October 28, 2011

Non-believing clergy

Thanks to reader Jeff, I learned that The Clergy Project, designed to provide a safe place for non-believing clergy to make the transition from living a secret life to becoming open, is now operational. I wrote five years ago that I suspected that many clergy, even high-ranking ones like the pope and bishops, are atheists.

ABC News had an interview with some of the non-believing priests. Other interviews can be found on the website.


Trackback URL for this entry is:


Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. If we take this as a definition, some of the explanations given by the clergyman Atheists as to why they are atheists are naive at best. There is no requirement at all in the Christian faith to literally believe in "Adan and Eve, Noah's Ark and other equally unbelievable events described in the Bible. The questions to be answered should be "Do you believe in the existence of a god?" If not why not? What made you change your mind? It is the answers to these questions which would decide if one could label himself/herself an atheist.

Posted by Manik on October 29, 2011 05:59 AM

What is the world coming to? I find all this hard to believe. Surely if you don't believe in religion you opt out of preaching about religion?

Posted by Michael Rowe on November 3, 2011 10:12 AM


Yes you should but it is not easy to transition out. As one priest said, seminary training does not prepare you for anything else and they are scared of losing their livelihood and not being able to support their families.

Some are also scared of telling their partners who are often still believers. Leaving the clergy and declaring unbelief has led to divorces.

Posted by Mano on November 3, 2011 10:35 AM