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Critic of priestly celibacy says many clerics quitting ministry

June 05, 2014

Hundreds of Portuguese priests have abandoned their ministry in order to marry, according to an advocate for a married priesthood.

Fernando Felix Pereira did not provide statistical evidence for his claim, but said that he knew six priests who had recently left the clergy, “refusing to go through the procedure of applying for a dispensation.” He said that in his own case, the formal process took 18 months before he was released from his vows.


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jun. 06, 2014 9:57 AM ET USA

    With no statistical evidence, in fact no evidence at all beyond his anecdotal observation, this isn't much of a story. And then when we learn he himself was personally involved in the matter, his his "witness" becomes little more than a propaganda ploy.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Jun. 06, 2014 7:22 AM ET USA

    Please pray for good, holy, persevering priests. The formation of priests is so very important, and these times are so very difficult for keeping eyes and hearts fixed on Christ and his example of sacrifice. Priests must remain close to the sacred heart of our Lord through prayer and generosity. It is a life of sacrifice that can be joyful in the Lord.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jun. 05, 2014 9:45 PM ET USA

    Special pleading from someone with a years-long agenda. Catholic parishes can barely afford to support a small number of unmarried clergy. Are Catholics willing to pony up to support a wife and four or five or more children as well? Maybe in the isolated cases of Anglican and Lutheran ministers who come in under the pastoral provisions, but not in large numbers.