Father Hans Kung, a longtime critic of certain Catholic tenets, has renewed his fight with the Catholic Church by telling French newspaper Le Monde that Pope Benedict XVI is too isolated to deal with the issue of celibacy.
Kung’s critical stance is reflective of the way many priests feel and act, according to one Eastern Rite Catholic priest whose recent book exposes what he says is a serious flaw in Catholic doctrine.
Confessions of a Passionate Priest by Father Ameen (not his real name) graphically highlights the problems engendered by celibacy rules, including the breaking of sacred vows. In a no-holds-barred account, the author describes sexual liaisons and extramarital affairs in sizzling detail.
Father Ameen says he believes that celibacy is counter to a productive priesthood and points to fellow Eastern Rite priests in Lebanon, who are allowed to marry and still serve their parishes, as proof.
“The Church is failing to address a very basic human need,” says Father Ameen. “How can they say that consensual sex is a sin? If two people love each other and care about each other, they should be allowed to have sex.”
Father Ameen recounts his own battles with celibacy in his book, which details his affair with a married woman and the fallout that lost him his parish. His book also delves into the differences between how Church leadership is talking and how local leaders are acting, including:
- How local leaders often ignore intimate relationships as long as they don’t go public
- How common it is for priests to have these relationships
- The realization by local leadership that punishing every priest who ignores celibacy would lead to an even more severe shortage of priests
- How the threat of litigation was the only reason he was punished for his relationship
“I love the Church,” says Father Ameen, “but it does have some rules that serve no one. There is plenty of proof that priests can engage in intimate relationships and still serve God.”
Father Ameen remains dedicated to the priesthood despite his contradiction of specific Church rules. He currently lives in an undisclosed location in the United States, preferring to remain anonymous to avoid recrimination.
Confessions of a Passionate Priest by Father Ameen; ISBN: 0-9816892-0-5; $14.95; 224 pages; 5½” x 8½”; softcover; East Mountain Books