(CNN) - A report in The New York Times says the Vatican maintains secret guidelines for priests who father children despite their vows of celibacy.
Vincent Doyle, a man whose father was a Catholic priest, told the Times he was shown a document containing the guidelines when he traveled to Rome.
The Vatican confirms the document exists, but says it is "internal."
A Vatican spokesman said the secret rules ask priests who father children to leave the priesthood and take care of their children.
Officially, Catholic priests are required to refrain from any form of sexual activity and live a life of celibacy.
Nevertheless, a growing tide of sexual abuse scandals involving priests around the world has shown these vows are often broken.
There are, of course, many examples of consensual sex by ministers.
Doyle says he founded Coping International to bring together the children of priests.
He told the Times his website already had 50,000 users in 175 countries.