Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Pope has received a letter signed by 26 Italian women who admit to have feelings for a priest or a monk and are asking for a review of the celibacy law

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider
The Pope has received a letter signed by 26 Italian women who admit to have feelings for a priest or a monk and are asking for a review of the celibacy law
ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY
“Dear Pope Francis, we are a group of women from all over Italy (and further afield) and are writing to you to break down the wall of silence and indifference that we are faced with every day. Each of us is in, was or would like to start a relationship with a priest we are in love with.” This is the letter’s opening statement. The 26 women signed with just their name and the initial letter of their surname, plus the name of their hometown, but they did write their surnames and telephone numbers on the envelope. All of them claim to be in a relationship with a priest. The women say they are just “a small sample” but add that they are writing on behalf of many other women who are “living in silence.”

“As you are well aware,” the letter reads, “a lot has been said by those who are in favour of optional celibacy but very little is known about the devastating suffering of a woman who is deeply in love with a priest. We humbly place our suffering at your feet in the hope that something may change, not just for us, but for the good of the entire Church.”

“We love these men, they love us,” the 26 women write in their letter, “and in most cases, despite all efforts to renounce it, one cannot manage to give up such a solid and beautiful bond. Unfortunately, this brings with it all the pain of not being able “to live it fully”. This continuous giving and then letting go is soul destroying. When this enormous pain leads to a definitive separation, the consequences are no less devastating and both parties are often scarred for life. The only other alternatives are either for the priest to abandon the priesthood or for the relationship to carry on in secret.”