As a practicing Catholic, I read the comments on Father Dean McFalls situation with a sad heart (Onetime Ceres priest resigns after fathering a child, Sept. 25, Page A1). I know that people who do not understand Catholic theology see this as a simple let priests get married situation. What most do not know is that Catholic priests in the Eastern/Byzantine rite do have the option to marry before ordination. It is the Latin rite that sees celibacy as a discipline.
So the real question is this: How difficult is it in todays world to count on people keeping their word?
Father Dean is asking for forgiveness because he knows that, no matter how he spins the situation, what happened is he broke his promise. He did not keep his word.
While I applaud him for being concerned about the welfare of his child, I also urge people to look beyond what he did (fall in love! Oh how romantic!) and ask yourselves the question: Are we asking too much of people to make a vow and keep it? If your answer is yes, I feel very sorry for you. To me, that indicates no hope for civilization.
Father Dean needs our forgiveness, our mercy and our love.
LESLIE SHAW KLINGER