very difficult and harsh (towards gay people).

– Charamsa

The issue of homosexuality and the Church has dominated the aftermath of the pope's visit to the United States last week.

"I ask the pope to be strong and to remember us, homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals as children of the Church and members of humanity," Charamsa said.