AP NEWS

Vatican has a secret process to deal with priests that father children: Report

February 19, 2019

The Vatican has an established process to deal with priests who father children, a Holy See spokesperson confirmed to The New York Times on Monday.

“I can confirm that these guidelines exist,” Alessandro Grisotti, director of the Holy See Press office, wrote to The New York Times. “It is an internal document.”

He explained that the document focuses on the “protection of the child” and requests that the priest leave the order to “assume his responsibilities as a parent by devoting himself exclusively to the child.”

Vincent Doyle, who discovered he was the son of a priest, first informed The Times about the guidelines and said others like him are called “children of the ordained.”

“I was shocked they had a term for it,” Mr. Doyle told The Times.

The children are sometimes born from affairs, while others are from cases of abuse.

The confirmation from the Vatican on these guidelines comes as bishops from around the world convene this week to address the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

The church has spent months dealing with several investigations exposing the reverberating consequences of decades of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.