Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The added scandal of Fr Kevin Lee: vote no to priests marrying!**

The big story of the day here was the priest of Parramatta diocese who has been suspended because he purported to marry someone secretly a year ago.

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...


Observatory Catholic said...

For pictures of the wedding and to support a Blog the disapproves of priest's breaking their vow of celibacy, go to:

The Word This Week said...

While I disagree with this man breaking his commitment to celibacy in this way, I am on the whole opposed to mandatory celibacy for the priesthood.

I don't believe that it adds enough value to the office to be mandatory - encouraged perhaps, but mandatory no. I believe the greatest service the pope could do for his priests would be to relax the rules around celibacy.

Despite my personal views though, I reiterate my objection to this particular priest breaking his commitment in the way he did (dishonestly in secret) and then the subsequent way that he has attacked the church. That I would argue indicates a failure in the discernment of this mans calling from both him and the church.

Of course I am not a Roman Catholic though so my opinion won't be likely to sway your views :)

Paul said...

On the issue of Fr Kevin Lee adding a poll about Married Priests in your article, that is incorrect. I am one of the administrators of the parish website and it was a member of the parish that posted it NOT Fr Kevin.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it most surprising that Kevin Lee posted this on his parish website to answer a simple question from a mother whether Catholics are allowed to get married in an Anglican church. If you read the link most precisely, he is has done just exactly what King Henry the VIII sins. And yet he has the guts to criticize other religions for their choice of right. I suggest for you to read the link. This is utter Hypocricy for Kevin Lee.

Anonymous said...

Sharon said:

@ "The Word This week", there is not and never has been "mandatory celibacy for the priesthood" in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has never forced any person to be celibate, nor has she ever forced any man to become a priest.

The Latin-rite Catholic Church ordains a man as a priest (or transitional deacon) only after he has already freely and voluntarily committed himself to celibacy after many years of carefully thinking and praying about whether he wants to make such a commitment.

The normal minimum age of ordination in the Catholic Church is 25. It is commonly claimed by those who claim authority in such matters that a man's sexual drive is at its peak between the ages of 18 and 25. The Church also will not ordain a man unless he has shown the ability to live chastely as a single man for at least the previous several years. So if such a man at 25+ years old voluntarily commits himself to celibacy, it can't really be argued that his celibacy will "become" a hardship later in life. The idea that sexual activity is absolutely essential for human fulfilment and happiness is an error invented (without any evidence) by Freud which has sadly permeated most of western society.