Welcome To Coping International
What is Coping International?
Coping is a voluntary, self help, mental health organisation that promotes the well-being of children of Catholic Priests and Religious (male & female) as well as their parents worldwide. It acts as an aid / resource for children of clergy, freely available, which is continually updated. Coping International aims to educate and promote awareness of the phenomenon of children of the ordained / clergy / priests worldwide. The correct term relating to children of clergy / religious, is “children of the ordained.”
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.
“Please be assured of His Holiness’ appreciation for the Concerns and charitable sentiments that motivate your initiatives together with a remembrance in his prayers.”
The Holy See have commented on the issue of children of priests, “concerning the children of priests, a father must fulfil his obligations […] and assume the natural responsibilities that came with fathering children.”
– Letter to Coping International on behalf of Pope Francis, 2014. / Holy See Address to United Nations, 2014.
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
“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.
“The executive of CORI undertake to encourage individual congregations to respond positively to any approaches made by COPING.”
– CORI | Conference Of Religious Of Ireland
“’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.’ ‘”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′
– Excerpts from Irish Catholic Bishops letters to Coping International – 2014-2017
The Executive Board of the UISG – Unione Internazionale Superiore Generali/ International Union of Superiors General – supports the pastoral outreach of Coping International to the children of priests or sisters. We welcome the development of guidelines.
“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.
“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.
President Higgins is supportive of the aims of Coping with regard to advancing the position and the rights of children.
-President Michael D. Higgins.