NZ Catholic Church admits 'a small number' of children here were fathered by priests

February 5, 2018

[with video]

The head of an Irish support group for the children of Catholic priests says there are several in New Zealand - and the church has acknowledged it.

Vincent Doyle of Coping International has appealed to New Zealand's Catholic Bishops to address the issue of supposedly-celibate priests fathering children, and then leaving those children to be cared for by their mothers.

Mr Doyle claims that six New Zealanders have joined his support group.

A spokesperson for NZ Catholic Bishops has confirmed to 1 NEWS that "there is a small number of people here, whose father is a priest".

The spokesperson also said that their organisation is "aware that New Zealand civic society has good guidelines around a child’s right to know his or her natural parents".

"For our Bishops, what is important is that the rights and sensitivities of the child and the mother are respected.

"In other words, this is a pastoral situation where a listening ear and heart are vital.

"Also, our Bishops firmly believe that being the father of a child carries with it responsibilities which again would need to be discussed with the child and mother.

"Bishops in one country do not necessarily adopt guidelines from another country, but the Irish guidelines may well prove to be a useful resource."



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