BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Polish monsignor who came out as gay and was fired by the Vatican just before a meeting of bishops about outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families says that a "special kind of homophobia" exists among priests, because those who are homosexual are forced to hate themselves.

Krzysztof Charamsa told The Associated Press in an interview that he hopes more priests will come out "to destroy the code of silence in the church."

"Many priests, many bishops, many persons in Catholic clergy are gay, are homosexual people," Charamsa said. "With sensitivity of homosexuals. But they must hate themselves."

Charamsa was a mid-level official in the Vatican's doctrine office who came out in interviews in Italian and Polish media last month a day before the bishops met, saying he was happy and proud to be a gay priest and in love with his boyfriend.

In firing Charamsa, the Vatican cited the timing of his announcement as "very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure."

Charamsa's home diocese of Pelplin, based in Gdansk, subsequently suspended him as a priest and said he could no longer wear priestly vestments.

But Charamsa, who now lives with his boyfriend in Barcelona, described himself in the interview as "a happy gay priest."

"And I can say it with transparency, with all my truth," he added. "We fought this horrible lying of my Church, of the Vatican. And as for the Vatican I think their first reaction was panic. Panic and automatic elimination of this man. In one moment I was out from the Vatican."


Clendenning reported from Madrid.