A Catholic priest asks Pope Francis to waive his vow of celibacy


Stefan Hartmann, a German Catholic priest who was asked to step down after admitting to have fathered a daughter against his vow of celibacy.

A supposedly celibate thing happened on the way to fatherhood.

One might imagine Stefan Hartmann isn't the only Catholic priest who wants Pope Francis to waive his vow of celibacy, but he may be the only one who has posted his request on Facebook.

Here is the order of events:

1) Hartmann admits in January that he secretly fathered a daughter back in 1989 against the vow of celibacy he took eight years prior.

2) After said admission, which occurred on live television, Hartmann is asked to leave the priesthood.

3) But Hartmann would rather stay and leave his vow of celibacy behind. So, he writes Pope Francis a letter, directly asking him to waive his vow of celibacy.

4) He posts the letter to his Facebook page.

In the letter, Hartmann asks for "mercy" for what he acknowledges is the result of his "weaknesses and failures, with all due humility."

"There is a human right to partnership, marriage and starting a family, even if you can voluntarily waive it for religious reasons," he continues.

"There is no theological, dogmatic or even pastoral justification of compulsory celibacy, already now there are many exceptions."

He's right.

Exceptions have been made in the past for married priests, but a blanket lifting of the ban? That's big stuff, even for modern, selfie-taking Pope Francis.

(Associated Press)

"I know that my application is bold and seems to have little chance of being realized," Hartmann wrote. "But a beginning has to be made."

The Vatican has yet to respond to Hartmann's letter. Your move, Francis.