Catholic priest fights for the right to marry

Slovak priest Michal Lajcha has written a book criticizing obligatory celibacy. He has also unveiled a memorial plaque for Father Rudolf Klucha who saved 300 people during WW2 but was never recognized because he had fathered three children.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Catholic priest fights for the right to marry - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

We rarely see any revolt in the Catholic Church, and as a result, this new book about celibacy, written by a charismatic young priest, has gotten a lot of attention in the media.

"Sexual molestation scandals and deviations have a certain connection with celibacy," says Father Michal Lajcha in "The Tragedy of Celibacy".

According to him, despite the celibacy rule, many Slovak priests have relationships with women and father children.

Lajcha is the superintendent of the parish in the small village of Kľak. During World War II, the pastor was Rudolf Klucha, who openly admitted his having fathered three children. When the Church demanded that he abandon their mother and send his children to an orphanage, he refused. In January 1945, Father Klucha saved 300 people from execution by the Nazis, but his feat was ignored because of his conflict with the Church.

Above everything, Michal Lajcha want an open discussion about celibacy in the Church. He is convinced that it brings no benefits.

Details from the story:

  • Michal Lajcha's book is called "The Tragedy of Celibacy".
  • Lajcha is awaiting a suspension from the Catholic Church because his book is not approved by the Church. Slovak priests are denied to the right speak publicly without the permission of a bishop.
  • According to Polish journalist and theologist Marcin Wójcik (who published a book called "Celibacy") priests with children are not rare, especially in the villages.
  • Polish sociologist Józef Baniak surveyed 1000 Polish priests and found that 68% of them are in a relationship with a woman and 15% have children with them. Almost 80% of priests expressed their desire to have a wife.
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