The Vatican’s Gay Anxiety  

David Berger is a Catholic (lay) theologian who was fired from a prestigious teaching post because he is openly gay. As such, he has a special insight into the significance of the Vatican theologian Msgr Krzysztof’s coming out as gay and partnered. He shared his views in an interview with Frankfurter Rundschau.

This is my own free translation:

The Catholic Church can no longer avoid the debate over gay priests. 


The gay theologian David Berger talks in an interview about the outing of gay clergy Krzysztof Charamsa and about homosexuals in the Vatican. However, Berger leans against blessings for homosexual couples.

Mr. Berger, the Vatican summarily dismissed – in secular terms – the gay theologian Krzysztof Charamsa after his coming out . Was this grasping at crisis management?

In an attempt to demonstrate strength, the apparatus showed in truth its weakness and its vulnerability. The great legal tradition of the Catholic Church, of which we might actually be proud, in this moment is worth nothing any more, after the outwardly hostile attitude towards homosexuality is exposed as living a lie.

The reaction was fierce because with his choice of timing Charamsa applied impossible pressure to the imminent Synod of Bishops. What should we make of this criticism?

I have known Charamsa at a different time, when his mentors predicted a “great future in the church” for him, which he has now confirmed in his own way. He is a smart man who of course timed his coming-out carefully. Nevertheless his step could even be contraproductive for the synod. It has already hardened the position of those homophobes opposing any changes in the church again: “Now less than ever! After all we won’t be blackmailed by that faggot.” And even those open to changes don’t want to appear susceptible to blackmail.

In the quote just “the” one gay was mentioned. But they themselves are talking about 50 percent of gay priests in the Vatican. How do such numbers help?

They simply reflect the reality And anyone who has closer dealings with the clergy in the Curia, knows that However, the shot can go in two directions: The fear of the “homo lobby” in the Vatican could lead to even more oustings.. Or, the second option, those who want to end the system of double standards and hypocrisy, because it hurts the Church will put up with it.

What does the “Gay lobby” actually want?

Lobby is actually the wrong word. “Network” fits better The gay clergy in the Vatican, as I got to know them, have no interest in advocacy, but are only looking for a possible way to be able to live out their sexuality undetected – by means of a well-organized supply over the Internet of prostitutes for the specific needs of gentlemen prelates .

Theologian David Berger
Theologian David Berger

Now a priest has put himself on the line on behalf of the vortex, who up to now was thought to be very conservative and toeing the party line. A coincidence?

With respect to the attraction of the Catholic Church for gay men, we don’t need to waste any words. That’s all too obvious. The love of performance, this whole garment fetishism – are all particularly pronounced among conservatives. That is why the Vatican is the ideal environment for these people, while the – let’s call them liberals – are fewer there. Just take the pompous Operetta Catholicism in the appearance of Pope Benedict XVI. compare it with the appearance of Pope Francis, in order to determine the difference

Speaking of difference: At the Synod African bishops insist that homosexual practice does not fit into their culture and is only a decadent Import – the product of a new colonialism of Western churches. Thus any change seems to be ruled out.

The argument is shrewd: It plays the progressives at their own game, by insisting on the plurality of cultural and social imprints. And that’s not wrong indeed. That’s why I am, for example, against the fact that a priest in Rome may determine whether a nun in Africa may distribute condoms for AIDS prevention . Because they are in completely different situations.

What would that mean for the Church’s attitude toward homosexuality?

On the one hand, that they never challenge the persecution and threats including the death penalty for homosexuals, just because it is in a country where these are customary.. On the other hand, the Church would not have to introduce at the same time and all over the world the blessing of gay and lesbian couples . If the Synod or the Pope should actually decide the impossible, a schism would result.

A price that is too high you?

Yes, with an eye on the bigger picture. Not everything in the Church stands or falls on gay rights