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Vatican has secret rules for priests who father children

The Vatican
The Vatican. Gety Images

The Vatican confirmed, for the first time, to the New York Times that it has internal guidelines on how to deal with priests who violate the longstanding celibacy tradition and become fathers to children.

Why it matters: The Times reports that many priests with children have long been "suffering from the internalized shame that comes with being born from church scandal. ... The children are sometimes the result of affairs involving priests and laywomen or nuns — others of abuse or rape. There are some, exceedingly rare, high-profile cases, but the overwhelming majority remain out of the public eye."