By RFIPosted on 18-01-2020Modified on 18-01-2020 at 22:37
The controversy over priestly celibacy raged this week at the Vatican. The "reformist" camp opposes that of the Conservatives. But some within the Church did not wait for things to change. This is the case of Godfrey Shiundu, who left the Catholic Church to be able to marry his partner and take care of his daughter.
However, this controversy has the merit of throwing a spotlight on the celibacy of priests, a thorny subject if ever there was one. This is at least the opinion of former priest Godfrey Shiundu, who left the Catholic Church to be able to marry his partner and take care of his daughter. He is today “bishop for Africa” of the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ, a Christian Church which authorizes the marriage of priests.
► Also read: Marriage of priests: Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah fundamentally against
Can a Catholic priest have sex? For many priests, the answer is not simple. When Godfrey Shiundu was ordained in 1994, most of his colleagues, he says, had mistresses.
“ In my heart of hearts, I asked myself: is this really the life I want? Sleep with a woman on Saturday evening and say mass on Sunday morning ? It was then that I started to ask myself questions. "
Things get complicated when he meets a nurse who will give him a daughter. Father Shiundu feels guilty, especially when the child ends up asking for her father.
" She kept asking her mother, " Where's my father? Why doesn't he live with us? Why can't we go for walks together? " That's when I said to myself, that enough. "
Father Shiundu delves into the history of the Church and finally understands that the marriage of priests was commonplace until the Middle Ages: " All of a sudden, it struck me: celibacy is only a rule of life of the Church is not a command from God. "
In 2003, Father Shiundu decides to end his double life. He will be excommunicated before joining an American Church which, for its part, authorizes the marriage of the clergy. A priest will come from the United States to celebrate his union and welcome him to his new Church. Godfrey Shiundu, now “bishop for Africa” of the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ, lives with his wife, Stella, and their daughter, Natalia.
► Read also: Celibacy of priests: "The pressures will not stop François"
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