Married priests seek talks with church leader


Married Catholic priests in Kenya want Pope Francis to spare a moment and meet them during his visit to the country.

Led by the African coordinator for the Anglo-speaking nations, Mr Joseph Ndambuki, the priests said they felt sidelined by the Kenyan Church clerics for turning their backs on celibacy.

Mr Ndambuki challenged Catholic Bishop Alfred Rotich’s statement that married priests are not considered part of the clergy and were, therefore, not welcome to a meeting with the Pope.


“The Pope has been very clear on the issue of sidelining married priests. He has always asked those who practise celibacy not to discriminate against us,” said Mr Ndambuki.

He said there were over 200 married priests in Kenya, arguing that celibacy is not biblical, godly or a sign of holiness.

“No one should be forced to be celibate,” said Mr Ndambuki.

On Sunday, Bishop Rotich, who is in charge of the Catholic secretariat preparing for the Pope’s visit, said married priests were not welcome to meet the Pope.

His statements sparked new debate on celibacy.