Tag Archive: falling in love with a priest


This kind of news is truly incredible. I cannot hide my excitement and joy. I’m updating the blog on a Friday instead of the usual Sunday as I cannot wait till Sunday to break the news to all our loyal readers.  There were many people who had lost faith in the Catholic Church. Others who accused us of alienating the people with our married priest concept. Others classified our work as totally heretical. Others shared out thoughts but were very sceptical about ever reaching our goal. Well it seems that what was considered heretical or totally not Catholic, the Pope had the courage to say yes. He is a true pastor who knows the needs of the church. We cannot let many communities without celebrating the Eucharist. It’s a great challenge for the Church. Obviously we are still waiting for the official go ahead from the Vatican but we are full of hope that it will happen soon. This is the wind of change which nobody can stop. These are the signs of the times which we always wrote about. It is the Holy Spirit who is blowing and calling the church for changes.  Let’s pray more in the coming months!

We are publishing the full article as published on the internet by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

A bishop who met with Pope Francis in a rare private audience on 4 April has said in an interview that the two men discussed the issue of the ordination of “proven” married men – viri probati – in a serious and positive way.

Bishop Erwin Kräutler, Bishop of Xingu in the Brazilian rainforest, spoke to the Pope about Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment, and the treatment of indigenous peoples but the desperate shortage of priests in the bishop’s huge diocese came up in the conversation. According to an interview the Austrian-born bishop gave to the daily Salzburger Nachrichten on 5 April, the Pope was open-minded about finding solutions to the problem, saying that bishops’ conferences could have a decisive role.

“I told him that as bishop of Brazil’s largest diocese with 800 church communities and 700,000 faithful I only had 27 priests, which means that our communities can only celebrate the Eucharist twice or three times a year at the most,” Bishop Kräutler said. “The Pope explained that he could not take everything in hand personally from Rome. We local bishops, who are best acquainted with the needs of our faithful, should be corajudos, that is ‘courageous’ in Spanish, and make concrete suggestions,” he explained. A bishop should not act alone, the Pope told Kräutler. He indicated that “regional and national bishops’ conferences should seek and find consensus on reform and we should then bring up our suggestions for reform in Rome,” Kräutler said.

Asked whether he had raised the question of ordaining married men at the audience, Bishop Kräutler replied: “The ordination of viri probati, that is of proven married men who could be ordained to the priesthood, came up when we were discussing the plight of our communities. The Pope himself told me about a diocese in Mexico in which each community had a deacon but many had no priest. There were 300 deacons there who naturally could not celebrate the Eucharist. The question was how things could continue in such a situation.

“It was up to the bishops to make suggestions, the Pope said again.”

Bishop Kräutler was then asked whether it now depended on bishops’ conferences, as to whether church reforms proceeded or not. “Yes,” he replied. “After my personal discussion with the Pope I am absolutely convinced of this.”

Last September the Vatican Secretary of State, then-Archbishop Pietro Parolin – who was then Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela – answered a question put to him by El Universal newspaper by stating that priestly celibacy “is not part of church dogma and the issue is open to discussion because it is an ecclesiastical tradition”. “Modifications can be made, but these must always favour unity and God’s will,” he said. “God speaks to us in many different ways. We need to pay attention to this voice that points us towards causes and solutions, for example the clergy shortage.”

In 2006 Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes issued a clarification in the Holy See Bollettino reiterating his support of church teaching and tradition just hours after telling a Sao Paolo newspaper: “Celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma of the Church … Certainly, the majority of the apostles were married. In this modern age, the Church must observe these things, it has to advance with history.”

The topic of ordaining “viri probati” was raised with a question mark over it in a speech by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice, at the October 2005 Synod on the Eucharist – the first synod of Pope Benedict XVI.

“To confront the issue of the shortage of priests, some … have put forward the request to ordain married faithful of proven faith and virtue, the so-called viri probati,” he said. Cardinal Scola, who read his speech in Latin in the presence of Pope Benedict, did not say which bishops from which countries had suggested discussing the ordination of older married men.

Above: Lay Catholics have become familiar with the sight of married priests who were formerly in the Anglican or Lutheran Churches, or who minister in international dioceses of Eastern Rite Churches such as the Maronite Church. (From The Tablet at http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/659/0/pope-says-married-men-could-be-ordained-priests-if-world-s-bishops-agree-on-it-)

 

Although most of our readers did not study theology (study about God), the argument of married priest cannot be discussed properly without any knowledge of theology. It is this kind of theology which people may quote for or against married priesthood. Today we are presenting a short history of the arguments in favour or against. We hope to be of help to our readers in order to understand the argument for married priesthood better.

By Richard R. Gaillardetz

It is very difficult to have a productive conversation about the possibility of a married priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. For some Catholics, any discussion of a change in the church’s current discipline constitutes either an attack on the priesthood itself or a capitulation to a secular culture that cannot appreciate the spiritual gifts that a celibate priesthood offers the church. Some Catholics support a married priesthood as a way to argue against priestly celibacy, which they regard as an antiquated discipline that is anti sex and at least indirectly responsible for the clerical sex-abuse crisis. Still others will argue for a married priesthood as a necessary pastoral response to the shortage of priests: the people of God, they say, have a right to the Eucharist, and that right trumps any spiritual or pastoral value in a celibate priesthood. Frequently, advocates of a married priesthood will point out that ecumenical accommodations have already been made for married Protestant ministers who convert to Catholicism, but those cases remain the exceptions to the rule. What is needed today is a constructive argument for a married priesthood in the Latin Church that is neither a pastoral/ecumenical accommodation nor a repudiation of priestly celibacy.

Any discussion of the relationship between celibacy and priesthood needs to distinguish between three different “logics” that have governed the practice of committed celibacy in the tradition. We find the first logic in the words of Jesus commending those who freely become “eunuchs for the kingdom” (Matthew 19). We might speak of this as celibacy’s prophetic witness to the values of the reign of God. According to this logic, one chooses a life of committed celibacy and renounces the sexual intimacy and companionship of marriage in order to enter into the paschal mystery in a distinctive way and give public witness to its transformative power.

This logic is not anti sex: those who freely choose this way of life can also give witness to the liberating power of authentic sexuality, in part by resisting the contemporary tendency to reduce sexuality to sexual acts. This kind of prophetic witness invites all Christians to consider anew their own call to exercise the virtue of chastity, whatever the particular circumstances of their lives. A crucial characteristic of this logic is the presumption that the person considering a celibate way of life actually possesses a charisma for celibacy. For those who recognize that charisma in their lives, celibacy can be both demanding and fruitful. Without such a charisma, however, celibacy can become a sterile burden. Prophetic celibacy first emerged in the witness of hermits and monks and continued to flourish in later forms of consecrated life. It has no intrinsic connection with the ministerial priesthood.

A second logic for celibacy, characterized by a concern for both moral and ritual purity, appears with particular force in the fourth and fifth centuries. Before examining this logic, we should recall a basic distinction: sexual continence refers to abstinence from sexual relations, whereas celibacy refers to forgoing marriage (and of course presumes sexual continence as well). The logic of purity sees the sexual continence of the clergy not as a freely embraced charisma but as a canonical obligation intended to preserve the purity of the priest in view of his holy office. When it became difficult to ascertain whether married priests were observing sexual continence before celebrating the Eucharist, bishops and regional synods began calling not just for priestly continence but also for priestly celibacy.

The logic of purity is constructed around a selective appropriation of the norms governing the Levitical priesthood, as presented in the Old Testament. This logic treats sexual activity as a form of ritual defilement. It also draws on ancient Stoic suspicions of human sexuality. Sex, even in marriage, is viewed largely as a concession to natural appetites and to the necessity of procreation. Partly as a consequence of this second logic, sexual continence and eventually celibacy would become a canonical obligation for priests in the Latin Church.

Finally, there is a third logic for celibacy, what we might call the logic of ministerial freedom. This logic sees celibacy as providing a greater freedom for Gospel service because the minister is not preoccupied with familial obligations. (A fourth logic emerged in the early Middle Ages as a way of protecting church property from the inheritance claims of the clergy’s offspring, but this logic lacks a properly theological foundation and so will not be considered here.) Note that the logic of ministerial freedom, like the logic of prophetic witness, assumes the presence of a charisma, without which celibacy will be experienced only as a burden, not as a gift.

As long as celibacy was intended to preserve ritual purity, it made sense for it to be a canonical obligation for all priests. According to the logic of purity, the point of forbidding priests to marry was just to prevent them from engaging in sexual activity, which was judged to be incompatible with their cultic function. Since the Second Vatican Council, however, this logic has been largely abandoned (for good reasons). So we are left with the logics of prophetic witness and ministerial service. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to “the affairs of the Lord, they give themselves entirely to God and to men [and women]. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God. (1579)

But this leaves us with a difficulty. As Heinz Vogels argues in Celibacy: Gift or Law [2] (1993), a celibate life lived as prophetic witness and in genuine freedom for gospel service cannot be mandated by canonical obligation; it can emerge only as the free recognition and embrace of a particular charisma.

A better understanding of celibacy’s proper role in the church would require a better theology of vocation—one that properly distinguished between various ministries on the one hand and various forms of holiness on the other. Despite some helpful developments in its theology of vocation, the Second Vatican Council continued to draw on the traditional view of Christian vocation, configured around three alternative “states of life”: marriage, priesthood, and religious life. However, an alternative framework presents itself in the middle four chapters of

Lumen Gentium [3]. Chapters 3 (on the hierarchy) and 4 (on the laity) explore how the church is constituted by its different charisms and ministries. Chapters 5 and 6 are concerned with the call to holiness—the former with the perfection of charity to which all Christians are called, and the latter with the public witness to holiness offered by consecrated religious. What we see embedded in the order of these four chapters is not the traditional “three states” schema, but the outlines of a new schema constructed along two axes. The first is ministerial: Am I called to serve the church through the charisms I have received from baptism or through ordination? The second axis has to do with holiness and forms of Christian discipleship: Am I called to pursue that Christian holiness proper to all disciples of Jesus, or am I called to give a public witness to the demands of discipleship and the values of the reign of God through a form of public vowed life? This framework has the merit of unhinging the ministerial priesthood from any necessary relationship with either celibacy or marriage, since the call to priestly ministry would be realized along one axis, and the call to the single life, marriage, or committed celibacy along the second axis.

Some male religious communities have preserved this distinction by insisting that those seeking entrance into their community focus on their embrace of its charisma and apostolate before they explore the quite separate question of whether they are called to priestly ministry. The process for those entering the diocesan priesthood should be adapted along the same lines, so as to leave room for the possibility that a candidate for priestly ministry may not have a charisma for celibacy [4]. The lack of that charisma should not be thought to invalidate a vocation to the priesthood.

For much of the history of the Latin Church, priestly celibacy was defended according to the logic of purity: the priesthood was seen as essentially incompatible with the sexual intimacy of marriage. This logic depended on a rather harsh appraisal of the character of human sexuality. A much more positive theology of sexuality emerged in the twentieth century, offering the possibility of a new assessment of a married priesthood—one based on the recognition that Christian marriage is not an alternative to an ascetical life, but a form of it.

I have no wish to demonize secular culture; grace is at work there too. Yet we cannot ignore the force of consumerism, which turns goods into commodities and encourages an “upgrade mentality,” even with respect to human beings. This mentality can make lifelong commitment appear almost nonsensical. At the same time, our culture’s preoccupation with romance and passion can make the mundane marital practice of companionship appear boring, laborious, and ultimately unnecessary. Consider the myth of Mr. or Ms. Right—the naïve conviction that there is one “right person” out there for each of us. This is a myth often underwritten by an inadequate understanding of divine providence and the misguided Christian conviction that God has intended “one person and only one person” for each of us who feel called to marriage. This myth can make the inevitable pains and disappointments within a marriage appear as indications that one has chosen the wrong person (“I see now that my spouse was not the right one”).

Against this cultural backdrop, authentic Christian married life will inevitably be counter cultural and prophetic. The public profession of marriage vows engages Christian spouses in a prophetic form of renunciation, a free embrace of limits for the sake of Christian witness and mission. The vows of marriage bind a couple together “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” The faithful companionship to which Christian marriage calls us retains a vital and necessary ascetical character. Moreover, we must resist reducing marital lovemaking to “the thing celibates don’t get to do”; it, too, participates in the prophetic witness of marriage. Conjugal love is not constituted by a mere “right to the body of one’s spouse” (ius in corpus). In its potential for intimacy and vulnerability, as well as delight, and in its humble openness to new life, it is a sign of contradiction in a culture that commodifies sex and depreciates fidelity.

Christian married couples, like faithful celibate priests and consecrated religious, give prophetic witness to eschatological values associated with the coming of God’s reign: chastity, radical forgiveness, vulnerability, fidelity, hospitality, generosity, and gratitude.

Were leaders in the Latin Church to recognize the prophetic witness of Christian married life, they might look at the possibility of a married priesthood with new eyes. They might see that marriage, like committed celibacy, is a concrete form of the universal call to holiness that can fruitfully support priestly ministry. They might come to see a married priesthood not as a reluctant pastoral or ecumenical accommodation but as a genuine gift to the entire church. They might recognize in a married priesthood a valuable complement to a celibate priesthood, a form of life well suited for both ministry and prophetic witness. And if a married priesthood helped challenge the misuse of priestly celibacy as a support for clerical elitism, well, that wouldn’t be so bad either.

Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College.

His books include: Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II (co-authored with Catherine Clifford, Liturgical Press, 2012), When the Magisterium Intervenes (editor, Liturgical Press, 2012), Ecclesiology for a Global Church: A People Called and Sent (Orbis, 2008) and The Church in the Making (Paulist, 2006

 

We are so happy that a bishop of the Catholic Church had the guts to call a spade a spade! Although many people are so happy with the election of Pope Francis, yet after one year no change in laws was noticed. Practically all pastors are observing the same old law which hinders people from approaching God. It’s not enough to have a smiling and charismatic Pope, as we have seen during the papacy of Pope John Paul II, but somebody like Pope John XXIII who DID change the laws of the church.

People are educated to observe laws as otherwise chaos would reign all over. Yet if the laws remain unchanged, what will happen? We can testify that people simply have already discarded the outdated law of prohibition of contraceptives. Now, there are more laws concerning marriage which have been abandoned by Catholics especially in the Western Part of the world. We’ll continue with people coming to church (sometimes) and professing to be Catholic, yet in their own personal and private lives they adhere to a different form of religion, which is diametrically opposed to the official one.

It has been preached by many priests that our religion is not for sale, nor do we need to listen to what the majority says! Yet Pope John XXIII used to listen to the sign of the times which in political language would be listening to what the people are saying!! How can we be sure that what people say and want is wrong? How can we close God in the building of the church? How can we be sure that God speaks to priests only?!

No organisation can go without the support of the people. If the church looses it’s image in the eyes of the people, then there won’t be any vocations…which means a slow but sure death. We are already facing a priest-less church in Western Europe. Now the fact of sexuality is pushing people to find God elsewhere. We are loosing some fine young blood just for the sake of keeping some laws made by men or culture!

Again we present married priesthood as another helping asset in the church nowadays. Priests who have their own teenagers do know something about the young people of today. They are in a better position to say what the young people are looking for especially when facing their congregation with their own family members. These priests do have to encounter loss of faith; non-acceptance of the Church; different ways of expressing faith; different approach to sexuality etc…..They cannot hide their family situation which puts them in the spotlight in their own parish. The parish priest cannot be a good speaker without being a witness to faith because all the community can see how is managing his own family! It’s surely another aid for the priest in order to live a life much closer to the gospel. Let’s all pray that the present Pope would permit married priests in order to present a contemporary church, nearer to the people and God.

The meaning of celibacy

It seems that many priests are experts when it comes to manipulating women or to please their inner desires. They preach to others what to do and what NOT to do, yet in their private personal lives they come up with any justification in order to excuse themselves for breaking the law.

People who know priests personally could testify about this. I do remember some priests who do not eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays during lent as a sign of penitence and solidarity with the poor. During these two weekdays, they just go for some of the most expensive fish in town!!! But they tell their conscience that they are not eating meat! They tell others not to receive the Eucharistic sacrament when committing ‘grave’ sins. Yet they don’t find any problem of celebrating mass after a night of love making with a parishioner! They speak about justice, yet they expect their parishioners to help the parish for FREE. They like to be treated in a special way when waiting in a queue. They do dress differently in order to be treated on a red carpet although they preach to the others to be humble. They go on holidays many times yet they expect family people to do a lot of sacrifices…..the list is endless. We don’t wish to become a site for bashing of priests but sometimes we do notice certain patterns especially when priests do fool women.

Let’s focus on just one today: celibacy. The dictionary would explain it simply as the abstention from sexual relations. The spirit of the gospel is not playing and going around with rules about not having a sexual relationship but much more. In the gospel of Matthew chapter 5: “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This is just normal teaching for ordinary Catholics. Priests are expected to perform well above the bar expected for normal parishioners. A deep relationship with just one person was always looked upon as highly contrary to the spirit of celibacy. The celibate priest is there as a sign of the things to come in the next world.

One of our readers has expertly explained the meaning of celibacy. Celibacy isn’t just about sex. It’s about intimacy — emotional and spiritual intimacy being equal to the physical. This is where the problem is. There has been so much emphasis on the sexual abuse scandals (and there should be – where innocent children are involved!), but I think those priests who long for intimacy proceed in cultivating relationships that they are able to walk away from without guilt when things get too complicated because there was no physical expression of love. No sex. For some men, the physical is often, usually, the focus, so it’s natural for them to place so much importance on it. (Especially when they are supposed to deny it.) But if they had had experience with the journey of loving someone, they would know that intimacy is many things, the physical being only one of them and sometimes not even being the most important. Some women, I think, tend to experience the emotional part more intensely and more immediately at the start of a relationship. So the priest who thinks he is not betraying his vows or hurting anyone by falling in love and encouraging loving, albeit not sexual, responses from a woman and then walking away, is just as guilty as the lay man who picks up a woman for a one-night stand and never intends to contact her again. In some ways, for a woman- for THIS woman, anyway – the emotional rejection is worse, more painful and harder to recover from.

We expect the celibate person to be full of the Lord’s word and thinking. He listens to all people and the way he answers shows an intimate union with his God ONLY.

Celibacy was explained to us as the giving up of everything for the Lord. How can a priest be a prophetic sign when the parishioners know that he is a womaniser? The fact that most of the time such a relationship is hidden proves that notwithstanding what the priest says, it is an illegal act in the mind of the church. Surprisingly most of the woman don’t have this theological notion. It proves that as a website we still need to reach to many more people who are unaware of the teaching of the Catholic Church when it comes to the life of priests!

As married priests we are never going to banish celibacy. We only urge the church to make it optional because in many cases priests are deviating from the true meaning of celibacy. Let them get married and serve the Lord too! As married priests we don’t look for women just for pleasure or in order to use them. We look first and foremost for a companion in life and faith. Obviously we are aware of our sexual needs too but these are to be practised in a relationship which is not afraid of consequences and responsibilities. Finally it’s never hidden. Parishioners could easily deduct if such a relationship is detrimental or benevolent in the life of their pastor. There are obviously consequences on their parish.

Married priests never hide their relationship! People can testify if the family of the priest is witnessing to the gospel or not. The priest could never hide from his own congregation. They could see if the priest is just a good preacher or a truly a faith living person.

One of the mistakes committed by the women involved in a relationship with a priest is that although they are not happy about a clandestine relationship, yet they keep the relationship alive by corresponding or seeing the priest many times. If you are not happy with the relationship, talk with him face to face. Give him some time to make up his mind (but not forever). When the time is up, simply walk away and stop all kind of communication even if he comes kneeling in front of you, crying and asking simply to talk.

We know from experience that stopping a loving relationship is easier said than done. We understand the amorous feelings of the women involved but as they say it’s better to be safe than sorry. Look at the big picture. In many cases he is never going to leave priesthood. So you’re never going to have a husband next to you in life. You’ll never be able to walk hands in hands, play on the sand or have his child. You are going to be alienated all your life. Do you want to live like this? The answer is in your hands but remember action speaks louder than words. You are God’s being and you deserve a happy life.

This is another true story where the woman was completely deceived by the priest in giving her the assumption that he was going to be her future husband. Although not all stories end up in this way, yet most of them do. The woman believes each and every word the priest says. She keeps them in her heart. When will the words be translated into action? How does the priest behave after let’s say one year? What excuses will he bring up? It’s very important to all the women out there who write endless emails to our blog in order to show how hurt they have been, that falling in love with a priest is not for those who are looking for stability or a normal love life!

 

This is our 100th post. We’ve been on the internet since 1997, on other websites, which sadly had to close down owing to the fact that the company which provided free online space to our ideas found itself in financial difficulties. We wish to thank wordpress for making our website such a hit with many more people. Thanks to wordpress our website is now easily found when looking for information through a search engine. Our website is becoming more popular thanks to our readers because they are writing more and more. Sincere love stories with priests which are not easily found on the internet, are finding space on this blog. Please continue writing in order to make this blog your blog. Many people are realising that when they write, indirectly they are helping other people. Newcomers don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss any of our regular posts!! Let’s go to the story…………enjoy reading and please do write what you think about our latest story!

 

Rev Andrew was our new priest. He came to counsel me (Rita), after my husband of 20 years left me with children to bring up. I was numb and in shock. He did not mention God once, instead he chatted about the fun things in life. I liked him for his transparency but was surprised that he seemed to not acknowledge God in our conversations.

 

He visited at my home till late as we sipped wine and chatted..he was attracted to me, it was obvious from the start!

 

He started flirting during that year and went into the second year. He would make very suggestive comments and paid me many compliments. They were actually very, very evocative. He would comment on my dress sense and my figure… Wow I was rather surprised! I reciprocated the flirting, though wrong of me…It diverted my attention away from the awful time I was having as my divorce progressed. It actually made me feel beautiful and loved. Sad and irresponsible, I know!

 

It is only now that I realise he had used me during my most vulnerable time. Maybe he too was vulnerable in that his focus was not on his ministry but himself. Those dull, lonely moments often come up when in the priesthood. I was there at that time! I could cause a lot of problems for him..but I won’t..ever!

 

At times we behaved like love struck teenagers. Tripping up in embarrassment when we spotted each other and stealing quick ‘looks’. He would, though, keep me on my toes!…by flirting openly with other women. He would return from a trip saying he had met a good-looking girl and had a romantic evening with her! I used to just smile but felt very upset!! It was like being on a roller coaster of emotions! But I was hopelessly in love.

 

I lavished him with gifts, did his shopping and he took it all and never really showed gratitude. He never extended any generosity back. Not that I ever expected anything from him but he would never do anything ‘nice’ for me, like even saving me a piece of cake if I was busy working in the parish! At one time he risked showing me around his home…I remember saying “you’ll have to give this all up in a few years”. He said in a sad, gentle voice “yes”. We stood there, quiet..face to face, I wanted to hold him..but bowed my head, “I don’t want you to go”, I said. Nothing happened. I know we both wanted to kiss. Maybe he was waiting for me to make the first move?…I’m not sure but I didn’t dare.

 

Whenever he went away, we were in constant contact. On leaving..he made sure I was the last person he saw, “trust me”, he would say! I was bowled over! I just couldn’t stop thinking about him. My moods changed to light. We had a few meals at my home. The final time, I noticed beads of sweat on his forehead. He was acting strange..I couldn’t understand why he had changed from being light-hearted to almost angry…at me!!!???? We had quite a lot of wine when we met but never acted on our attraction. I realised later, that those beads of sweat on his forehead the final time be came to my home, were indications of him fighting the attraction..I was too! …there was trouble….!!!

 

Our flirting got even more explicit in our correspondence until it came to am abrupt stop! He no longer sent replies and said that he thought I was a nice person but it must stop. He then said that it makes him want to leave if I carry on the flirting! It was he who started it though!!

 

As he settled into his new parish, he made many friends. I became very much sidelined as other ladies began showing him attention! He has admitted enjoying being on that pedestal and being like a celebrity! I am slowly coming to realise I was there when he was lonely.

 

He then started to ignore me and reject my flirting. I was and still am, devastated. He explained that he can’t flirt any more and that it had nothing to do with his position as a priest! (That confused me!) and said, although it is hurtful, he didn’t know any other way to handle it..he said it must stop not because of his vows but to do with his broken heart for something else!! …? But what? A woman?? He would not tell me…and got rather angry at my questions!

 


This is the point where I am currently…

 

It’s been 2 years since this all started and he’s now excluding me from parish events and openly flirting with other parishioners, one in particular. I barely see the many friends I have there. They are my support network and I’m at a loss.

 

I know I made a mistake but feelings of love are uncontrollable…to this moment I think of his beautiful smile and his luscious hair!

 

Even though he’s been so unkind to me, I love him! I’m left devastated but must move on…I don’t know how to though….

 

Linda and Phil is another romantic story involving a Catholic priest. We are publishing this story (which was already published around 7 years ago – see link below) for a few reasons:

  • This woman like many others did not look for a priest to get married. She didn’t think marrying a Catholic priest was appropriate (this is what one hears in the Catholic Church for many many years). Yet love conquers all. Slowly but surely both of them understood that it was God calling them to be together and there was no escape…..you can put something under the carpet but it won’t go away!!

  • Phil was the kind of priest who believed in priesthood as a married priest. He had the guts to continue serving people strengthened by his woman who stood by his side all the time.

  • The woman who falls in love with a priest tries not to be a scandal by hiding her secret….in this case for 5 years!!! How terrible and painful to keep such a secret for so long. Obviously they are under pressure from other Catholics and afraid of being judged and given ugly nicknames…..

  • A woman with a son thinks twice about making the bold step: will my son accept my new love? Will my man love my son? Well the son found out that celibacy is a man made law! The priest did love their son. Is there a better ending to their love story?

  • His family reacted in a different way. Many many times the family members are afraid of being victims to a lot of gossip, hence they put a lot of pressure on the priest. I know from experience that even non-believing family members put pressure on priests to stay were they are! Obviously most of them do not understand a priest’s life notwithstanding the fact that there are blood relationships. They are the ones who confuse priests from taking the right decision. Now enjoy reading the article and please do pray for other couples passing through the same decision. There are so many and obviously not all of them have a happy ending!

    Though priests are mandated by the Roman Catholic Church to remain celibate and unmarried, Linda and Phil Marcin were called to marriage and wed in 1982. Linda’s husband was laicized, forbidding him from performing priestly duties. But since canon law says “once validly received, sacred ordination never becomes invalid,’’ Phil Marcin still performs baptisms, serves Holy Communion and completes other priestly duties when asked by everyday folks.

He insisted I just call him Phil, but I couldn’t. I thought that the title — Father Phil Marcin — and that black shirt and stiff white collar was a good barrier. It was a reminder to me that there were certain lines I could not cross.

I was a single mom when I met him. I started attending [Akron’s] St. Bernard’s, where he was an associate pastor. We very quickly became friends. We had a lot in common. We used to discuss theology a lot. I think I frustrated him, because I was more liberal than he was. He had a very strict Catholic upbringing. I was more open. I had attended a lot of different churches, but I always felt called to the Catholic Church.

I always thought that when my son Scottie was on his own, I would become a nun. I never really thought I would ever marry again. But, I thought if I ever did find the right man, I wanted someone who loved God as much as I did.

It was a very spiritual experience the moment I fell in love with him. We were at inquiry class — a course I took to become Catholic — and he put on a song by Joe Wise called “Maleita’s Song.” The words were “I’m in love with my God and my God is in love with me. The more I love you, the more I know, I’m in love with my God.” As I listened to the words, I opened my eyes and I looked at Phil. I really believe God let me see him through His eyes. I was filled with this enormous, tender love for Phil.

It scared the living daylights out of me. At the time, I didn’t know the history of the married priesthood. I just knew priests weren’t allowed to marry. I kept my love a secret for five years. I was terrified that when he looked at me, he would be able to tell how I felt about him.
After five years, it became too difficult. I was going to leave St. Bernard’s. I invited him over to dinner to say goodbye. That’s when we admitted to each other that we were in love. That’s the first time I could call him Phil.

For two years after that, neither one of us wanted him to give up his priesthood, but we also couldn’t stand the thought of losing each other. The only person I told during that time was my son Scott. He was really a genius. At 12 years old, he had researched all of this and knew that mandatory celibacy did not come from God. It was a man-made rule imposed in the 12th century. It opened me up to a whole new reality.
It’s terrible to be in love and just want to tell the whole world but have to keep it a secret.

Phil and I went through counseling. We realized we were called to marriage.

It was a relief to tell my friends. My friends knew I was in love, but not with whom. I think they thought I was in love with a married man. They were thrilled when they found out it was Phil, because everyone loved and respected him.

For his family, it was very difficult. They were very strict Catholics. Wonderful people, but they didn’t all understand. I think Phil’s mom, along with a lot of other people, thought I was competing with God in his life. When we were called to marriage, I think people thought he put me above the Lord, which was anything but true.

About a month before he left, Phil told the parishioners at all the Masses exactly what he was going through, told them they could come and ask any questions. Instead of leaving town and disappearing, we stayed in Akron and made ourselves available. That’s how our ministry continued.

We were married in May of 1982. We couldn’t get married in the Catholic Church, but we had a religious ceremony at Arlington Church of God. We had our marriage validated in the Catholic Church in 1986 after Phil was laicized. We still believe he is a priest, though. Once ordained, you are always ordained.

We had two sons. Phil baptized both of them and gave each their first communion.

People ask us why we stay Catholic. We believe in the church. We believe in the sacraments. We know the church has a lot of problems, but they are not going to be solved if people like us take the easy way out and leave. So we stay and hope we can make a difference.

— as told to Andy Netzel. Published on the internet at: http://tinyurl.com/4yzeffj

Do you remember when kids of unmarried parents were not baptised ? What was the attitude of the Catholic community then? Do you remember the Galileo case? Do you remember the first time a woman read in church? Do you remember the first time that guitars were used in church? The list goes on and on……it was always an attitude of condemnation…..to be substituted by attitude of let’s turn a blind eye….then finally we can’t do without it!

This has practically been the attitude of the Catholic Church to whatever is new. We had the Second Vatican Council (meeeting for all Catholic Bishops 1962-1965) which should have served as a revolution but instead all the Popes after John twenty-third, tried to limit its effects on the church. Now finally the present Pope is turning the clock to the present times.

How does the present Pope think? Well he said it’s the way that faith is passed on. If they ask for baptism they’re asking to pass on the faith. He knows for sure how important for the church is to pass on the faith. He is being practical in not letting the church take the same road the dinosaurs did! Faith is not passed on automatically to offsprings. Somebody has to speak about God. They have to be witnesses to faith.

