Vatican slams gay Polish priest over 'irresponsible' coming out
Pope Francis speaks during the annual Christmas mass at the Vatican on Dec. 24, 2014 [AFP]

The Vatican on Saturday condemned the coming out of a Polish priest on the eve of a major synod as a "very serious and irresponsible," act which meant he would be stripped of his responsibilities in the Church's hierarchy.

In a statement, a spokesman said Krzystof Charamsa would not be able to continue in his senior position in the Vatican and that his future as a priest would be decided by his local bishop.

The Vatican's statement was issued as Charamsa was giving a press conference in Rome, expanding on the reasons for his move he first outlined in interviews with Italy's Corriere della Sera and the Polish edition of Newsweek.

It read: "With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa it should be observed that, notwithstanding the respect due to the events and personal situations, and reflections on the issue, the decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure.

"Msgr. Charamsa will certainly be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in (Vatican body) the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities, while the other aspects of his situation shall remain the competence of his diocesan Ordinary."

In the interviews, Charasma had acknowledged that his action would make it untenable for him to remain a priest.

"I know that I will have to give up my ministry which is my whole life," he told Corriere.

The priest said he wanted to challenge what he termed the Church's "paranoia" with regard to sexual minorities, claiming the Catholic clergy was largely made up of intensely homophobic homosexuals.

His action came on the eve of a three-week meeting of bishops which will review Catholic teaching on the family, including the divisive issue of the Church's approach to lesbian and gay believers.