How Many Children Have Been Fathered By “Celibate” Priests

Because these births are part of a secret society, we will not know the exact number. Recently, the Boston Globe ran a two part series about children whose fathers are priests. It included many interviews with these children in adulthood. They lived complicated and often unhappy lives carrying with them a secret and often feelings of guilt.

We all know there are gazillions of babies born from secret sexual relationships and many of these children will have problems dealing with their circumstances. Children of priests have an even bigger hill to climb because their own religious devotion to the church is sometimes involved and the confusion that entails.

So far, the Catholic Church has refused to take any responsibility for these children. Priests seldom provide financial support. Some interviewees had priest fathers who played a role in their lives and were instructed to refer to the priest as “uncle”, not “dad”.

The Church’s rules on priest celibacy was not the only problem. When the mother was married, as was the case with one interviewed man, the divorce taboo was so powerful the children had to be reared by a mother and an angry husband who knew the priest who had fathered the child. The child looked like the priest and the probably the husband was reminded of his wife’s infidelity every day.

The Catholic Church should recognize this is a permanent problem. There always have been and always will be children of “celibate” priests.

The solution, eliminate celibacy and the divorce/remarry taboo. Join the human community.

32 Responses

  1. entech

    So sad, all these priests being victims of scheming women. Treacherous daughters of Eve. So sad for the priests were the spirit is willing but the flesh is week.
    Tell us about it Matt.just like the so called paedophiles are actually the victims as you once said.

    1. entech 6:54 So sad, all these priests being victims of scheming women. Treacherous daughters of Eve.

      “Victims” is the operative word, here, for the father Fathers.

      1. I wasn’t going to bring up speculative numbers, but since you did I’ll mention the number in the link I provided. He said if one percent of priests fathered one child, the number of children would be 4,000 world wide. If half a percent fathered one child the number would be 2,000. He said it is apparent the number of priests who father children is much bigger than the number who sexually abuse children.

        All religions live in one way or another in a la la land. The Catholic church especially, pretending it has a prohibition against birth control when nearly all Catholic practice it. It pretends marriages that end in divorce did not happen. It pretends it can stop abortions.

        1. entech

          Among its other pretences we have:
          The Roman Catholic Church claims direct apostolic descent from Peter and believes itself to be the truest authoritative expression of Christianity. Historically, Roman Catholicism became distinct in the Middle Ages when the Eastern church and the Western church split in what is called the Great Schism of 1054 A.D. The Eastern church is now typically referred to as Eastern Orthodoxy, while the Western church came to be referred informally as the Roman Catholic Church (Catholics call their church The Catholic Church, pointing to the many eastern Catholic rites which are part of it, thus denying that they are solely a Western church). However, both groups trace a lineage back to the time at which they separated, and from that point back, as a united church, to the time of the Apostles. Roman Catholicism specifically traces itself back to Linus, bishop and successor of Peter in leadership of the first century Church at Rome. This is supported by the writings of Irenaeus, who lived and wrote in the latter part of the second century
          Not to mention:
          the doctrine of Transubstantiation, the veneration and intercession of deceased saints, prayers for the dead, purgatory, the immaculate conception and bodily assumption of Mary, and papal infallibility.

          1. entech 9:03 From an amateurs observation, it seems both branches, Eastern and Roman, can claim, and I think do claim, to go back to Peter. Understandably, they disagree on some things.

  2. Juan Ruiz

    ” eliminate celibacy”

    It was based on money, ignored from the beginning, and is now anachronistic.

    1. entech

      Of course, no spouse no legal offspring to claim a share of anything the Church considered to be rightly its and its alone.

  3. Jinx II

    …….and some people wonder why I want nothing to do with this church or any other organized religion. They make a mockery of their own teachings and dogma yet claim they hold the moral framework on which people and families can build their beliefs. My heart bleeds for the children of priests but I spit on the church and priests who abandoned their moral and financial responsibility for these innocent victims.

      1. Rob 7:04 I wonder if any children have been born of atheists out of wedlock?

        I wonder if any atheists claim they are special because they are in the linage since St. Peter.

