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Out of love for his Maria: Priest (36) changes life completely - "I have not regretted a second"


Celibacy forbids priests from marriage. Johannes Biebl knew that. But the love for his Maria was stronger. The 36-year-old made a momentous decision.

Celibacy forbids priests from marriage.

Johannes Biebl knew that.

But the love for his Maria was stronger.

The 36-year-old made a momentous decision.

Regensburg - Johannes Biebl would actually celebrate his five-year priesthood this year.

The 36-year-old from the Bavarian forest, however, has chosen a different path.

Biebl fell in love with a woman - celibacy would forbid the relationship.

So the young man made a brave decision.

Because of love: a priest (36) from Bavaria leaves the church and monastery

Celibacy is a constant source of discussion.

The influential Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, for example, often thought aloud in the past that a relaxation of the controversial regulation was conceivable.

Celibacy prohibits bishops, pastors and monks from marrying and living in partnership.

Instead, the regulation is intended to encourage men of faith to live in chastity and to devote their existence entirely to the service of God and man.

Bavarian priest loves his Maria: Celibacy stood in their way

Of course, Johannes Biebl from Kollnburg (Regen district *) knew this when he began his priestly training.

In 2016 he finished it and from then on lived in the monastery.

Then the 36-year-old met a woman.

And that turned his life upside down.

In 2020 he made a momentous decision.

At that time, many bishops and also the hermit Pope Benedict XVI.

thoughts from Bavaria to loosen the strict celibacy.

Pope Francis says it differently: He does not want to loosen celibacy, was the basic tenor of a letter from the Pope.

This caused criticism among some reformers in the Catholic Church.

With the Pope's letter, the discussion has not completely ceased, but calls for relaxation are becoming less frequent.

(By the way: Our brand new Regensburg newsletter informs you about all developments and results from the world cultural heritage city - and of course about all other important stories from Regensburg.)

Kollnburg: Priest did not want to hide his love

For Johannes Biebl, who at that time lived as "Frater Felix" in Windberg Monastery, a difficult decision was imminent. Because Maria, whom he had met in his first weeks in the monastery, was too important to him. The young man had only met the Windberger woman through the work of the youth association. Later their paths crossed more regularly when the teacher and her school coffers visited the youth education center. “We got along incredibly well right from the start,” Biebl tells the

Passauer Neue Presse

. "But neither of us would have thought that more could develop from it - or rather, we didn't dare to think."

There were two reasons for this: On the one hand, the young woman lived in a long-term relationship.

On the other hand, there was the spiritual life of "Frater Felix".

At his religious vows and at the time of his ordination to the priesthood, he had made the promise to live in celibacy.

The sympathy between the two seemed to stay just that: sympathy.

Maria separated from her partner in 2018.

“And somehow it quickly became clear to both of us that there was more than just a nice acquaintance,” recalls Johannes Biebl

In Bavaria: priest leaves monastery - for the love of his Maria

The believing Christian was in a bind and had - one way or another - to make a momentous decision.

Because starting a secret relationship with Maria was out of the question for the young man.

"We wanted to be honest with each other, with all the consequences," he tells the



The 36-year-old made up his mind.

Against life in the monastery.

And for love with Maria.

A difficult situation for a young person.

He is aware that he has broken his promises and vows, "and that he has certainly disappointed many people", as he himself says.

He doesn't want to see it as a failure.

“For me it is a move on, a realignment.” Although this was exhausting, it “above all released a lot of positive energy”.

Priest finds new home: Old Catholics are not celibate

The 36-year-old has been working at Lebenshilfe Deggendorf * with people with mental disabilities in the Plattlinger workshops since November 2020.

As a freelance speaker, Biebl offers weddings and funerals.

And the 36-year-old can continue his service to God and people: He has found a new home as a volunteer priest at the Old Catholic Church in Regensburg.

This more modern and more liberal church is based on the Catholic faith, but has, for example, abolished celibacy, also blesses same-sex couples and allows women to hold all spiritual offices.

It was an important step for Biebl and his Maria.

The 36-year-old says: “I haven't regretted a second.”

(Dst) * / bayern is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-09-23

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