ROME—Pavlos Dokos, a Greek priest of the Order of the Oriental Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament, a group that worships the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Rosary of the Lord, and his wife, Sister Maria Bagnasco, are the first people ever to marry in a Catholic ceremony.
Their ceremony, called “Sister Maria and I,” came under fire from critics concerned they have “taken holy matrimony to a new level.”
“They do not have the good marriage-life habits of Christians, including a desire to share their faith with their children,” says the Rev. Joseph Zwierlein, who said his ministry is the “prolonged work of a few human beings.” The Catholic Church, though, he said, has “not yet faced the truth” of what it is the “great evil is doing.”
The couple had been engaged since 2007.
But in 2009, their relationship deteriorated. Sister Maria, who is also the first Latin American priest to marry a Greek, says they fell out last year after the two argued over finances. Sister Bagnasco, who is the first Greek in the order to marry a Roman Catholic, says the couple had never spoken of money, but they started going out more and getting drunk more often.
Last February, when they went to Vatican City for a wedding, they got into a heated argument when he insisted that his parents would pay for a trip to Europe. Sister Maria responded that in Greece they were already well off.
The couple finally separated and tried to stay silent. But then in April, “one by one, I started to hear the rumours,” Sister Maria told Vatican radio last month. “It seemed like many, many people. They were saying things, including slanderous things, about us.”
“The world does not understand Greek culture,” she said.
Italian journalist, journalist and author Stefano Boni also wrote about their troubles, in several Italian newspapers and blogs. On her blog she wrote, “The couple have broken all the expectations of their life, the world of marriage. And they live on. And they do everything according to their personal interests, without any thought of our community.”
In an interview on Italian TV, the couple denied that they were “living like a couple on the edge,” as the Italian news outlet La Repubblica reported.
On Monday, the sisters said they had divorced. The
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