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Portugal: Catholic priests quitting church 'to marry'

In Portugal, more and more priests are quitting their vocation - often without applying for official dispensation - apparently because they want to marry.

Read more: Portugal: Catholic priests quitting church 'to marry'

Pope Francis Says 'Door Is Always Open' to rethink priestly celibacy

Women who love priests

A Woman's Hour Programme first broadcast on 4th September 2003




In 1993, a young Roman Catholic priest, Father Sean Seddon, killed himself. He had fallen in love with a woman, Jan Curry, and could not reconcile his love and his desire to marry her with his calling to the priesthood which demands celibacy.

Jan Curry spoke to Jenni and she explained how their relationship and how she's campaigned for the Roman Catholic Church to lift its ban on the marriage of priests.
But apart from the admittance of those married Anglican Clergy who left their own Church in protest at the ordination of women to join the Roman Catholic priesthood, there has been no shift in policy.
Father Frances Marsden ministers to the parish of St Joseph's in Adlington near Manchester and is a columnist for the Catholic Times and Jan Walker is married to the chairman of the Advent Group, an orgnaisation which supports Catholic priests who have married. Her husband Alex was a priest. They join Jenni to discuss.

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour - 30/05/14 at 10:00am

Earlier this month, 26 women wrote to Pope Francis, asking him to make priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church optional. When the Pope was asked about the issue earlier this week, he said that while he sees celibacy as “a gift to the church”, he feels that “the door is always open” to change. According to Advent, the support group for men and women and their partners who have left the active ministry, in the last 50 years some 10,000 men in England and Wales have left the priesthood in order to marry. So could celibacy ever be optional in the Catholic Church? Jenni is joined by Alex Walker, who left the priesthood to marry 25 years ago and now runs Advent, and Madeleine Teahan, Associate Editor of the Catholic Herald.

In Confidence

12 August 2010

Catherine Deveney meets Adrianna Alsworth who, upon her husband's death, began a secret affair with a priest which resulted in her giving birth to two of his children. Adrianna set up a support group, Sonflowers, for women who have children fathered by supposedly celibate Catholic priests.


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Advent Group celebrates the 40 anniversary of its inauguration in 2009...