German priest with daughter calls upon Pope Francis to release him from his vow of celibacy
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/4/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Coming forward on a German TV talk show that he fathered a daughter out of wedlock, a Catholic priest has written a letter asking Pope Francis to release him from his vow of celibacy. Stefan Hartmann, who has a parish is in Oberhaid, says that his superiors asked him to leave the priesthood after he revealed the truth about his daughter.
Priest Stefan Hartmann still feels it is his "calling to be a Catholic priest, a pastor and a theologian."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 59-year-old priest posted the letter he wrote to the Vatican on his Facebook page. "There is a human right to partnership, marriage and starting a family, even if you can voluntarily waive it for religious reasons," Hartmann wrote.
Asking Pope Francis for "a positive answer," Hartmann says that he wishes to remain a priest despite renouncing his celibacy vow. Such a decision would "bring solutions and relief in many cases," Hartmann wrote.
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"I tried to walk the road of celibacy again, but since 2007 I have realized more and more that I am just not up to it," he wrote. "I have known for some years now that the oath I took after just two and a half years of seminary training was too rushed, and did not reflect the constitution of my character."
Hartmann still feels it is his "calling to be a Catholic priest, a pastor and a theologian."
Speaking on the evening cha show "Nachtcafe," Hartmann wanted to report that "he is infinitely happy about his great daughter-friend and proud of her."
The doctoral theologian said that he previously denied his child for years in order not to risk his Church career. "The long silence was cowardly and nothing good came of it," the priest is quoted as saying.
Still serving the Church still, he has confessed to openly living a lie. Encouraged to go public by Pope Francis. In addition, he was making an objective discussion of the obligation to celibacy for diocesan priests.
The Pope did not want go into the solitude of the Apostolic Palace, "which can easily be as hard as the loneliness of rectories, which are often too large," says the priest. The priest emphasized that he wouldn't want to call into question the meaning of the celibate life of many priests and religious.
Disciplinary consequences against Hartmann are not being considered at this point.
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