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Oz married priest who wanted ban on celibacy sacked

Sydney , Wed, 02 May 2012 ANI

Sydney, May 2 (ANI): An Australian Catholic priest who revealed that he has been married for a year has been removed from his post by church officials.

Father Kevin Lee, a priest at Padre Pio parish in Glenmore Park, told Channel Seven on Tuesday night that he secretly married his wife, whom he met in the Philippines, last year.

"I've fallen in love and I've got married and it's outside of most people's awareness," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as telling Channel Seven.

"But I'm sure people within the church could have had a suspicion," he said.

He said his public admission was motivated by the fact that many priests led a double life.

"I think celibacy has to go," he said.

The head of the Diocese of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher OP, denied Father Lee's claims that most priests lived double lives and that the church knew about the priest's marriage.

"As Father Kevin is aware, by his actions he can no longer operate as a priest and as a result I will immediately be appointing an administrator to Padre Pio parish," Bishop Fisher said in a statement.

Father Lee said he expected his family would be "deeply disappointed about these revelations".

According to the Catholic Church's canon law priests are not allowed to marry and must remain celibate for life.

In 2002, while an assistant priest at a church in Baulkham Hills, Father Lee was suspended from duties for taking part in a radio competition. (ANI)

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