by John Dankosky - When Sylvia Poggoli speaks, NPR listeners want to listen. Especially when she’s saying stuff like this:
In an unprecedented move, a group of Italian women who have had relationships with priests wrote an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI, saying that priests need to love and be loved.
Poggoli’s story on NPR’s Morning Edition gets to the heart of a conversation that’s been going on in the Catholic Church for centuries about celibacy and the priesthood. It’s also central to the story told on Where We Live by former priest Christopher Meade. His book, Icons and Iconoclasts, prescribes changes for the church, which he calls, “a diseased patient in need of a cure.”
He told me about his surprise – as a young priest – that others in his job kept women “friends” as intimate companions. He admits that he later left the priesthood in part because of the hypocrisy he saw – but also because of a woman.
Poggoli tells the story of women coming forward to talk about their relationships with priests – an increasingly common occurrence in Italy.