It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: Twenty-six women wrote a letter to the Pope …
But it’s a reality reported by the site Vatican Insider: 26 Italian women who are having affairs with Catholic priests have written the Pope asking him to end the church’s celibacy vow.
The women reportedly met each other through Facebook and bonded over their shared clandestine relationships. Their joint letter requested a meeting with Pope Francis, asking him to consider how “very little is known about the devastating suffering of a woman who is deeply in love with a priest.” They explains how these couples are forced to hide their relationships, complicating the matter of having children, and are often left “scarred” by their secrecy.
In their letter they continued:
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. … 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.
You can read the full letter here.
Vatican Insider also pointed to data that shows 46,000 priests have left the church between 1970 and 1995 for marriage and other reasons. I am not Catholic, so I don’t feel it’s my place to really comment on this. But it does seem like a heartbreaking situation that could easily be resolved.[Vatican Insider (1)] [Vatican Insider (2)] [Telegraph UK] [Reuters]
Original by Jessica Wakeman