MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Miami priest is seeking forgiveness from God and his parishioners after he learned in late December that he fathered a child, a spokeswoman from the Archdiocese of Miami confirmed on Tuesday.
According to the archdiocese, the child was the result of a relationship Monsignor Chanel Jeanty, pastor of Saint James Catholic Church, had with a woman that ended over a year ago.
They said Jeanty did not learn about the child from the mother herself, but from a third party.
He has since reached out to the mother and will contribute to the support of his child, the archdiocese said.
“Monsignor Jeanty has already sought God’s forgiveness, and he is asking for the forgiveness of his parishioners, who will be disappointed when they learn of his lapse,” a statement from the archdiocese read. “Monsignor Jeanty must face his parishioners and seek to regain their trust, as he continues to serve, and at the same time attends to his responsibilities to the child.”
As for why he is allowed to remain in the priesthood, The Vatican has two exceptions for those who break their vow of celibacy. Those include fathering a child and openly acknowledging that child.
Canton Exalus has been a parishioner at Saint James Catholic Church since 1995 and told Local 10 News that while he’s surprised to hear about what happened, he said he can definitely find forgiveness for Jeanty.
“I know he’s a good person, but I don’t know his heart,” said Exalus.”He’s human.”