A long-time Catholic priest who’s often been arrested in peace demonstrations has decided to leave the priesthood. Father Frank Cordaro, a founding member of the Des Moines Catholic Worker community, says he’s come to the point in his life that he “can’t keep the promise and keep healthy and whole.” Cordaro, who is 52, has been a priest for 18 years. Cordaro had a heart attack two years ago, and he says celibacy brings too much undue stress and pressure into his life. He says celibacy is a difficult promise to keep. Cordaro says it’s better for his heart and his health and his spirit that he “follow my inclinations for intimacy.” He says it’s difficult to let go, because he liked being a priest. But he is among those who believe the Catholic church should stop requiring its priests to adhere to a vow of celibacy. He said he wasn’t in favor of celibacy before he was a priest, while he was a priest and he says that hasn’t changed. Cordaro is in the process of officially exiting from the Catholic priesthood. He says he’ll remain active on peace and social justice issues. He declined to say whether he has found a soulmate or life partner. On August 6, Cordaro will take part in a peace vigil at STRATCOM, the Omaha headquarters for military air and space defense.
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