An Italian priest gave up on denying himself the feeling of having a partner in his life and the perks that come with it when he confessed in the middle of mass that he was hanging his cassock because he had fallen in love with a woman.
Don Riccardo Ceccobelli’s revelation took place in a homily held in the city of Todi, in the Perugia province, located in the centre of the country.
In the midst of his preaching, the parishioners of the Massa Martana church learned of the 41-year-old priest’s biggest secret.
Ceccobelli said he would give up the habit to live love in freedom.
“I am in love and I want to live this love without sublimating it or taking it away,” he said.
“My heart fell in love, I have never betrayed the promises I made, but I want to try to live this love. I cannot be coherent, transparent and correct with the Church as I have been until now.”
The priest in an interview with the Italian media confessed his love for Laura, a 26-year-old nurse who is also a catechist.
Bishop Gualtiero Sigismondi who was among the audience thanked him for his transparency.
“I thank Don Riccardo for all the service provided so far. And first of all, I send you my sincere wishes so that this decision, taken in full freedom as he himself told me, guarantees peace and serenity.”
On how he fell in love with Laura, Ceccobelli said, “We have known each other for 4 years because I was the pastor of Massa Martana for six years and we met in the parish.
But it was since September that something in me changed forever. I started to feel an emotion inside of me, but at first, I did everything I could to keep the situation under control, I swear to you, I was hoping that she would find a boyfriend, but with each passing day, I felt sicker and sicker. One night I urgently needed to call her on the phone.
I couldn’t sleep if I didn’t hear her voice. When she answered me, I said, ‘Hello, hello, it’s me’, and immediately I felt well-being and peace within me. I fell asleep. On January 1, I submitted my resignation to the parish.”
Procedures for the resignation of the priest has already begun.