Father Kevin Lee, a Catholic Priest who presided over Padre Pio parish in Sydney, Australia, admitted to being secretly married for a year, and says many other members of the priesthood are as well, 7 News reports.
"I've fallen in love and I've got married and it's outside of most people's awareness," Lee told 7News. "... I'm sure my family is going to be very deeply disappointed about these revelations."
Lee told the station he believes celibacy should not be enforced, and that he is writing a book to expand on the "wrongdoing" of his fellow priests.
MSNBC reports Lee, a priest for 20 years, met his wife Josephine in the Philippines.
In a separate report, Australia's 7 News states Lee has been removed from his posting, with head of the Diocese of Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher OP denying Lee's assertion that other priests engage in relationships as well.
"As Father Kevin is aware, by his actions he can no longer operate as a priest," Bishop Fisher told the station. "...As a result I will immediately be appointing an administrator to Padre Pio parish."
Lee told 7 News he hopes his coming clean will lead to change within the church.
Religious website Catholic.org wrote that, despite Lee's claims that the church should be free of celibacy, it is an important part of the religion.
This is an ancient practice, with biblical and early Christian roots. Consecrated celibacy also makes the priest more available for pastoral service to the whole Church.
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more