Twenty-six Italian women -- who are married to or in relationships with Catholic priests -- want clerical celibacy to be overturned by the world's bishops when they meet in Rome for their global synod on the family in October, the WWRN (World Wide Religious News) website reports today (September 26, 2014).
And they are angry that Pope Francis has not responded to a letter they sent earlier this year urging him to relax the Roman Catholic Church's mandatory position on clergy celibacy and recognize their relationships.
One of the few women to go public is Anna Ferretti from Naples. She has been with the priest she married more than 40 years ago, and now they have four children.
Her husband gave up celebrating Mass and hearing confessions when they got married, but in the couple's eyes -- if not in the eyes of the church -- he is still a priest because he never formally renounced his vows. They have lived together ever since.