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Priest demands brides have virginity certificate

A priest in Brazil is refusing to marry women without a certificate to prove they are virgins.

Fr Natal Antonio Mella, from Petrolina of Goias, only accepts certificates from doctors he appoints. He publishes his decisions on whether he will marry would-be brides in his church newspaper.

Residents of the small town in the north of the country are said to be angry at his decision.

His bishop, Manoel Pestana, has told him to change his mind.

The priest told Terra Noticias Populares: "The church doesn't allow women who are not virgins to get married."

He says he will allow other priests to marry non-virgins in his church but says he won't perform the ceremonies himself.

Diocese of Anapolis


3 Apr 2002