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12.53 28 Nov 2014


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New research into the sexual lives of Irish Catholic priests shows many are sexually active or have been in the past, and that there is a gay scene within the church.

'Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity' publishes new analysis of priests' views from a series of interviews conducted by Dr John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children.

The book also reveals that the bishops are often aware of the situation.

Dr Weafer says one priest he spoke to told about his struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality:

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Dr Weafer says "if a priest was to say in the morning 'I am gay', he would be fired. Priests have learned to keep their heads down".

A majority of the study's 33 interviewees were heterosexual.

The research found that a majority of priests in Ireland are not happy with mandatory celibacy, while some younger, more conservative priests are most in favour of the rule's retention. 

 


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