Catholic priests who father children must face up to their legal, moral and financial responsibilities, according to new guidelines approved by bishops in Ireland.
The guidelines, revealed by the Irish Times, say the priest ‘should face up to his responsibilities – legal, moral and financial. At a minimum, no priest should walk away from his responsibilities.’
The guidelines say it is vital that a child’s mother as primary caregiver and ‘moral agent in her own right’ be acknowleged. Mother and child must not be left ‘isolated or excluded’.
The guidelines are titled Principles of Responsibility Regarding Priests who Father Children While in Ministry.
Although approved by bishops four months ago, they have not been officially published yet by the Church.
Doyle’s website to help the children of priests is backed by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.
Doyle also contacted the Boston Globe, resulting in their investigation into the lives of children of Catholic priests. The Globe reports: ‘By any reasonable measure, there are thousands of others who have strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests, though most are unaware that they have so much company in their pain. In Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay,and other countries, in American cities big and small – indeed, virtually anywhere the church has a presence – the children of priests form an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect, a Spotlight Team review has found.’