- Aug 3, 2020
Discussions surrounding sexual abuse and immorality in the Church should also address the challenges and injustices facing children of priests and religious, said the founder of a support website for such children.
The Irish bishops’ conference has left open the possibility that a priest who fathers a child could remain in the priesthood under certain circumstances, such as if it’s in the best interest of the child and if the priest respects his vow of celibacy going forward.
Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors told The Associated Press on Sunday that a working group is looking into developing guidelines that can be used by dioceses around the world to ensure that children born to priests are adequately cared for, after Irish bishops published guidelines earlier this year that focused on ensuring the well-being of the child and the mother.
The bishops of Ireland say that in the case of a child fathered by a Catholic priest, the priest should not walk away from his responsibilities – legal, moral and financial. The guidelines written by the Irish Bishops’ Conference were written as the Vatican faces a deadline to respond to UN recommendations to “assess the number of children fathered by Catholic priests, find out who they are and take all necessary measures to ensure that the rights of those children to know and to be cared for by their fathers is respected.”