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Priestly celibacy among the Catholic Church has yielded countless debates over the last few decades. There are several accounts of how the priests have broken their vows either by molesting young boys, young girls or women. The debates surrounding this continue to rise over the years and more and more secrets come to light about the catholic priests. With these stories coming to light, there is enough evidence to suggest that a number of catholic priests actually have families and keep them a secret. This hub seeks to establish the truth about this statement.
The past few years have been met with many incidences of catholic priests casting off their celibacy vows either publicly or privately. Stories have been told about priests having married and leaving the ministry after it becomes public that they have broken their celibacy vows. Kevin Lee, a priest in Australia brought his secret about being married to the public not a long time ago. He publicly announced that he had been married for one year and that he did not do anything to hide the fact about his marriage from the leaders of the church, who apparently turned a blind ear to it. The leaders only took action and removed him from his calling after he made it public. This alone is enough evidence that countless other priests are either married, or have children and keep it secret or reveal it to the leaders who protect the truth from dawning on people. Father Kevin claims that he decided to make his marriage public to bring to the attention of the church just how many more priests are doing the same thing in secret. He added that he wanted the public to know that there are many more like him in the church and that with time, they will be known.
Kevin Lee’s sensational story did gain adhesion in the media, which is exactly what he wanted. He claims that most of the priest in the Catholic Church do not follow their vows and are doing several things that go against the vows they took. He narrated the story of Bishop Zavala, a former Auxiliary in Los Angeles who had a secret relationship and fathered children who were kept secret for a very long time. It would be very naïve if someone was to think that no priest has at some point at least been tempted to do such things. The number of priests who have decided to leave the ministry in order to marry continues to rise by the day as a few struggle to press on and keep the celibacy law. But this does not mean that those struggling do not have secret wives, children or girlfriends. A few have come forward and confessed, and this only means that there are several others who are still hiding, waiting to see if the church will consider the many pleas that have been made to disband the requirement for celibacy.
More debates are likely to come up regarding the question of celibacy especially with the growing number of married Roman Catholic priests. As such, we cannot dismiss the question of whether or not priests are getting married secretly and keeping it to themselves or confessing it only to the leaders because they are sure the leaders will protect them from being known. However, the incidences and stories that have been heard are enough to conclude that it is indeed true that many priests actually have families and keep it a secret.
In countries such as Ukraine, the church has to allow married priests because of the shortage.