After the wide condemnation of the anti-/optional celibacy push by a group of German priests, with one of them (the Nigerian priests) noting that “priest having s*x will dent the holiness of the church,” and another, adding that, “Catholic doctrine does not permit Rev. Fathers to marry or have s*x,” indications have emerged that priests lusting or soliciting for s*x, the phenomenon that prompted the call in the first place, is still an issue that may not go away soon.
If the accounts rendered to our correspondents by female members of Catholic church who had encounters with randy priests are anything to go by, then the debate about whether to make celibacy an optional vow or not, is bound to reverberate, from time to time, in the course of discharging the priestly functions.
A school leaver’s shocking experience
“I just left secondary school when it happened,” reports one of the female victims. “There was a young Catholic priest. But please, I would not want to mention his name in print. So, don’t ask me for his name. The only thing I can say is that we were close family friends. But later, he joined the seminary. As a seminarian, he used to visit us at home any time he came around.
“Because the two families were very close, whenever he visited us even my parents would be so excited to see him because they knew he was going to become a priest. I am from a Catholic home, so we all know what it is to have a priest either as a relation or a friend. As God would have it, he eventually became an ordained priest. He was so lucky that it did not take him time to be assigned a parish.
The entire family was so excited. When he became a parish priest, he invited us to visit him in his parish, one after the other. When it was my turn, I decided to spend the weekend with him. He was happy to see me as much as I was. In fact, I was treated like his younger sister by his servants.
“He gave me a room to sleep in. But at night he came into the room through a link door to his bedroom. Initially, I thought he came to chat me up. So, I was relaxed. I did not think of anything s*xual happening between us. But, to my greatest shock, he went beyond that and started holding me and groping my body and tried to kiss me, something he had never done before.
I resisted it and tried to withdraw myself from him. Of course, I took him like my elder brother so I never expected such from him. But the more I tried to resist him the more he pushed himself on me and the more he touched me in an amorous way. When I expressed my shock and disappointment at what he was doing, he tried to explain to me that priests are also humans and that I should try to help him.
When I told him bluntly that I wasn’t going to do anything like that with him he begged me to just touch him so he could release himself. Still, I refused. He tried to push me on the bed and have his way by force but I threatened to shout if he dared to do what I felt was going on in his mind. He begged me not to do that and eventually left me alone.
Up till this moment that I am sharing the experience with you, I had been too shocked to tell anyone about it. Since then I never got close to him again. In fact, I had to get up and get ready early the following morning and hurriedly leave the place before anything abominable could happen between us as the relationship between us is such that allowed no such intimacy. I just left the place but I wouldn’t know what else he did to satisfy his urges.”
A priest’s desire to keep a girlfriend
Another female victim told Saturday Sun of how her school friend, one Ngozi, invited her to her elder brother’s priestly ordination. “After the event, we went to congratulate him. When we got there, Ngozi introduced me to the priest. But he winked at me in a way that showed that he liked me. But I thought nothing about it until when he later called me aside and told me that he would like me to be his girlfriend.
I was shocked to hear that because I never knew that a priest could express such a desire going by what I know about their priestly oath. When I told one of my friends about it, she too was shocked and told me that the priest was a womaniser, wondering how he was able to even become a priest. I had to leave the place and go home because I felt that God would punish me if I dared go out with an ordained priest of God.”
A priest’s s*xual overtures
There is also the case of a young final year student of Abia State University (name and course of study withheld) who claimed that a Roman Catholic priest in her parish in Imo State has been pestering her for s*x and love affair.
The lady who revealed that the priest has been doing everything possible to get her to fall for his s*xual overtures for about four years now, told Saturday Sun that it all started when she was looking for admission into the university.
“He learnt about it and helped me not only to purchase the JAMB form but to also secure an admission for me by talking to one of his lecturer-friends teaching there about it. Since then he has been helping me, giving me money, buying gifts for me. He is even the one that bought the phone I am using at present. And, with it, we have been chatting and talking. Though my father, mother and siblings know about his benefactions, it is only my mother and siblings who suspect that he might be up to something and they have been warning me about his acts of kindness.”
So, it came as no surprise to the lady when at some point along the line, the priest made his intentions known: that he wants her to be his girlfriend. The lady, a graduate of Catholic convent, who said she has known many Catholic priests who keep and have s*x with their girlfriends, since her schooldays, and for that, loathes them, said she devised many smart means of avoiding intimacy with him in their relationship. One of those tactics is to promise him that he would have her all to himself once she is through with her studies.
But that has not deterred the randy priest from trying his luck. In a recent attempt, he even went as far as crying when the lady rejected his advances, something the lady confessed almost melted her heart. But before anything could happen, she quickly recovered from her stupor. Confused and wondering what to do next, she contacted a friend who asked her to play along. We publish below a taped session of the suggestive, implicative conversation that took place between her and the priest who she said should be in his forties:
The suggestive, implicative conversation
Student: I want to know why you were crying after my refusal to your request?
Priest: I was crying because of what transpired between us. I remembered my ex-girlfriends who so loved me because of what I had in common with them. I never shared it with you because I was in love with you.
Student: I have slept on your request and I think I want to have a rethink over my decision.
Priest: I will not force you to go against your wish
Student: What if some scandal breaks out from this?
Priest: Please, you are not the only one I have dated. I have dated up to three ladies and there was no scandal. Why now? So, I know myself.
