Here is an interview with Fr. Gumersindo Meiriño, a priest who got married in December 2006, that appeared this week in La Voz de Galicia. An English translation by Rebel Girl appears below the original.
INTERVIEW | Cure Galician married in Argentina “I am a toy in the hands of God”
- Discussant: Arturo González Lezcano Location: buenos aires
He married a colleague while still being a priest and has been wrapped up in scandal in Argentina over the last month. Gumersindo Meiriño, a doctor in theology from Ourense [Spain], clarifies that the debate was provoked by the church hierarchy’s position on his wedding and proclaims that God’s love is above all other things.
How would you sum up the life of a Galician priest who goes to Argentina and ends up trading in his robes for love?
God is love. And I feel like a toy in the hands of God. I never thought I would travel to America and I never thought I would get married and finally I met the woman with whom I want to share my life. The loving hand of my God and Father is there.
Why has there been so much commotion?
I think that the commotion was caused by the notorious letter from the diocesan administrator where he said that anyone attending the wedding would fall into mortal sin. Do you think that my mother, if she could have attended the wedding of her son, would be in mortal sin? Pope Benedict XVI wrote his only encyclical about love. And I think that this is the greatest law to be obeyed by those of of us who want to follow Jesus Christ, who loved, according to the Gospel, to the extreme.
Celibacy: Is it time to debate it openly?
I appreciate the fruitful lives of so many celibate priests, but it is a church law and, like any law, it can be reviewed. It is an open debate within and outside the Church.
What did you find in your wife that led you to leave the priesthood?
Maria is unique and perhaps the most marvellous thing about her is her spirituality. This is what impressed me the most — her ability to love God. She says to me that if I’m OK, she’s OK. Tell me you wouldn’t marry a woman like that.
Would you dare to write a novel about your love story?
Yes, it’s a good idea. Do you know an editor who might be interested?
Footnote: The same newspaper also managed to get a statement from Fr. Gumer’s former bishop in the Diocese of Ourense, Monsignor Luis Quinteiro, who declared himself to be “profoundly saddened” by Fr. Gumer’s decision to marry and his failure to listen to the clear recommendations of the diocese and church authorities in Argentina. “We deeply regret Gumersindo Fernández Meiriño’s leaving the responsibilities he freely assumed at the moment of his ordination, as well as the scandal and confusion his behavior may cause among the faithful.” And the bishop asked the faithful to pray for “our brother” to come back to the priesthood in full communion with the Church.