Stockton, Calif. priest resigns after fathering child

Published On: Sep 25 2013 08:23:15 AM HST   Updated On: Sep 25 2013 09:39:36 AM HST

A popular Stockton priest has resigned from the priesthood after fathering a child.

Father Dean McFalls, who has been outspoken about Stockton’s crime problem, told KCRA 3’s Melinda Meza that he knows he has disappointed a lot of people.

“I need to resign voluntarily because I fathered a child," McFalls said.  

McFalls announced his resignation to parishoners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Stockton over the week. 

In a letter sent to the church, McFalls said, “A child will soon be born, and I am the baby’s father. I know this comes as a shock to you, and to many a disappointment. I assume full responsibility for my actions and will do all that I can so that my child receives the care and love that he deserves.”

The church also sent a letter to parishioners that said McFalls had requested a leave of absence from active ministry in the priesthood for personal reasons.

“I am asking for forgiveness for not being a better example. I believe in my life I am accepting a reality that's been a part of me from beginning," McFalls said. "Ministers are under attack from the devil and weakness.” 

When asked if he thinks priests should be allowed to marry and have families, McFalls said he would let the pope  decide. 

"Scripture tells us ministers are held to a higher standard, and we have to maintain behavior but we are human and we do fall," he said.


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