A Catholic priest in Australia has made a controversial revelation: he has been married to a Filipina for a year now.
According to Yahoo! Australia's 7News, Father Kevin Lee, a priest for 20 years in Glenmore Park, Sydney, admits "living a double life" with his wife Josephina, whom he met in the Philippines.
“So I've fallen in love and I've got married and it's outside of most people's awareness, but I'm sure people within the church could have had a suspicion,” Lee told 7News.
The Australian priest claimed that there are many others like him and that he pitied those “sacrificing” priests around the world who are denying themselves a relationship.
“That's one of the reasons that motivated me to make public my admission that I'm one of those people who's been a pretender: To draw to the attention of the public that there are more like me, in fact most of them,” Lee was quoted as saying.
“I feel sorry for them, I really do, but I think they need to admit they are not being led properly. I think celibacy has to go as a prerequisite for being a minister in the Catholic religion,” he added.
While urging for the abolition of celibacy, Lee also plans to write a book about what he believes is the wider wrongdoing of fellow priests.
However, after making a public confession of his marriage, 7News reported that Lee has been removed from his position as parish priest and has been excommunicated by the church.
The head of the diocese, Bishop Anthony Fisher, denied Lee's claim that most priests live double lives and that the hierarchy knew of his marriage.
“As Father Kevin is aware, by his actions he can no longer operate as a priest and as a result I will immediately be appointing an administrator to Padre Pio parish,” Fisher said in a statement.