By David Medrano |Staff Writer|
Reverend Michael Manning, a Roman Catholic priest, admits to having a sexual relationship with his cousin.
Manning, who has a worldwide Catholic television ministry, confirmed having the relationship with his second cousin, Nancy Kotowski, the Monterey County superintendent of schools.
“We’ve been such good friends and there is a big love that we have for each other,” said Manning. according to the San Bernardino Sun.
“The sexuality was secondary. It is very hard when you care for someone, but I love my priesthood more,” Manning added.
Manning admits to the sinfulness of his actions.
“I’ve done wrong. That’s why I’ve stopped,” said Manning.
Kotowski is reluctant to share details about their relationship, “Father Manning is a very dear and close friend of mine. Our friendship has grown over 30 years,” said Kotowski in a conference in Washington D.C.
“And we share a deep commitment of faithful and dedicated life of service in our respective work. I have nothing more to say about this personal and private matter,” Kotowski added.
Manning started a Catholic television ministry, a non-profit Wordnet, in 1978. His TV show “The Word in the World” can be seen every week on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
A source from the San Bernardino Sun stated that Manning has appeared on national TV shows, including “Larry King Live.”
Luz Lara, coordinator for the Roman Catholic Newman Club here at CSUSB, works with Manning and was available to comment on the issue..
“Rev. Manning has come to share in our gatherings and has celebrated mass for us. He is an exceptional person, and a very kind man,” said Lara.
“I remember the continued support and spiritual presence he has shared in campus ministry,” Lara added.
Reverend Stephen Porter, pastor of St. Catherine of Sienna Church in Rialto, CA, who said he personally knows Manning and believes that the best course of action for the reverend is to take some time out and reflect on his life.
Porter stresses that even though Manning is not allowed to perform in his ministry, he still retains the title of priest.
“He is a good friend,” Porter said. “He and she made a decision that their behavior was inappropriate…it’s appropriate that he needs to take a time out. He is still a priest, but he is not allowed to perform in public,” explained Porter.
Porter said celibacy is not for everyone and how they must choose to whether take or not to take that conviction.
“It’s not easy to be celibate,” Porter added. “It was a gift that it was given to me, I did not necessarily want it, but it was a gift.”
Manning said he is considering taking a break before returning to his ministry, according to the SB Sun.
Manning asked his supporters for their prayers and understanding.