I say purported, because while he may be married in the eyes of the State, on the face of it his Holy Orders make any valid marriage in the eyes of the Church impossible.
But absolutely compounding the scandal is the fact, that , as a reader has alerted me, he has placed a poll on whether priests should be allowed to marry on his parish website!**
I'm assuming Bishop Fisher will move swiftly to have this taken down, but in the meantime do go and vote, and help send the right message!
**Update: As at Thursday am the poll has been removed.
And a commenter has claimed that the poll was put up by a parishioner, not the priest himself.
*** And for an excellent summation of the sins of Fr Kevin and the media treatment of the Church on this subject, have a read of this excellent article in The Punch by Bernard Toutounji. Here is a sample:
"The scandal is never in our struggle and the scandal is not even when we fall. The scandal is when we portray our vices as virtues, try to justify our erroneous judgement and then sell that judgement to others as a truth to be believed.
Many of those commenting on the news story about Father Kevin were quick to congratulate him on finding true love before deriding the Catholic Church for “making” him live a lonely and unfulfilled life all these past years. This is strange logic.
The priest who abandons the promises he freely made at ordination is no more a hero than the married man who abandons his wife for a younger woman. Both priesthood and marriage are vocations for life and both involve decisions that inevitably say no to potential future options. Both marriage and priesthood are life choices, not career paths. The woman who chooses to get involved with a priest ought to be careful, for if he takes his vows to the Church so lightly, why would he be more faithful when it comes to making vows in marriage?"
Please pray that this priest may be moved to repentance...