- Parishioner says he was always flirting and had gone after her daughters
- Father Daniel McFalls made the announcement in a letter
- It is not known who the mother is or whether McFalls plans to marry her
- Will remain a priest unless he volunteers to have powers removed
PUBLISHED: 13:00 GMT, 26 September 2013 | UPDATED: 16:49 GMT, 26 September 2013
Chaste and holy, Catholic priests are supposed to set an example to their communities by forgoing certain pleasures.
But one community in California have been left stunned by the resignation their spiritual leader after he was lead into temptation.
Father Daniel – known as Dean – McFalls, from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Stockton, has voluntarily quit his post after admitting he had got a woman pregnant.
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Now one member of his congregations has said she is glad he is gone, calling him ‘flirty.’
Diana Garcia, who has attended the church for 15 years, told Fox News: ‘He’s gone after girls before and he’s gone after my daughters.’
‘He’s just lustful, he didn’t say he was in love or marry the girl, no.
‘It’s not about being a sinner, it’s about playing with God, he made a vow, this is a priest we’re talking about.’
In a letter sent to the church and read to his congregation, 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.
‘As St. Paul told the “Romans: ‘God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his decree,’ and though the Lord never decreed that I sin, he does command that all life be respected and nurtured.’
McFalls’ was given an indefinite leave of absence by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, head of the Diocese of Stockton, and will now have to decide if he wants to remain a priest.
Jack Valero, a spokesman for Catholic Voices, said: ‘It is a very very sad thing to happen. It is the same as if a married man is unfaithful to his wife.
‘He made a commitment and he did not stick to it. It undermines priests commitment to chastity.’
Priests make their vows for life, so while McFalls will no longer serve his community, he could serve other communities and continue to perform priestly duties, such as marrying people, unless he volunteers to ‘laicise’ himself.
Laicisation is an official process carried out by The Holy See in Rome to effectively ‘unmake’ a Catholic priest.
Priests do not have to laicise themselves following sexual relations, as with adulterous husbands who may wish to continue being married.
The process is uncommon, though has peaked in recent times following the Catholic child abuse scandal.