      2. entech

        As more and more people choose to live without the “benefit” of wedlock and more and more people are accepting atheism (agnosticism, spiritual but not religious and other such terms) there would be more children born To unmarried parents and more such parents would be non-believers. So not only “some” but probably an increasing number.
        Do you have a judgement on this? Do you judge the child as bastard or the parents as immoral (are your priests the leaders of morality?)

        I wonder what is more correct born to or born of, born of has a kind of Biblical sound to it.

        A more important consideration would be how many children are born atheist, IMHO all of them, just like racial hatred and so on religion has to be taught. Commonly the religion taught is that of the parents.

        Given your claim to having multiple husbands’ do you also have multiple children, by, to, with perhaps even from them. ???

      3. Jinx II

        Simple answer Heather, of course there are ow kids born to athiest mothers, but not near as many born by christian mothers, per capita, that is. Lets not forget the number of christian mothers who carried their priests love child.

      4. Juan Ruiz

        Lay people in general, and atheists in particular, do not take a vow of chastity. So you pondering is irrelevant to the topic. That priests have ignored that vow from the beginning simply shows it’s of no real importance.

          1. Jinx II

            It is the RCC who claims to be the moral high ground for all of us; as this blog topic demonstrates they anything but.

            BTW, Juan, Entech, Jon, Grandma and all others like them are free to answer on my behalf. They know the truth and can spot an imposter fro far away my transgendered ‘friend’ Heather/Rob.

          2. entech

            Jinx, I did try to think of a suitable response. But that weird mindset that shows through just makes it impossible to “keep up”

  4. Juan Ruiz

    Near the top of the list of father fathers has to be Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), who not only sired Cesare and Lucrezia, but also Lucrezia’s child.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        Yes, heard that story some years ago.

        For a great history on the Papacy, I’d suggest John Julius Norwich, “Absolute Monarchs,” Random House, 2011.

    1. entech

      Calm down Catcher, not like you to let your imagination run so pruriently.

      Incidentally I think Juan meant the father of the child who was also a Father of the Church. Of course there may connotations here that are completely lost on me.

      I do think Martin Luther had possibly the best attitude to personal relationships, man and wife. Can’t remember the wording but the effect was that he should make her sad to see him go away and that she should make him happy to return. Catholicism would just rip them apart and end it, no relationships allowed.

      1. Catcher

        @ 10;30; Thought I would use words the “fathers” would understand. “Prurient” not being in their vocabulary. Of course if it was done on “the chair”, it would “Pure”. One of the “fathers” told his victim it was agape. That made it OK. Some word smiths huh?

        Where is Matt?

      2. entech 10:30 Catholicism would just rip them apart and end it, no relationships allowed.

        That’s the curious thing about Catholic dogma. I suppose there is and always has been a big bureaucracy in the clergy hierarchy cranking out stuff about “family”. The church claims to be pro family. Yet, I’d paraphrase the Catholic position of family as “family units are good but only under certain very prescribed conditions. Family, per se, is not necessarily good.” So, out with family units formed after a divorce. Gay family units, no way. Family units that use birth control to time births, sin and more sin. Small numbers of children in a family, evidence of sin. Priests with families, forgetaboutit.

        1. Juan Ruiz

          Well, let us not forget Jesus himself repudiated his family, in one of the stranger pericopes found in the gospels.

          1. Juan 12:25 Well, let us not forget Jesus himself repudiated his family, in one of the stranger pericopes found in the Bible.

            I’m always amused with a thread title on a Christian parody site I visit, “Do you hate your mother as much as Jesus hated his? You should.”

          2. Juan Ruiz

            ““Do you hate your mother as much as Jesus hated his? You should.””

            As I said, it’s a rather strange story. Found in MK 3, it’s incorporated in MT 12 and Luke 8. Now in MK it isn’t a problem, since there is no Nativity. But in both MT and LK you have Mary told Jesus is the Son of God. So why on earth does she show up to take him away, thinking him mad?

            It’s an insight into the composition of the gospels. They are a potpourri of cut and pasted independent stories, not one cohesive narrative created by one author. Which helps explain the contradictions: different stories circulated about the same event. MT, e.g., seems unconcerned with continuity. This story repeats one of his favorite Leitmotivs: “He came and his people knew him not.” This begins with the Magi, strangers from afar.

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