Student: Is there any other place we can do this apart from the parish house?
Priest: If you don’t want to come to my house, then we can go to a different place where no one can know our identity, like a hotel. You are the one really disturbing yourself for a place that will be safe. My past girlfriends had always come to the Parish house. We are from the same parish. So, I don’t know why yours is different. Sometimes, they come on their own without any form of scandal.
Student: If we get to be intimate what will be my benefit?
Priest: You mean, I have not done enough for you? Honestly, you will never lack and I have never let any of my girlfriends down.
Student: What if I become pregnant?
Priest: You will never get pregnant, unless you don’t know yourself; after all, you are not a baby. Moreover, I can’t sleep with you when you are not free. I promise I would not impregnate you because I have never had such a case with my other girlfriends. I am a very careful person. I don’t make mistakes.
Student: Are you trying to say what you are feeling for me is real love?
Priest: Seriously, if I don’t love you I will not try to make advances at you; that’s why I was shedding tears because I have really invested in you and now you turned me down.
Student: I hope this affair will not have any effect or bring any curse on me? And what about your vow as a priest?
Priest: Hmmm, my ex-girlfriends are happily married with kids and I am not the only priest in this act. Almost everybody has girlfriends because bodi no be firewood. We have feelings; we are human beings. Seriously, I don’t understand the area you are seeing this thing; we are not different from other people. The vow is not the primary issue, it is just a secondary matter, it is just the reaction of the body and you can’t stop it. Look, there is no priest without a girlfriend, even the elderly ones.
Student: Are bishops into this too?
Priest: Very possible, are they not human beings? Even Rev. Sisters have boyfriends; in fact, they make love.
Student: So, why not go for a Rev. Sister? Don’t you think it will be safer as you people share the same vow and belief?
Priest: I don’t like them at all, they are very troublesome; they are a distraction to me. In fact, many of them have asked me to be with them but I bluntly refused. You will not understand.
The proffered solution to the problem
The female university student said that what the priest revealed about many priests being involved in secret love affair is true. “Look, I have a cousin who has been sleeping with priests,” she swore. “Apart from that, I attended a convent and I know that many of the priests have ladies or women they sleep with to relieve s*xual tensions. If I am called upon, I am ready to point fingers at them and ask them to deny it if they can. See, I am not afraid.”
As published by Saturday Sun report of January 28, 2017, the inability of some priests to put in check their libido was what moved a group of 11 retired high-ranking Catholic priests, from Germany to request the Vatican to abolish priestly celibacy.
In an open letter, written in review of their 50 years as clergy, the clerics who were anointed in 1967 in Cologne, a city considered a Catholic stronghold, called for liberalism on the old tradition, by asking the church leadership to end the celibacy rule. They are of the opinion that every man should have the right to choose to take the vow or not as other Protestant and Orthodox Church pastors have.
About the same time, a German priest, Stefan Hartmann, who secretly fathered a daughter in 1989, eight years after he took his vow of celibacy, also sent a personal petition to Pope Francis asking him to waive his vow of celibacy, which he posted on his Facebook page.
In another post about priestly celibacy, Hartmann argued that allowing Catholic priests to remain ordained outside celibacy vows would “bring solutions and relief in many cases.” “There is a human right to partnership, marriage and parenthood, even if you can forego it willingly for religious reasons,” he said.
Hartmann also believes that abolishing the requirement for priestly celibacy could encourage more young Catholics to enter the priesthood, at a time when numbers are flagging.
In a chat with Saturday Sun, the female student who claimed to be a strong member of the Legion of Mary, advised the Pope to heed the advice of the German priests. She believes that if such provision is made, many priests and reverend sisters who are honest with themselves and their feelings would choose to opt out, instead of engaging in secret s*xual affairs that may bring the church into disrepute if they are eventually discovered and exposed, like in this case.
“With what I have seen, with many priests using cars with tinted glasses with which they carry their girlfriends and women lovers so that no one gets to seeing them, I fear for the church. There is no need living in hypocrisy,” she warned. “There is no need hiding your feeling. It is time to speak up and let the church know the danger facing it from the tribe of its priesthood.”
A priest in love, a woman’s perspective
An article, “A Priest in Love: A Woman Perspective” posted on a website, http://www.leavingthepriesthood.com/, noted that there are three options left for a priest in love. One is the celibate way, in which he tries to keep his s*xual urges under control and unexpressed and prays that his feelings will stop. To this end, he cuts off all contact with women. But it warns that this leaves him lonelier than he was before.
The second is the marital way. This option that demands that he leaves his priestly ministry is usually frightening and unacceptable to his theology, the article warns. The third option: the priest continues to carry on a clandestine s*xual relationship while maintaining his role, for as long as nothing becomes openly scandalous.
“I don’t think celibacy should be removed for the priests,” one of the Nigerian priests noted when Saturday Sun ran the story on the optional celibacy push, some months ago. “It is true that there are priests that have been involved in s*xual abuses, it is also true that there are other married people that are involved in s*xual abuses. So those who were involved did it not because they were married or not, they abused s*x because they wanted to do it and not because of marriage or no marriage; marriage has nothing to do with it, it is self-control.
There are also some married men who are involved in the illicit relationship, so someone who has no self-control even if you give him 10 women to marry, he will look for the 11th woman because his needs are insatiable.”