Email The celebrity priest at the center of a storm sparked by photos of him in a romantic embrace with a woman on the sands of Miami Beach admits he's had sex with her. The photos -- 25 in all -- have almost single-handely reignited the debate over the celibacy required of priests by the Catholic Church and the Church's refusal to allow priests to marry. He says he's mulling his next move, which he says could range from breaking up with her to marrying her.
The woman, he indicated, wants to marry him. Overall, he said he's "deeply sorry" about all that's happened. Both were in bathing suits. He candidly conceded to Rodriguez Monday, "I don't support the breaking of the celibacy promise.
I understand fully that this is wrong. I think that's unfortunate. I think it's a debate that's going on in our society, and now I've become kind of a poster boy for it. But I don't want to be that. I believe that celibacy is good, and that it's a good commitment to God. This is something I've struggled with. And something that I never expected to become a public debate And that I do believe: I do believe that people should be given the option to marry or not to marry in order to serve God.
But the Church, see, has tradition and practices that are part of wanting to do what is right. I think we've all have ideals, and we have ways of living, and we want to do things right. But the truth is, sometimes we fall short. And I fell short. I entered the seminary 22 years ago. And in 22 years I've never had a sexual relationship with anyone. I committed myself fully to my vows.
I've never been sexually inappropriate with anyone. I've never had any type of scandal. This is the only person that I've had sexual contact with. And I believe that I've struggled with that. You know, between my love for God and my love for the church and my love for service. Of course, it's something that a man should never have to deal with in the sense of his commitment, you know.
If I was clear in my commitment, I should have stuck to it percent. She's also somebody who cares about the priesthood, who cares about these things. So, it hasn't been easy. And those who have helped me through this process know it hasn't been easy. Obviously, you know, through the photos, it looked like a frivolous thing on the beach, you know, and that's not what it is. It's something deeper than that.
It was a very isolated beach.