Sunday, October 28, 2007

Don Sante - suspended "a divinis"

Yesterday's newspapers -- we're summarizing here from his hometown paper, Il Mattino di Padova -- brought the unfortunate news that Don Sante Sguotti has been completely suspended from all his priestly functions indefinitely by the bishop Mons. Antonio Mattiazzo. Don Sante is declining to appeal the suspension, describing this as a waste of time. Don Sante views the suspension as a merely bureaucratic step, not unexpected. "Nothing in my life has changed", he says, "I am still a priest." He continues to insist that his relationship with his lady friend has been chaste, that her baby is not his child biologically, and that the burden is on the Church to prove that he violated his celibacy vows. He maintains that he loves the woman and her child and does not see this statement as incompatible with being a priest.

Don Sante left the parish residence after 40 signatures (5% of the inhabitants of the community) were finally collected on a petition for his removal. The vast majority of the faithful continue to side with him.

Meanwhile Don Sante continues to work on a conference planned for November 16-18, "On the Road to Reconciliation" about the relationship of divorced, remarried and cohabiting Catholics to the Church.

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