The Catholic Church requires priests to take vows of celibacy. In theory, it’s so they can focus all of their attention on God. In practice, it means they’re going to have sex in secret. That sometimes means secret relationships and secret families, with children who are effectively abandoned by their fathers. The Vatican has even admitted they have internal guidelines for priests who break the no-sex rule.
More recently, Father Jonathan Morris, a FOX News regular, said he was leaving the priesthood altogether so he could have a family without living a double life, and a separate article in The Atlantic called for the priesthood to be abolished in part because the celibacy rules have been a factor in the child sexual abuse crisis.
A priest in Kenya, however, has figured out a solution to the problem.
Peter Njogu was ordained in the Catholic Church and believes in all the doctrine… except the celibacy thing. He met someone and wanted to marry her, so there you go. His solution? He created a shadow Catholic Church where celibacy is optional.The Washington Post‘s Max Bearak reports:
Njogu’s breakaway faction, the Renewed Universal Catholic Church, is Catholic in every way except in having optional celibacy for its priests. Its growth in Kenya is rooted in opposition to the practice of keeping secret families but reflects a growing worry among some Catholics that the celibacy requirement — to many a nonnegotiable tenet of the priesthood — creates a harmful culture of sexual secrecy.
“Most of our members are ex-Catholics,” Njogu said. “They are tired of the hypocrisy. Some of our people call us the ‘Church of the Future.’ ”
In the past several years, Njogu has brought in nearly 20 priests and thousands of parishioners. His faction isn’t recognized by the Vatican, obviously — Njogu has been excommunicated from the Church — but does it matter? It has all the trappings of religion, and that’s what members want.
No doubt there’s less hypocrisy about the one thing that leads to all kinds of hypocrisy.
And to anyone who says they’re not being biblical… well, join the club. If only these groups would take a similar approach to birth control and LGBTQ rights, too.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Scott for the link)