German priest wants Pope's support after breaking vow

Fr Stefan Hartmann

A German Catholic priest who revealed on a TV talk show that he fathered an illegitimate daughter eight years after vowing celibacy, wrote a letter asking Pope Francis to release him from his oath, reports UPI/Ucanews.

Stefan Hartmann, who has a parish in Oberhaid, claims his superiors asked him to leave the priesthood after he revealed the truth about his daughter.

The 59-year-old posted the letter he wrote to the Vatican on his Facebook page. 'There is a human right to partnership, marriage and starting a family, even if you can voluntarily waive it for religious reasons,' Hartmann wrote.

Hartmann asked Pope Francis for 'a positive answer' that would allow him to remain a priest despite renouncing his celibacy vows. Such a decision would 'bring solutions and relief in many cases,' Hartmann wrote.

Despite his mistake, Hartmann still feels it is his 'calling to be a Catholic priest, a pastor and a theologian'.

FULL STORY German priest asks pope to waive his vow of celibacy (UPI/Ucanews)