‘We’re Catholic priests who want to marry’

‘We’re Catholic priests who want to marry’

October 29 2013 at 10:56am
By Natasha Prince

Copy of ca p6 Church Archbishop Godfrey Siundu0382 DONECAPE ARGUS

Archbishop Godfrey Siundu, the first Roman Catholic priest to be married, with his wife Stella. Picture: Willem Law


Cape Town –

A group of Catholic priests have gone against one of the major tenets of their religion by renouncing its celibacy vows.

This weekend saw the launch of an “alternative” following in Langa where four Catholic priests arrived from across the country to celebrate mass at the Red Cross Centre.

About 80 congregants celebrate mass with local priest Father Fano Ngcobo, a member of the new group, at the centre.

To mark the launch, Archbishop Godfrey Siundu of the archdiocese of Kitale in Kenya was the guest of honour. He has been given his title by the Ecumenical Catholic Church – a separate denomination in the universal Christian church.

Siundu, the first Catholic priest to be publicly married, said he was in South Africa “on a mission”.

Copy of ca p6 Church Fano Ngcobo0386 DONELocal priest Father Fano Ngcobo, a member of the new group. Picture: Willem Law


He and Ngcobo have been promoting the rights of Catholic priests who are still practising their faith and say they want celibacy to be a choice, not a requirement.

“I was a priest who had a girlfriend and I felt I could no longer live in hiding,” Siundu said.

He would see his girlfriend on Friday and officiate at mass on Sunday.

“But I felt it could no longer go on like that.”

He had written letters about celibacy to his own bishop and to Rome.

During his 18 years as a priest before his marriage he had encountered many priests who were not living up to their vow of celibacy. “On a Sunday they look very holy on the altar.”

Siundu wanted to be the first to speak out about the matter and “came out”.

As he could not go back to his church, he started holding church services from his home.

“And that’s where I told them: we are going to be different. We are going to be priests who are able to marry.”

At the beginning it was very tough for both Siundu and his wife, but today his “alternative Catholic church” has a following of 30 000 congregants, and 24 validly ordained Roman Catholic priests.

They did not want to join other denominations, he said.

The alternative archbishop argued that the celibacy aspect was a rule created to manage the church.

Ncgobo said: “It’s not a biblical principle. It was brought in to manage the church, and control its assets.”

He said the alternative church was open to all – those who wanted to marry and those choosing celibacy.

“If you are able to live a celibate life and live it well, then so be it.”

The archdiocese of Cape Town was not available for comment on Monday.



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5 comments on “‘We’re Catholic priests who want to marry’

  1. I am a man who wants to fly like a bird can.

    So what?

    I can’t.

    Suck it up.

    I am fed up with people who think that just because they want to do something then … they should do it, whether it’s right or wrong, whether it’s against God’s will or not.

    Or of course .. you can just start your own church, be your own pope, make your own laws and…

    sat goodbye to God when you die and spend eternity in Hell.

  2. They will want to divorce next, then of course they will all have 11 children because they don’t contracept,, . How phony the whole celibacy crap is

  3. On the bright side, they are marrying women!

    Just hand in the frock, guys. Go join the Anglicans or your favorite prot cult. May God have mercy on you.

  4. Priests should be forced to marry. Why should they have it so easy? :)

  5. The first missionary priests and bishops to arrive on the Dark Continent (at least the ones that weren’t on the menu that night) reported back to Rome of the Good Old Days (when it was still Catholic) that polygamy was a huge obstacle to conversions.

    Perhaps, since the apostates, described above, seem to be reigning in their scope of concupiscence, even if at the risk of perdition on other grounds.

    I have heard some African priests speak of celibacy in totally orthodox terms and it would seem that the ex-priests in the article have already taken the express train to the funny farm, rendering their opinions worthless to all but their fellow heretics.

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