Vatican’s Secret Rules for Catholic Priests Who Have Children

“It’s the next scandal,” said Vincent Doyle, the son of a priest. “There are kids everywhere.” Suggested Reading for the best understanding of personal religion in the 21st century

By Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo

  • Feb. 18, 2019

ROME — Vincent Doyle, a psychotherapist in Ireland, was 28 when he learned from his mother that the Roman Catholic priest he had always known as his godfather was in truth his biological father.

The discovery led him to create a global support group to help other children of priests, like him, suffering from the internalized shame that comes with being born from church scandal. When he pressed bishops to acknowledge these children, some church leaders told him that he was the product of the rarest of transgressions.

But one archbishop finally showed him what he was looking for: a document of Vatican guidelines for how to deal with priests who father children, proof that he was hardly alone.

“Oh my God. This is the answer,” Mr. Doyle recalled having said as he held the document. He asked if he could have a copy, but the archbishop said no — it was secret.

Now, the Vatican has confirmed, apparently for the first time, that its department overseeing the world’s priests has general guidelines for what to do when clerics break celibacy vows and father children.

“I can confirm that these guidelines exist,” the Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti wrote in response to a query from The New York Times. “It is an internal document.”

The issue is becoming harder to ignore. “It’s the next scandal,” Mr. Doyle said. “There are kids everywhere.”

As the Vatican prepares for an unprecedented meeting with the world’s bishops this week on the devastating child sexual abuse crisis, many people who feel they have been wronged by the church’s culture of secrecy and aversion to scandal will descend on Rome to press their cause.

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1 reply

  1. Borgia is a French-German-Czech-Italian historical drama television series created by Tom Fontana for Canal+, ZDF, ORF, and Sky Italia. The show recounts the Borgia family’s rise to power and subsequent domination of the Papal States during the Renaissance.[1][2]

    Borgia debuted in Italy on Sky Cinema 1 on 10 July 2011. It was since renewed for a second season, which premiered in France on Canal+ on 18 March 2013.[3] A third and final season premiered in France on Canal+ on 15 September 2014.[3] The series finale aired in France on Canal+ on 27 October 2014 as the 38th episode overall.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borgia_(TV_series)

    The English version is available in Netflix. Fast forward the nudity and this is a good interesting way to get some details of history and move to personal religion rather than organized religion.

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