Polish priests want to marry

Citing feelings of loneliness, isolation and misunderstanding, a survey by a Polish Catholic weekly has found that up to 60 per cent of priests in the late Pope John Paul II's central European homeland want to marry and have families.

As the social status of priests and respect for the priesthood declines, more and more priests are considering leaving the priesthood, according to a survey published by Poland's respected intellectual Catholic weekly, Tygodnik Powszechny weekly.

"Not everyone can cope with the fact that at the beginning of the 21st century priests are no longer regarded as the priest they knew in their youth," Jesuit priest and psychologist Jacek Prusak told the Polish weekly, according to a German report.

But according to an unpublished study, so far only one third of young priests who quit the priesthood do so for the sake of a woman.

"The main reason (for quitting the priesthood) are existential problems and ideals," according to the study's author Jozef Baniak of Poznan's Adam Mickiewicz university.

"A woman, if she appears, is in the background," he added.

"First there is a crisis of the priest's identity and then he looks for someone in whom he can confide his problem," says Baniak.

With more than 90 per cent of its population declaring itself Catholic, Poland remains among the most staunchly Roman Catholic countries in the world.

Catholic priests in Poland want to marry (DNA India, 5/2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Tygodnik Powszechny

Vatican calls married priest summit over Milingo (CathNews, 15/11/06)
Married Archbishop excommunicated over illicit ordinations (CathNews, 27/9/06)
Married priests on agenda for new Eastern Rite bishops association (CathNews, 30/8/06)
Council of Priests argues for married clergy (CathNews 4/10/05)

7 Feb 2007