police chaplain and currently pastor of Padre Pio Catholic Church in Glenmore Park, Australia, had already been suspended once by the Church in 2002 for participating in a radio contest in which he was "jailed" in a former prison in Melbourne for three weeks. He shared a cell with a former strip club manager. The priest and seven other contestants were required to perform stunts that were filmed and broadcast such as an egg-eating competition and, in Fr. Lee's case, reciting an advertisement for a potency treatment called Horny Devil Weed.
Fr. Lee won the competition, winning a car -- which he kept -- and A$20,000 in prize money which he donated to a hostel for homeless men in Sydney. The priest also claims that attendance at his church increased dramatically, especially among young people, following the competition, and that he even managed to convert the strip club manager to Christianity during the time of their "incarceration". He also claimed that his bishop, the Rt Rev Kevin Manning, had approved of his involvement and even tuned in occasionally. Nonetheless, following complaints from some parishioners about the contest, Fr. Lee was suspended for a period.
Fr. Lee's latest "stunt", however, will likely result in a permanent suspension. This week, the priest stunned his congregation and readers of his weekly column in The Glenmore Gazette, by going on 7 News and revealing that he has been secretely married for over a year to a woman he met in the Philippines named Josefina and has simply been "going through the motions" of being a priest.
Fr. Lee, who has been a priest for over 20 years, said he no longer wants to live a double life. He told his interviewer that mandatory celibacy "has to go" and that he knows too many other priests who are falling down and, like himself, living double lives. He is promising to write a tell-all book on the subject. His final newspaper column, not yet available online, is a public apology to his parishioners.