Mistresses of Italian priests urge Pope to abolish celibacy rule

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London, May 28 (ANI): Forty women have sent a letter to the Pope saying that priests need to 'experience feelings, love and be loved'.

The letter pleads for understanding of those who "live out in secrecy those few moments the priest manages to grant [us] and experience on a daily basis the doubts, fears and insecurities of our men".

Earlier, the issue was relegate to the back by Cardinal Christoph Schvnborn - a senior advisor - who said abolition of the celibacy rule might curb sex abuse by priests.

The authors of the letter said they decided to come into the open after hearing his retort, which they said was an affirmation of "the holiness of something that is not holy" but a man-made rule.

Today, priests who follow the eastern Catholic rites can be married, as can those who married before converting to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism.

One signatory, Stefania Salomone, 42, an office manager, said that the letter was signed only by three due to the subject's sensitivity.

The letter was posted on the internet on 28 March on an online forum linked to Il Dialogo website.

According to The Guardian, Salomone said that women left by their priest-lovers "often lose their faith in men altogether". When her own relationship with a with a Brazilian priest was discovered, he was transferred to Rome. (ANI)

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