Church Dumps Priest Who Wed

By Nicky Phillips
Sydney Morning Herald
May 2, 2012

A SYDNEY Catholic priest who revealed he has been married for a year has been removed from his post by church officials.

Father Kevin Lee, a priest at Padre Pio parish in Glenmore Park, told Channel Seven last night he married his wife, whom he met in the Philippines, in secret last year.

''I've fallen in love and I've got married and it's outside of most people's awareness,'' he said. ''But I'm sure people within the church could have had a suspicion.''

He said his public admission was motivated by the fact that many priests led a double life. ''I think celibacy has to go,'' he said.

The head of the Diocese of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher OP, denied Father Lee's claims that most priests lived double lives and that the church knew about the priest's 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,'' Bishop Fisher said in a statement.

Father Lee said he expected his family would be ''deeply disappointed about these revelations''.

The Catholic Church says that under canon law priests are not allowed to marry and must remain celibate for life.

In 2002, while an assistant priest at a church in Baulkham Hills, Father Lee was suspended from duties for taking part in a radio competition.

Father Lee did not return the Herald's calls.

In an unrelated case, a retired Catholic priest was charged yesterday over the abuse of four children in his parishes in Sydney and the central coast over a 15-year period.

Father Finian Egan, 77, was charged with 17 counts of child abuse following a four-year police investigation.

He was granted conditional bail and will appear in Ryde Local Court on May 23.

with Nick Ralston








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