By vocation, they promised eternal love to God and swore fidelity to the Catholic Church, but sometimes nature gets the upper hand and, even though they try to resist temptation, they end up falling into sin. Some priests live double lives, but others -- and the number is growing -- ask dispensation from celibacy in order to get married. In Portugal, along with the crisis of lack of candidates [for the priesthood] which has been responsible for the closing of various parishes from the north to the south of the country, there are those priests who abandoned their roles along the way. Although the Church does not confirm the number due to lack of national data, it has been estimated that at least 500 priests have left the priesthood. "In the Name of the Father", an extensive news segment by Rita Sousa Tavares, includes testimony of priests who found another vocation -- that of father of the family.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Those viewers who understand Portuguese really should check out this video from Portugal that talks about the priest shortage and celibacy in that country. It includes interviews with a man who left the Church to get married and a married Anglican priest who rejoined the Catholic Church as a married priest, among others. It really covers the story from every angle in what appears, from my limited understanding of Portuguese, to be a fair and balanced way. Here is an (approximate) English translation of the promotional blurb on TVI's Web site: