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article imageWomen sleeping with priests urge Pope to lift marriage ban

By Eric Morales     May 18, 2014 in World
Rome - A renewed light has shone on the issue of celibacy within the Catholic Church as Pope Francis receives a letter urging him to allow priests to have sex and marry.
Over two dozen women who claim they are having affairs with Catholic priests have written to Pope Francis urging him to end the priestly vow of celibacy within the Catholic Church. The group of women who met through a Facebook campaign wrote to the Pope stating that they were just a small sample of women who are secretly in love with Catholic priests, and keeping their relationships a secret.
"We love these men, they love us, and in most cases, despite all efforts to renounce it, one cannot manage to give up such a solid and beautiful bond," they wrote. "We humbly place our suffering at your feet in the hope that something may change, not just for us, but for the good of the entire Church," unnamed women continued in the letter that was first reported by the website Vatican Insider.
As the Catholic Church faces a crisis in vocations, debate is growing on the merits of requiring ordained priests to abstain from sex and marriage. The earliest evidence of bans on clerical marriage dates back to the Councils of Elvira and Carthage.
"It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this, shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office." The council of Elvira, Cannon 33
Pope Francis, when he was still cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino commented to Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka that he believed in sacerdotal celibacy, but expressed that his view may change.
"For now, I am in favour of maintaining celibacy, with all the pros and cons that come with it, because in ten centuries there have been more positive experiences than errors," Cardinal Jose Mario Bergoglio was quoted as saying in 2010, "If, for the sake of argument, western Catholicism reviewed the celibacy question I think it would do so for cultural reasons (as in the East), not so much as a universal option." "It is a question of discipline, not faith. It can be changed." But Cardinal Bergoglio added: "Personally I never considered marrying."
In their letter, the women expressed a desire to live out in the open with their partners, and to aid them in their vocation with the new found love that the ordained priests have found in them.
"Very little is known about the devastating suffering of a woman who is deeply in love with a priest." The women write.
For these priests and the 26 women who wrote to Pope Francis, theirs is a life of secrecy and fear, a relationship which cannot be expressed openly and one with no hope of bearing children.
Father Alberto Stucchi was a prior at a Cistercian abbey in Milan when he admitted to his superiors that he had fallen in love with a woman. He was ordered to keep the affair a secret according to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, however he chose to leave the order before his lover died of bone cancer.
The Vatican has not officially responded to the letter written to Pope Francis.
More about Catholic Church, Celibacy, pope francis
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