Hundreds said to be leaving priesthood in Portugal

Hundreds of priests in Portugal have reportedly left their vocations recently, to get married or take up secular lives, often without being laicised.

Portuguese television station TVI 24 reported comments from a former cleric that six priests in one diocese all walked away from their vocation on the same day.

“Young priests – and some not so young, too – are just leaving, and refusing to go through the procedure of applying for a dispensation,” said former priest Fernando Felix Pereira of Fraternitas.

Mr Pereira’s group is pushing to have more married priests in the Church.

He expressed hope that the upcoming synod on the family would see some movement on this issue.

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