German Catholic Priest, Stefan Hartmann, Asks Pope Francis To Waive His Vow Of Celibacy


Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their duereward, but many of them are rebellious. (Al Quran 57:28)

Cologne Cathedral and Bridge in Germany

Cologne Cathedral and Bridge in Germany

Posted: 04/29/2014 2:24 pm EDT        

German priest Stefan Hartmann has sent a personal petition to Pope Francis asking him to waive his vow of celibacy, which he posted on his Facebook page.

As Francis continues his leadership of the Catholic Church, many have wondered whether there will be a change in the requirement of priestly celibacy, a practice which has gone on for hundreds of years.

Hartmann secretly fathered a daughter in 1989, eight years after he took his vow of celibacy, reports The He revealed her existence on a televised talk show in January of this year, causing his superiors to ask him to step down from his position. However, he seeks a path which will allow him to remain a priest while raising his daughter in a family.

In the letter, Hartmann asked to be released from the traditional oath “in acknowledgement of my weaknesses and failures, with all due humility and after long consideration of my conscience and personal situation.”

In another post about priestly celibacy, Hartmann argues that allowing Catholic priests to remain ordained outside of celibacy vows would “bring solutions and relief in many cases.”

“There is a human right to partnership, marriage and parenthood, even if you can forego it willingly for religious reasons,” he said.

Hartmann also believes that abolishing the requirement for priestly celibacy could encourage more young Catholics to enter the priesthood, at a time when numbers are flagging.

Francis reportedly addressed the issue last week during a conversation with a bishop from Brazil, Austrian-born Erwin Krautler. Krautler’s diocese faces a shortage of priests, with just 27 meeting the needs of 700,000 Catholics. According to Krautler, “The pope explained that he could not take everything in hand personally from Rome. We local bishops, who are best acquainted with the needs of our faithful, should be ‘corajudos,’ that is ‘courageous’ in Spanish, and make concrete suggestions.”

Francis’ secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, also seemed open to the idea of discussing a change in the policy towards married priests when he explained last fall that celibacy “is not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition.”

Eastern Catholic churches in the Middle East and Europe ordain married men, a practice which has gone on for hundreds of years. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI allowed married Anglican converts to become Catholic priests.

German media outlets reported that the response to Hartmann’s letter has been largely postive. The Vatican has yet to respond

4 replies

  1. The Church can keep burying the head in the sand or acknowledge that the Holy Quran, said so, more than 1400 years ago.

  2. Zia Shah, I see you are still propogating the fallacy of allah “giving the Gospel to Christ” when Christ DID NOT get any Gospel from anyone because He was the Gospel & fyki Monastic orders were in vogue much before Mohammed wrote the Koran so please stop trying to connect words from the Koran to what is an internal matter of the Church.

  3. Jesus was teacher, known and addressed as a good teacher. He was a messenger. He said he was doing the job as he was sent to do.
    He was Jew born in the Jewish home. People considered him as a prophet. It is all mentioned in the gospels.
    If Jesus was not given any gospel then why some people refer to the gospel of Jesus? Even though we have never seen any gospel of Jesus. It is all Mathew, Mark, Luke and John and maybe Barnabas.
    Jesus never uttered any word against the Jewish teachings and he did not do anything against the law. He only guided people to a better application of that law of Moses a.s. That law was from the One God Almighty.
    It is difficult to convince the Christians that Jesus was a man. They have taken Jesus as a man God, quite unnatural status. They needed that status for many reasons because Jesus was praying to God Almighty. Church wanted Jesus to die. So he had to be a man too because Gods do not die.
    Jesus called that God almighty as his Father, a loving Father. From that people made Jesus a son of God Almighty.
    Because Jesus a.s. said, “Go and preach in the name of the Father, the son and holy Ghost”, the church made three gods i.e. a theology of Trinity, that God is One and Three Gods at the same time.
    Church was not satisfied with calling Jesus as the son of God. It went further to say that Jesus was the begotten son of God. Then they progressed and proclaimed that Jesus was the only begotten son of God.
    Such teachings from church have been in the world for a very long time. These are being preached all over the world. By very hard work and coordinated effort, the church has spread all these teachings and has been successful so far.
    Whether the world will accepts all these things is a big question. Quran is telling all about the mother of Jesus a.s. and his birth. Quran is telling that Jesus was a prophet and messenger of the Almighty God. That Jesus was not more than that. And he was given a book.
    Well that is a prophesy in the Quran that the teachings of Jesus a.s. will appear in the world in the form of a book. And we see that his teachings are with us in the form of Gospel in BibleNT.
    There is no need to deny that Jesus was given the gospel. Gospel means “Good News” and Jesus gave the good news of some one who will come after him. All that is described in the gospel of John.a

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