The Roman Catholic Church has acknowledged that it has guidelines for priests who have violated their vow of celibacy and have fathered children.
Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti told CBS News in an interview published Tuesday afternoon that the Church has “a document for internal use” on the issue that was “not intended for publication.”
“… the fundamental principle behind these lines is the protection of the child,” explained Gisotti. “For this reason, the document ordinarily requires that the priest present a request for dispensation from the duties of the clerical state and, as a layman, assume his responsibilities as a parent by devoting himself exclusively [to his child].”
The New York Times first reported on the guidelines, among their interviewees being Vincent Doyle, an Irish psychotherapist who set up a support group for children of Catholic priests called “Coping International.”
“It’s the next scandal,” explained Doyle, who did not learn that his father was a priest until he was in his late 20’s. “There are kids everywhere.”
Although the Vatican recently confirmed the existence of guidelines, they were not the first Church body to publicly discuss what should happen to priests who have children.
In August of 2017, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference released a set of principles at the behest of Coping International, stressing that “the wellbeing of his child should be his first consideration.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski