French Priest Resigns, Announcing that He Shares His Life With a Man.

At the French blog “Journal de Denis Chautard”,  a priest of the Mission of France has published a moving letter of resignation from a French colleague in the same order, who feels he can no longer in good conscience live in accordance with the rule of celibacy – and has found happiness with the man who is now at the centre of his life.

These are the opening paragraphs (in French). My informal translation of this section, adapted from Google translate,  follows.

« Bien cher Arnaud,

Avec un mélange de tristesse et de joie, je te prie de présenter ma démission à mon évêque de la Mission de France.

Je t’avais dit ainsi qu’à Yves Patenôtre que je n’honore plus l’engagement au célibat des prêtres. C’est une obligation que je n’approuve pas, mais que j’ai acceptée.

La part de joie de ce message, c’est que je partage ma vie avec Andy. Notre amour a peu à peu pris place au centre de ma vie, qui désormais s’organise autour de cette relation, et j’en suis heureux.

Les prêtres, par leur ordination, impliquent l’Eglise partout où ils vont. Être prêtre, ce n’est pas une affaire privée qui ne regarde que moi. Ça regarde ceux qui y ont mis un bout de leur cœur, un peu de leur confiance et de leur foi. D’une certaine façon ça leur appartient autant qu’à moi. Ma prêtrise ne m’appartient pas, mais j’en suis responsable. En conscience, je trouve plus honnête de présenter ma démission. Je choisi le terme de démission, parce que l’ordination ne s’efface pas… je suis – je reste prêtre. Ce qui peut prendre fin, c’est la délégation et l’envoi par l’évêque, au titre de la mission de l’Eglise.

full French text at Journal de Denis Chautard.

My translation (also at Duolingo, where anyone interested can help to improve it):

“Very dear Arnaud,  
With a mixture of sadness and joy, I beg you to present my resignation to my bishop of the Mission of France.  
I have told you and also Yves Patenôtre that I no longer honour the priests’ commitment to celibacy.   It is an obligation that I do not agree with, but I accepted.  
The joyous part of this message is that I share my life with Andy.   Our love has little by little taken its place at the center of my life, which now revolves around this relationship, and I am happy.  
Priests, by their ordination involve the Church wherever they go.   Being a priest, is not a private matter that concerns only myself.   It concerns all those who have a piece of their heart, who share their confidence and their faith.   Somehow it belongs to them as much as to me.  My priesthood does not belong to me, but I am responsible for it.   In conscience, I find it more honest to present my resignation.   I chose the term resignation, because the ordination does not erase itself … I am – I remain a priest.   That which can end, is the delegation and sending by the bishop, on the Mission of the Church.  
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