For most of the time that passed by, the church has insisted that being married in church is a sure way of witnessing and passing on the faith. Well, experience tells us that those married in church, are not always the best examples of faith. There are others who are living in particular situations (living with divorced partner for example), where although they seem to be living in ‘sin’, yet anybody can see their love and care for each other. We do know of many couples, who are not baptised at all, yet when one sees them how they interact with their children and with others, one sees God in their lives!!!

Life cannot be forced to be in a box, or regular in other words. Some people are called to live outside the box, or irregular life. This does not mean they disregard the laws of the church but rather they have to search and find God in their own particular situation. In a few words this has been the Second Vatican Council: it’s not the application of laws in particular situations but rather examining experience and listen to what God is telling you. Life is something personal and intimate. It’s very difficult and unethetical to expect laws to fit all situations. Besides in the same Second Vatican Council has called for respect to each and every conscience. We are obliged to follow our consciences (it’s our own personal and intimate guide which tells us how to respond to God’s love).

Why did we focus our thinking to such an event done by Pope Francis? Well on the same line of thinking, we are thinking or promising of having a Catholic Church in the future by providing married priests. If the people are to live their faith, they have to find courage and faith in the celebration of  Sunday’s liturgy. But if there aren’t any priests? Not only would married priests add numerically the number of priests, but we think that the time has come to see married priests once the converted Anglican priests are being allowed to live with their wives. Married priests could be of great inspiration and faith to most married people nowadays. Condemning or turning a blind eye won’t solve the problem as in the Western World the church is going to be practically non-existent! Let’s introduce married priests to have a new presentation and witness of faith!

What kind of woman does fall in love with a priest? We have met countless examples. It’s very difficult to find a common character or trait. Yet in most cases none of them wanted to get involved. This is contrary to what some conservatives claim, that they are devils in disguise or looking for priests. There are a lot of circumstances where one leads to another and finally the woman realises that she is falling, head over heals, in love with her friend-priest. In most cases the woman is shocked, and it takes a long time to understand what’s really going on…..the priest in most cases is the one who denies any feeling at all. He is most likely to live in denial. But let’s give space to a real woman to write about what happened to her heart. It comes straight from the heart. This author could become a famous writer because she writes sincerely, and remembers some tiny details in her relationship with her priest and succeeds in putting all her feelings in writing………She is Jacqueline (name changed to protect privacy).
I am in love with a priest. And I want to say up front that we have never admitted feelings for one another, let alone done anything physical. I would never be open to anything “clandestine” and certainly nothing physical before marriage.
 I first saw him two years ago when I attended mass at the parish he’s currently assigned at, and at the time didn’t like him at all. He was all frown and rubbed me the wrong way in his homily.  He spotted me as he was walking back from the altar, looked again, and this thought went through my mind: “This man will fall in love with you.” The thought shocked me, because it was like it wasn’t a part of my thought process – more of an insert out of nowhere.  I thought, “Oh well, he rubs me the wrong way, and he’s already ordained a priest…..so that’s unfortunate.” But at that time I didn’t give it much thought.
Gradually, I started volunteering through the parish, and he happened to be involved with several of the groups. His actions and behaviors towards me quickly confirmed three things: 1) He was really attracted to me, 2) The attraction scared the heck out of him, and 3) He wanted to get closer but didn’t dare or know quite how. Once again, for six months I thought not too much of it – although I came to see what a good heart he has and was no longer annoyed by him. There was one instance where he tried to reach out, but I could sense his feelings and pulled away, cutting off the conversation to a quick hello and goodbye. I was afraid of giving him in any way the wrong impression, or God forbid – “tempting” him.
Then, one day, I was at a daily mass he was celebrating, and I could tell my feelings for him had grown. It scared me. I didn’t dare to look at him hardly during mass, and murmured the Saint Michael prayer under my breath whenever I caught my thoughts heading that direction. Basically, I stuffed everything down and tried to ignore it. I would treat him politely, but without the openness or affection I showed for everyone else around us. I was terrified any little hint would give away my feelings to him – or to others. Then, a couple months later, yet again at another daily mass he was celebrating, I finally admitted to myself, “You are in love with this man.” I admitted defeat, and went home and cried.
I debated for a good while not going back to that parish to volunteer – even though I’d helped build up a community and had many good new friends. And he – the priest, had grown by leaps and bounds.  I resolved to stay and not to “run away” or “hide”.  It made me smile to myself, every time I came around, and since I’d been around, he lit up. Instead of running away from everyone after the events, he’d started to stay and chat. He started to change. He was more mature, and he was HAPPY. Then he would catch himself, as if all of a sudden realizing how far his emotions had taken him, and backtrack. He would send me messages like, “great to talk to you tonight”, and would enjoy getting to know me, but then become agitated and have to physically leave my presence. One night, he and I were walking and talking – and it became more and more apparent just how similar we are – how much we mirror each other. When he thought I wasn’t looking, he looked up to the sky, and mouthed silently and in frustration, to God it seemed, “Why?”
It hurts – it hurts like you wouldn’t believe. I can see how much he loves and cares for me, though he might not realize how obvious it is, but he thinks he’s stuck where he’s at – despite the cracks that keep forming in the current lens of his life. He’s a very good and dedicated man – and when he was ordained – and ordained young, I doubt he knew these feelings were possible. I see him fight them now, tooth and nail. And in all this – despite the turbulence of his feelings – he as NO idea that they’re reciprocated. I’ve purposely kept them as hidden as possible to protect the both of us. When I show the slightest bit of affection, I can see the love on his face – it’s so obvious to me – and I worry others will notice his reactions as well. Being in a more conservative diocese – people are suspicious, and unfortunately more merciless.
So for now, I continue to volunteer – and to pray. But in the long run, I don’t really know what I should think, or do. I ask God, as he did, “Why?!” I know I shouldn’t feel guilty for my feelings, but I do. I know how other Catholics here would react – and especially how they treat him if they had any suspicions. And what’s more – despite the fact that he’s not at peace nor content with the state he’s currently in – how could he overcome the impossible obstacles in the way? His large and extremely conservative family, all of his brother priests and parishioners who love and respect him? And why would he risk any of it – when he still has no idea how I feel about him? But how can I approach him with that? I can’t. It wouldn’t be right I don’t think – and could be unintentionally a “lure”.  I feel trapped and I don’t want to live in any kind of naive and vain hope that he’d be willing to risk everything if he knew how I felt.
Why Rev. does love have to be this “shameful” in the Catholic world? Since when were priests not human beings? When did the women who fall in love with them turn into the Devil incarnate? How can we heal a Church full of people who don’t know their thinking is sick at it’s roots?
Thank you once again for your time. I hope this will help other women and priests in similar situations realize they’re not alone.
Thanks Jacqueline. We wish all our readers that they’ll experience the birth of Jesus Christ in their hearts. The ones who fell in love will surely know the meaning of love, hence they’re going to give birth to a special and unique relationship with God. We pray for the priests in order to accept the gift of love not as a sin, but rather as the biggest catalyst in their spiritual life in order to live fully their priesthood vocation!

