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Synod sparks hope for priestly celibacy and marriage change

Vatican Synod sparks hope for priestly celibacy and marriage change

A young Kenyan clergyman hopes the question of priestly celibacy and marriage is answered in his favour during the synod of Catholic bishops in Rome.

Rev. Edwin Githang’i Waiguru, a former Roman Catholic missionary, said marriage was a dream come true for him.

On Sunday (October 22) Waiguru married a woman and was ordained in the Catholic Charismatic Church, a splinter church, on the same day.

Before Sunday’s wedding, Waiguru had lived in an African traditional marriage and had become the father of two children. Though never ordained, Waiguru made headlines for publicly celebrating his journey.

“I joined the seminary almost 20 years ago. I am also grateful that God has seen it worth to use me to bring something new to the world,” Waiguru told journalists after the wedding near Nairobi.

“It is possible to serve God, have a family and a lovely wife.”

Calls for change

Other former Catholic priests here hope the prelates gathered for the Synod on Synodality at the Vatican consider priestly celibacy and marriage.

The Rev. Peter Njogu (pictured), a former Catholic priest who is now a bishop of the Restored Apostolic Church in Kenya, sees the possibility of change regarding the celibacy rule.

“The pope has said there is no celibacy law that is cast in stone,” said Njogu.

“They can change the celibacy rule — that mandatory celibacy for all serving clerics. We are following to hear if there is any change that can come because that is the only way to solve the problems we are having in the church.”

Local bishops have opposed the former priests’ efforts, calling them “traitors” and warning people against joining their churches.

“I think this matter is being handled by our teams at the synod,” said an African Catholic bishop who did not wish to be named, “but I don’t see how one can break the rules and at the same time demand a change.”

A popular Ugandan preacher and gospel music artist, the Rev. Anthony Musaala who was suspended from the priesthood for advocating for married clergy, said “It is a long-standing issue and it will eventually be addressed.”


Religion News Service

CathNews New Zealand

Additional reading

News category: World.

https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/10/30/priestly-celibacy-and-marriage-in-kenya/ Synod sparks hope for priestly celibacy and marriage change

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