UK

Vicar, 79, left homeless after splitting from male model husband

December 29, 2017
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A retired vicar who married a male model half a century his junior has been left heartbroken and homeless after the marriage ended.

79-year-old Rev Philip Clements, a retired former parish priest, married 24-year-old Florin Marin in April.

Rev Clements sold his home in Kent to buy an apartment with his new husband in Bucharest, Romania, as they started a new life together.

But the pensioner was left stunned when the relationship broke down – just days after he signed the city centre apartment over to his husband.

The pair are said to have had a blazing argument over his husband’s constant clubbing.

Florin was regularly spending nights away from the marital home partying with friends, which the reverend was unable to join due to struggling with walking long distances.

Mr Clements has now returned to the UK almost penniless and is relying on friends for somewhere to stay.

He told The Sun: “We used to go out to the cinema and shopping. He makes me laugh. We’d laugh a lot.

“I came over to England for some medical appointments for a fortnight in late August. When I returned, we had a disagreement.”

Mr Clements added: “I was very lonely, not knowing the language or having any friends.

“Florin would spend a lot of time going out. He used to go to bed very late, sometimes 5am in the morning having been out nightclubbing or watching films.

Vicar, 79, left homeless after splitting from male model husband

“He said I wasn’t allowed to go clubbing. It wasn’t for old people. In my heart I didn’t accept it but I trusted him.”

Mr Clements returned to Britain in September, after less than five months of marriage.

He says he handed over the flat to Florin to give him “security when I die”.

But the former parish priest admits he didn’t realise they would break up just days later — leaving him “very unhappy”.

He explained: “I’ve lost everything really. I’ve lost my house and was in a poor state.”

The pair don’t plan on getting a divorce, however, as Florin claims to still have feelings and they still talk regularly.

The former priest caused controversy with the relationship.

Under current Church of England rules, clergymen are banned from performing same-sex marriages or entering them themselves.

Speaking before the couple wed, he said: “It’s only when I retired from full-time ministry that I decided I had to be my true self. It’s unnatural to keep on denying it.”

In a letter to the local newspaper, one local compared Rev Clements to Judas.

The angry letter-writer wrote: “[There is an] interesting parallel, rather appropriately, leading up to Easter, between Judas Iscariot, who was with Jesus for the three years of his earthly ministry and yet misunderstood him so much.

“We now have the ex-vicar of Eastry, who has spent even more time in Christian service without understanding the Bible or Christianity, now trying to force the Church into his views about marrying gay clergy.”

Speaking to Kent Online, Rev Clements said: “Jesus taught us to love our neighbours and not to judge. Jesus never once commented on this particular topic.

“Judas did a terrible thing. I’ve never betrayed Jesus and I would never encourage people to do that.”

He added: “I know that evangelical fundamentalists will say that this sort of thing… I think the Church needs to move on to understand life for many in the 21st century.

“My friends have accepted it and have sent us messages of support and good wishes for our new life in Romania.

“Those who feel negative about it, we haven’t heard from them.”

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