Welcome To Coping International

“How can we issue solemn declarations on human rights and the rights of children, if we then punish children for the errors of adults? If a child comes into this world in unwanted circumstances, the parents and other members of the family must do everything possible to accept that child as a gift from God and assume the responsibility of accepting him or her with openness and affection.” – Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 167.

His Holiness’ words from Amoris Laetitia were recently interpreted and applied by the Irish Catholic Bishop’s Conference as being applicable to situations common to children of Roman Catholic Priests… “Many people leave childhood without ever having felt unconditional love. This affects their ability to be trusting and open with others. A poor relationship with one’s parents and siblings, if left unhealed, can re-emerge and [may] hurt […]. Unresolved issues need to be dealt with and a process of liberation must take place.” Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 240.

Welcome To Coping International

When a child’s authentic identity is deliberately, unwillingly and at times, unwittingly forfeited in favour of the preservation of the biological father’s priestly identity as being chaste and wholly committed to celibacy, this redirection of focus away from the child’s well-being compromises the child’s overall sense of self.  This is evocative of an adult-centred response to what ought to be a child-centred event.  In compromising what is natural to a child (knowledge of biological parent/genetic information), one creates a situation that may cause discomfort in a human sense and acts in a manner that is contrary to the catholic faith and catholic social practice.

People commonly associate being the child of a priest/religious with scandal and or taboo. This is both harmful and against the grain of the Catholic faith too.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church Scandal states quite clearly on the topic of scandal:

Coping International was founded by the son of a priest and is coordinated internationally by children of priests.

Welcome to Coping International.

“Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized.  It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.’ Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.”  –  CCC 2285.

Coping has members and connections in Ireland, Scotland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Germany, Holland, South America, Mexico amid others. Thus, Coping is a professional and pastoral network reaching out across the globe.

Coping is a voluntary organisation. Coping is not a registered charity and in this regard endorses no collections/financial contributions toward Coping or anyone collecting/raising funds on behalf of Coping International.  No monies are ever received by Coping members.

Coping International was founded by the son of a priest and is coordinated internationally by children of priests.

Welcome to Coping International.


Pope Francis - Coping International

“Please be assured of His Holiness’ appreciation for the Concerns and charitable sentiments that motivate your initiatives together with a remembrance in his prayers.”

Letter to Coping International on behalf of Pope Francis, 2014.

Arch Bishop Dairmuid Martin - Children of Priests Worldwide

I pray that COPING will be able to find ways which will bring the children of priests and their natural parents together for the benefit of both.

-Archbishop Diarmud Martin

irish catholic bishops coping international

In the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pope Francis repeats the need to care for families with particular difficulties (cf. Amoris Laetitia nn. 239-240). Priests and other pastoral ministers are called to respond in thoughtful and supportive ways to people who suffer because of their family situation. These situations would include children of priests.

– Irish Catholic Bishop’s Conference.

united nations coping international

“The Committee is concerned about the situation of children born of Catholic priests, who, in many cases, are not aware of the identity of their fathers. The Committee is also concerned that the mothers may obtain a plan for regular payment from the Church until the child is financially independent only if they sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose any information.  The Committee recommends that the Holy See assess the number of children born of Catholic priests, find out who they are and take all the necessary measures to ensure the rights of these children to know and to be cared for by their fathers, as appropriate. The Committee also recommends that the Holy See ensure that churches no longer impose confidentiality agreements when providing mothers with financial plans to support their children.”

– The United Nation’s Children’s Rights Commission.

cori coping international

“The executive of CORI undertake to encourage individual congregations to respond positively to any approaches made by COPING.”

– CORI | Conference Of Religious Of Ireland

irish catholic bishops coping international

“The Irish Catholic Bishops recognise the significance and importance of adequate care being provided for children born to priests […] and are anxious to ensure that appropriate support is being offered to all children.  In particular, they appreciate the sensitivity required in any pastoral outreach to children of priests.  The bishops are actively collaborating with Towards Healing so that Towards Healing will be in a position to provide appropriate counselling/ support to children of Catholic clergy.  […]  Confidentiality agreements may be unjust if they hinder the basic goods of the mother and child, example: if they are used to protect the reputation of the priest of institutional church by creating a veil of secrecy that isolates the mother and child, from relationships, knowledge, and resources, which they are owed in natural justice.”

– Excerpts from Irish Catholic Bishops letters to Coping International – 2014/2015.

Irish Human Rights & Equality commission.

“[If one] considers their human rights or right to equality has been breached, the Commission would be more than open to considering their situation and provide the person with relevant information or assistance appropriate to their situation.  [The IHRC would like to] reassure that the Commission deals with individuals in all kinds of difficult circumstances every day, and anyone that approaches the organisation will be dealt with both sensitively and in the strictest confidence.”

– Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission.

Mairead McGuiness, Vice-President of the European Parliament & Children’s Rights Mediator

“The organisation (COPING) will provide a forum for those impacted to speak about their experiences in a compassionate and professional environment.  By recognising the work of Coping International, individuals who previously had no formal support structure will now have a forum in which to share their experiences, thus helping to destigmatise this issue.”

– Mairead McGuiness, Vice-President of the European Parliament & Children’s Rights Mediator.

Micheal F Burdidge

“Every Child born into this world deserves to be loved and cherished by a mother and father, regardless of who they are.  I appreciate your efforts to support the dignity of children born of priests out of wedlock and to ensure their proper pastoral care.”

– Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, United States of America, CCLV Chairman.

Irish President - Coping International

“President Higgins is supportive of the aims of Coping with regard to advancing the position and the rights of Children.”

– Letter to Coping on behalf of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.