Auckland woman: my father was a priest

An Auckland woman has spoken out about her belief that her late father was a Catholic priest.

Using the pseudonym ‘Kathleen’, the woman says her father had a high profile in the Auckland diocese.

“He was a very good priest, a wonderful person, much loved, respected,” she says.

‘Kathleen’ says the journey of his priestly vocation meant that he felt that he couldn’t acknowledge her when he was alive.

“He must have struggled in his daily life to continue doing what he did and not be able to be a father as he may have liked to have been,” she says.

While Kathleen had her suspicions, a half century of secrecy ended about two years ago when she says she sought and received scientific evidence.

A fledgling international support group called Coping International claims hundreds of members like ‘Kathleen’.

She says she feels both empathy and anger about what has happened.

“I understand how you can love somebody and that I think they had a wonderful, loving relationship… and they loved me very much,” she says.

But she says her mother raised her as a single mother and did not tell her while she was alive.

Family reaction

‘Kathleen’ says her immediate family had been supportive, but there has been division in her wider family.

“Some of it was received well and with others, not at all well,” she says.

Auckland Bishop Pat Dunn told RNZ’s Morning Report that he had seen the evidence of paternity put forward by ‘Kathleen’.

It was not enough to confirm the facts.

He’s uncertain whether ‘Kathleen’s’ father was a priest.

Bishop Dunn has met ‘Kathleen’ and he says he has huge sympathy for her situation.

But he says not all of her siblings accept her story.

“There’s expert DNA advice that he may not be the father, he may be the uncle,” he says.

“If it’s the truth … then I’m more than happy to acknowledge it.”


Image credit: RNZ


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

Tags: ,