Insight: Confessing to Love

Insight: Confessing to Love

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County Sligo, Enniskillen




Production 28/02/2000


26min 35sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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In a country where religion holds power over society, progressive change doesn’t come easy. It wasn’t so long ago that divorce wasn’t even possible in the Republic. In the ever-changing world it is paramount that the society tries to adapt. 

Introduced by Mike Nesbitt, this programme looks at a relationship between a woman and a priest who decided to give up his priesthood to be able to lead an open family life. Sean Page and Marie Leydon tell the story of how their relationship evolved, the obstacles they had to overcome as well as of joys of family life and companionship. For the couple religious dogmatism with regards to celibacy and chastity appears backwards and counterproductive in today’s world. Sean, refusing to leave his priesthood quietly, talks about his intentions to join forces with renegade Bishop Pat Buckley in attempt to extend his more liberal type of ministry to the north west.


Cases such as that of Sean Page aren’t so rare, in fact, a large number of priests have given up their priesthood over time because of the church’s rigid and old-fashioned attitudes to sex, relationships and women. Many Irish priests have called for celibacy rules to be relaxed and women to be ordained amid clergymen shortage but so far the church hasn’t addressed these reforms.


Presented by Michael Nesbitt

Contributors: Sean Page, Marie Leydon and family 

The programme includes amateur footage of Sean' priesthood ordination service. 


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