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Married Catholic priest excommunicated from church

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 2 May, 2012 - 1:36 PM
Father Kevin Lee

A priest who yesterday ‘outed’ himself as a married man said he wanted to highlight the need to change celibacy laws and the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church with regard to the treatment of sex offenders.

Speaking with Neil Mitchell, Father Kevin Lee from the Padre Pio Parish in Glenmore Park, Sydney said he had already been excommunicated from the Church.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Should the Catholic Church dump the law of celibacy?

”I think it was basically expected that they'd be shocked, but I didn't expect to be turfed out as quickly as I was,” Father Lee told Neil Mitchell.

”I think they try to put a very bad spin on it that I'm the bad person because I've breached their trust in terms of being married secretly."

Father Lee said he had received support from fellow priests who were themselves in relationships, but didn’t have the courage to ‘out’ themselves.

Father Lee said he had worked as a chaplain for fifteen with the New South Wales police and was appalled by the ‘stonewalling’ committed by the Catholic Church during investigations into sex offences committed by priests.

"When a priest has committed some serious sex offence, he's more likely to be re-accommodated somewhere else where he's not known and given back his ministry and his faculties.”

Father Lee said his to-be wife was unaware he was a priest when they first met, and their friendship blossomed to love.

"You don't choose to fall in love. You meet somebody and the relationship blossoms, and it became a situation where I felt I should solemnise this union to make it official,” he said.

Father Lee said he was fearful that his Filipino wife would be ostracised within her strongly Catholic community for marrying a priest.

LISTEN: Father Kevin Lee speaks with Neil Mitchell:


Church not cooperative on sex abuse

Ken Lay and Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton EXCLUSIVE: In an incredible interview on the Neil Mitchell program, Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton has said that the Catholic Church in Victoria has never come to the Victoria Police with knowledge of suicides or sexual offences, despite them being aware of committed offences.

Blog comments Your Say

  • He is not Priest or Father he is Mr. Lee, and he should not mess with Church Docrime. If he wanted to get married, he should have put ups resignation, and leave the church in peace. So why he married who wedded him, he preach one, and do another.

    MaryEmelda Friday 24 May, 2013 - 12:41 PM
  • Fr Kevin Lee is just another priest who would rather live for this world and reject what the church teaches. Christ showed us the way so should priests. This is there are many vocations, if one is not called for priesthood but married or single life. Naming other priests is a form of defamation, if this is Fr Lee's intentions than he could be up for a lawsuite. Its his business to comeout, do not destroy the Catholic church all because what Kevin says and does. Just because kevin says this and that, does not make it right. I am sorry but I do not agree with what he is doing he is leading many astray and he will be held accountable in the eyes of the Lord.

    mitchel Tuesday 12 June, 2012 - 8:30 PM
  • the point is not if FATHER kevin married or not i knew him and i considered was really good, the problem is made a vows, and he broken and hide, is same when u married or compromise or not,he was no only in a karoeke bar, was inapropiated for a priest, and is ok be in love, but JESUS SAID FALLOW ME, LEFT UR PARENTS, AND LOVES ME MORE IN A CASE PRIESTS AN NUNS, IS YES O COURSE PITY THE PRIESTS WITH A LOTS OF TENTATIONS, BUT IS NOT BETTER TO LEFT AND DO NEW LIFE, LIKE TO PUT IN A PUBLIC? LIKE PRIEST IS OK ALKING ABOUT HIS LIFE, BUT NOT TALK ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO, BECAUSE AND THEM HE WILL BE REVELED ALL OUR CONFESSIONS? THE PRIESTS IS TO HELP IN THIS CONFESSIONS, IF REPENTANCE TO GO FOR EXAMPLE TO THE POLICE, AND CONFESS THEIR CRIMES O WHAT EVER BUT IS NOT LOUD THE PRIEST TO DO IT,IF Catholic church decided about celibate is because the priests need to be sacred also if there are mens, the are consagrated to God,marries is about worries and is for that u cant, because u contaminated the house of GOD, we are not perfect and the priests are more vulnerables, remember into the ships are wolfs,im not defend thispriests commit this beahaviours in the past, but also they had time to repentance,and priests KEVIN DONT NEED TO ACUSE OR BLAME OTHERS HYPOCRITES BECAUSE we are, the church is not the building , we are and we have the compromise to help the priests, sometimes, people seduce thems,i prayer for him, everything u hide, some day coming out in the light, but a priest cant married

    sandy Tuesday 12 June, 2012 - 5:16 PM
  • If later he finds he wants to leave his wife and find another, will he hide this from her before he gets another.

    Candice Wednesday 9 May, 2012 - 11:17 AM
    He might, just like most people who want to leave their partners. They find another, hide it and when they are ready they walk out. This is not restricted to any religion on non religious people.

    But just ask yourself why is it that Catholics are the only clergy not allowed to marry. How do you think other religions cope with their ministers, rabis or muftis being married? All other Christian denominations allow marriage.
    Not allowing marriage is not going to get new priests.
    Getting married and having a family is not a sin but molesting children is. Worry about your priest doing that instead of them doing normal things.

    Peggy Thursday 10 May, 2012 - 11:10 AM
  • A man takes on a Catholic Church vocation knowing full well that one of his vows is a vow of celibacy. Though I think marriage should be an option for a diocisan priest, if he commits a vow of celibacy, then it's for life unless he leaves. Oh, yes, even the married priest said he wasn't excommunicated, he was removed from his ministry, The correct term for a removal of a priest from his priestly dutied is to be 'laicized'. Refer to Wikipedia under 'defrocking'.

    Stephen Wednesday 9 May, 2012 - 8:33 PM
  • Catholic Church gives priests freedom to leave if they feel they want to change their committed vocation from priest to married man. I've worked for committed priests, they work 24/7 for their Parish people, they are committed to hundreds (on call), not one. This priest chose to commit as the terms of his vocation. No one forced him into making a commitment as a Catholic Priest, or changing his mind and leaving. Deception was his choice. Now us Catholics will be ridiculed and humiliated once again because of his actions. If later he finds he wants to leave his wife and find another, will he hide this from her before he gets another.

    Candice Wednesday 9 May, 2012 - 11:17 AM

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