Monday, 5 October 2015

EXCLUSIVE and BREAKING: Interview with Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa: "...THE CHURCH NEEDS TO 'COME OUT' "

[Note: you may republish this translation, but you must, in your re-publication, credit and link to Toronto Catholic Witness]


Q: Katarzyna Kolenda-Zaleska: Is your declaration in conformity with the Church?

A: Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa: It is with the Gospels. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has released at least four documents condemning sexual acts, putting forward a certain vision, what the Church calls a "homosexual tendency", because unfortunately the Church has never spoken of "homosexual orientation". 

So, in a way, virtually no one in the Church has yet confronted this. Or, put differently, the understanding of the person requires  necessary and speedy re-thinking of Catholic doctrine on the subject of sexual minorities. On the subject of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, inter-sexuals. 

The documents of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith are full of a kind of stereotype that at one time was accepted as true, but today has been rejected by the world. What we read, in the documents of the Congregation, is hurting the lives of normal, healthy people. Hurting the lives of sexual minorities who through these documents are stigmatized. The Church asks for respect, but a respect that is supported by something that is not clear, a sympathy.

It seems to me, that looking at the picture presented by the Congregation on the subject of homosexuals, there is no understanding of a person's existential existence; this sympathy is more a deploring of the person's situation. A person who finds in themselves a homosexual orientation has to be silent, and never realize one's sexuality. Not in searching, or desires, or in the need for love! Not in a relationship with another person! It is inhuman!

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: But Father, a Catholic priest is to be celibate, be he homosexual or heterosexual.

A: Charamsa: We were speaking of just homosexual persons, not about priests or celibacy. Celibacy is another question that today it would be difficult for me to raise, as I know that the observers in my diocese will advance the first argument on celibacy. 'Here is one who was unfaithful in his life,  obviously with celibacy and in addition with a man'!

(a pause)

As such I have not yet admitted to you how I have lived my homosexuality. For now, I have only said that I am gay, and I am happy to be gay, and I will not apologize to anyone for this!! (laughing). For this one cannot apologize! For if you apologized for this, your perception of yourself would be diminished, destroyed, finished off. Like my perception of myself was destroyed for years.

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: Father, could you speak of how you discovered your homosexuality; that you are a homosexual and how it came to today's [public] admission of it?

A: Charamsa: (laughs) I always was one. I didn't have to discover much. I always knew that I was a homosexual person. I knew that, according to the teaching of the Church, it was my personal cross, that I - in complete isolation - had to live. Exactly like all other homosexual persons. Without contact, or confrontation, without recognition of the reality that is within you. But, with certainty that it is hideous. With certainly that you are sick, with certainly that you are a deviant, perverted. That you are someone that you must reject and never tell anyone about it.

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: The fact that you decided to 'come out' precisely the day before the Synod, is it a  attempt to draw the attention of the bishops of the world to this problem?

A: Charamsa: 'Coming out' is my humble contribution; not just in my name, but in the name of other people who belong to sexual minorities who have the right to be taken serious. For 'coming out' is a call to the Church.

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: Monsignor, I get the impression that for you it is a feeling of liberation. Father, are you also afraid?

A: Charamsa: Of course I am afraid. Or, in another way, I had at one time been afraid a lot more.

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: What will now happen with you, Father?

A: Charamsa: I will be happy! If I can help from my example. I will be happy if my voice will be joined with heterosexuals and they try to begin to understand. We just need a couple of authorities. It is possible. We need a bit of - a type of 'Francis' help.  We need a bit of Francis, our Holy Father, Francis. That he awaken anew in hearts: freedom of thought, openness to the other person, love of the person. Without this hideous hatred. Without  this challenging the other person. Even if you can't agree with the person. Even if you can't or cannot accept his choices. Or consider the drama of the choices of another person. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: I have to ask you Father, from the point of sin. Did you sin, and were you aware of this sin? They will ask you this. They will comment on this.

A: Charamsa: Is there a person without sin? 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: But that's avoiding the question. 

A: Charamsa: Is there a person without sin? Yes, Mary was without sin! The one person who was without sin was a woman, Mary. Of course I sinned. I am a normal person and a normal priest. I have sinned. But what kind of sins are you referring to? Sexual sins. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: I am asking about...

A: Charamsa: About sins from one sphere of life. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: Yes, I'm asking about about these, because you are a priest...

A: Charamsa: About sins touching only one sphere of life. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: Yes, they will be asking you about this...

A: Charamsa: And you are not asking me about any other sins?

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: About no others. I am asking this because of the context. You are a Catholic priest who has taken a vow of celibacy and chastity, and I'm asking: as I say, they will ask this of you. This will be the first or second thing asked after your admitting [being homosexual]. 

A: Charamsa: I want to speak about this and I will speak about this. This problem will be raised in my book. Which is ready for publication, in Italian and Polish. I will speak about this without any ambiguity. I will be confessing who I am, what is my life.  I will speak about what you call sin. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: What do you say to those who say you are scandalizing the Church? 

A: Charamsa: No. I don't accept that interpretation that that is what I am doing. I do not scandalize the Church. I, in a certain sense - psychologically - am defending myself against an injustice that was imposed on me for years. I have a right to defend myself as a person. If we wish to pose this as a question of hurt or scandal of another, then I am defending myself against an injustice. I recommend this from all my heart to every homosexual person who does not have the right to to be left in this injustice and not be wronged by homophobia. I recommend to every homosexual the joy of being themselves. I think that from another perspective, I am helping the Church.  

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: Would you like to remain a priest? 

A: Charamsa: (laughing) I am one, and will remain one forever. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: You will not leave...?

A: Charamsa: You can't leave the priesthood! 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: You can.

A: Charamsa: Absolutely not. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: But how, Fr. Waclawski left?

A: Charamsa: I will remain a priest forever because of the grace of the sacrament of the priesthood, which we define intelligently and theologically. I cannot rip it out of my heart. I can't erase it. Another issue is my priestly functioning. But that is a totally different question. 

Q: Kolenda-Zaleska: It's not up to you.

A: Charamsa: (laughing) It is up to the authorities, to the openness of the Church and the road that the Church must travel in her "coming out". The Church needs to "come out". 


Vox Cantoris said...

Clearly, the interviewer is a Catholic!

Anonymous said...

My comments have been deleted from some who call themselves "Catholic" websites because I objected to the Catechism and to the Church, in general, for not calling the mere THOUGHT of homosexuality "SIN." Although we pray, "I my thoughts, in my words...etc." Just to name one example. I also argued that the Church by not calling the thought of homosexuality "sin" is opening the door to justifying homosexuality. You only need a nudge to open the floodgate. And as we can see, it is happening. When the Catechism was written, I think they had in mind the pedophile and the sodomite priests. They wanted to protect them by not fully condemning homosexuality. This sodomite was fired not because he is a sodomite, as you know.

Anonymous said...

The English word "orientation" comes from the Latin word "oriens"", which means "East" (ad orientem, facing toward the East). To orient a map means to ascertain which way is to the East. Thus there is only one way for a map to be "oriented." If the map is not oriented properly, then the map and the traveller are "disoriented."

There is only one way for a man to be oriented. We must never speak of someone who is morally and doctrinally disoriented as if he were "oriented". The poor, confused man in this interview is sadly disoriented in many ways. Let's pray for him.