German priest asks Pope Francis personally to waive his vow of celibacy

German priest asks Pope Francis personally to waive his vow of celibacy April 30, 2014

This is highly unusual: 

German priest Stefan Hartmann has sent a personal petition to Pope Francis asking him to waive his vow of celibacy, which he posted on his Facebook page.

As Francis continues his leadership of the Catholic Church, many have wondered whether there will be a change in the requirement of priestly celibacy, a practice which has gone on for hundreds of years.

Hartmann secretly fathered a daughter in 1989, eight years after he took his vow of celibacy, reports The He revealed her existence on a televised talk show in January of this year, causing his superiors to ask him to step down from his position. However, he seeks a path which will allow him to remain a priest while raising his daughter in a family.

In the letter, Hartmann asked to be released from the traditional oath “in acknowledgement of my weaknesses and failures, with all due humility and after long consideration of my conscience and personal situation.”

In another post about priestly celibacy, Hartmann argues that allowing Catholic priests to remain ordained outside of celibacy vows would “bring solutions and relief in many cases.”

“There is a human right to partnership, marriage and parenthood, even if you can forego it willingly for religious reasons,” he said.

Read more. 

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