A priest who has broken canon law by marrying in secret, plans to expose the wider wrongdoings of Catholic clergymen in a revelatory book.
Father Kevin Lee, who presided over the Padre Pio parish in Sydney's Glenmore Park, revealed his clandestine marriage to 7News last night.
Lee claims that most priests live double lives, and argues that compulsory celibacy in the faith "has to go."
"I'm admitting that the church has given me the opportunity to have this double life, and by revealing my own sins I'm hoping that other priests will admit to theirs." Lee says.
He claims that the pretence of celibacy is often used as a cover while child abuse continues undetected.
"It's an open invitation to paedophiles to come into the church because they can go through the motions of looking celibate but no one needs to know what they're doing in their spare time."
"The church has been systematically covering up generational abuse within the church hierarchy and within the clergy and it really needs to be exposed." Lee says.
He says he hopes his revelations will lead to change within the church.
Church officials removed the Glenmore Park priest from his parish following the 7News report.
The head of the Diocese of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher OP, denied Father Lee's claims that most priests live double lives and that the church knew about the priest's marriage.
"As Father Kevin is aware, by his actions he can no longer operate as a priest and as a result I will immediately be appointing an administrator to Padre Pio parish," Bishop Fisher said in a statement.
Lee believes the church chose to ignore his marriage saying he did little to hide his relationship with a woman named Josephina, whom he met in the Philippines.