In a major blow to Poland's reputation as a champion of traditional Roman Catholic values, a majority of the country's Catholic priests favor an end to celibacy, a survey has revealed.
A survey of over 800 Polish priests carried out by Professor Josef Baniak, a sociologist specializing in religious affairs, found that 53 per cent would like to have a wife, while 12 per cent admitted that they were already involved in a relationship, the Telegraph reports.
A further 30 per cent revealed that they had sexual relationships with women at some point in their lives.
An earlier research had concluded that a number of priests were leaving priesthood due to their desire to have a relationship and a family.
Baniak's latest research mirrors a newspaper survey found that a whopping sixty per cent of priests wanted the right to marry.
Baniak's survey, however, attracted the wrath of the Church, with Bishop Wojciech Polak, chairman of the Church's Vocations Council, describing it as "full of generalizations," adding that he found "the conclusions hard to agree with".
Despite coming under fire from the Church, the figures in the survey reflect a general dissatisfaction in the Catholic Church in Poland that is struggling for a liberal culture.
Although 95 percent of Poles still describe themselves as Catholic and Poland remains proud homeland of Pope John Paul II, the number of men joining seminaries is falling. And the Church's role as a central pillar for Polish culture has started to fade.