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Read Cardinal O’Malley’s statement on children of priests

Cardinal Sean O’Malley.David L Ryan/Globe Staff

Read the statement from Cardinal Sean O’Malley regarding the Boston Globe Spotlight story about children of Catholic priests.

“The gift of life must be protected and cared for in any and all circumstances.  Every child is a precious gift from God, deserving the respect accorded to all people.

At their ordination, Catholic priests make a promise of celibacy, a commitment to the Church and the people they serve.  If a priest fathers a child, he has a moral obligation to step aside from ministry and provide for the care and needs of the mother and the child.  In such a moment, their welfare is the highest priority.


In 2016 ‘The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors’ received correspondence regarding the children or priests.  After careful consideration of this important issue, it was judged to be beyond the Commission’s mandate.  The Commission functions as an advisory body to the Holy Father, proposing norms and practices for protecting minors from sexual abuse.  In particular, the Commission seeks to assist dioceses and religious orders throughout the world as they implement education and training programs for the prevention of sexual abuse.  It is not within the charge of the Commission to become involved with individual cases.

With recognition of the importance of these matters that have profoundly impacted the lives of the children, their mothers and the community at large, the Commission determined to refer this issue to the Holy See for further review.”