Vatican has rules for priests who father children

There has been an epidemic of rapes of underage girls in India in recent years sparking protests and some legislative changes

There has been an epidemic of rapes of underage girls in India in recent years sparking protests and some legislative changes

"I can confirm that these guidelines exist".

Vincent Doyle, an Irish man, told NYT that he discovered his godfather Rev. John J. Doyle was actually his biological father when he was 28 years old.

The Vatican has also confirmed that its department overseeing the world's priests has general guidelines for what to do when clerics break celibacy vows and have children.

The Vatican has confirmed the existence of these rules, with spokesman Alessandro Gisotti confirming to the newspaper that "these guidelines exist" while adding that it is "an internal document".

Well, honestly, I think the answer to that question depends on where you are in the world.

"For this reason, the document ordinarily requires that the priest present a request for dispensation from the duties of the clerical state and, as a layman, assume his responsibilities as a parent by devoting himself exclusively" to their child.

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The discovery led him to create a global support group, Coping International, to help other children of priests like him.

While the protocol asks clergy to abandon their calling, the "request" is more of a non-binding formality, Monsignor Andrea Ripa, the under-secretary in the Congregation for the Clergy, said, noting that the rule is almost "impossible to impose". But Doyle told The New York Times that his support group website has 50,000 users in 175 countries.

As part of their vows Catholic priests are required to maintain a life of celibacy, refraining from any form of sexual activity. In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury published a report that identified 301 predator priests and more than 1,000 victims.

Pope Francis recently moved to acknowledge, for the first time, the rape and sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops operating within the Catholic Church.

The Pope added that more should be done. "This is the choice and the decision of the whole church".

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