Rome (AFP) - A high-ranking Polish priest who was fired after coming out as gay before the Vatican's key synod on the family said on Sunday that there was no "gay lobby" in the Church.
Krzysztof Charamsa told a private Italian television channel that he has "never met a gay lobby in the Vatican", referring to rumours of a network of homosexual priests.
"I met homosexual priests, often isolated like me... but no gay lobby," said Charamsa, adding that he also met gay priests who were "homophobes" and had "hatred for themselves and others".
"But I also met several fantastic homosexuals who are some of the best ministers in the Church," he said in an interview due to be broadcast Sunday.
Charamsa said he wrote a letter to Pope Francis asking him to convey his spirit of openness to bishops at the synod, where Church leaders discussed marriage and family teachings.
The pontiff has in the past spoken about homosexuality and the "gay lobby".
In 2013 he famously said "Who am I to judge?" when asked about homosexuals in the Church, and the rumoured network of gay Vatican leaders.
Since 2005, the Church has forbidden the ordination of priests with homosexual tendencies.
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LEVITICUS 20:13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.