We think that it’s very enlightening to publish the opinion of an established scientific writer about celibacy. We do need scholars to delve into our subject of forced celibacy. We are looking for truth no matter what. At the same time, one cannot forget that in the meantime in the Catholic Church we are accepting married priests. This changes not only our praxis but it leads to some thinking outside the box. Why do we permit married priests under some circumstances? We are doing away with the common held belief that the married priest is more concerned with his family than with his parish because the number of married priests is in actual fact proving otherwise. Surprisingly while the celibate priests has an answering machine and the need to fix an appointment, in many cases the married priest is more available. This is because they know that he has a family so they know where to find him. A man with a family does not take holidays so often nor does he go all over the world.

We agree with most of the thoughts expressed, yet not all of them. We believe in freedom of thought and discussion. We encourage our readers to take an active role and write about it!

Married Priests,  A Countercultural Witness
Richard R. Gaillardetz     November 25, 2013 – 11:12am
It is very difficult to have a productive conversation about the possibility of a married priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. For some Catholics, any discussion of a change in the church’s current discipline constitutes either an attack on the priesthood itself or a capitulation to a secular culture that cannot appreciate the spiritual gifts that a celibate priesthood offers the church. Some Catholics support a married priesthood as a way to argue against priestly celibacy, which they regard as an antiquated discipline that is antisex and at least indirectly responsible for the clerical sex-abuse crisis. Still others will argue for a married priesthood as a necessary pastoral response to the shortage of priests: the people of God, they say, have a right to the Eucharist, and that right trumps any spiritual or pastoral value in a celibate priesthood. Frequently, advocates of a married priesthood will point out that ecumenical accommodations have already been made for married Protestant ministers who convert to Catholicism, but those cases remain the exceptions to the rule. What is needed today is a constructive argument for a married priesthood in the Latin Church that is neither a pastoral/ecumenical accommodation nor a repudiation of priestly celibacy.
Any discussion of the relationship between celibacy and priesthood needs to distinguish between three different “logics” that have governed the practice of committed celibacy in the tradition. We find the first logic in the words of Jesus commending those who freely become “eunuchs for the kingdom” (Matthew 19). We might speak of this as celibacy’s prophetic witness to the values of the reign of God. According to this logic, one chooses a life of committed celibacy and renounces the sexual intimacy and companionship of marriage in order to enter into the paschal mystery in a distinctive way and give public witness to its transformative power.
This logic is not antisex: those who freely choose this way of life can also give witness to the liberating power of authentic sexuality, in part by resisting the contemporary tendency to reduce sexuality to sexual acts. This kind of prophetic witness invites all Christians to consider anew their own call to exercise the virtue of chastity, whatever the particular circumstances of their lives. A crucial characteristic of this logic is the presumption that the person considering a celibate way of life actually possesses a charism for celibacy. For those who recognize that charism in their lives, celibacy can be both demanding and fruitful. Without such a charism, however, celibacy can become a sterile burden. Prophetic celibacy first emerged in the witness of hermits and monks and continued to flourish in later forms of consecrated life. It has no intrinsic connection with the ministerial priesthood.
A second logic for celibacy, characterized by a concern for both moral and ritual purity, appears with particular force in the fourth and fifth centuries. Before examining this logic, we should recall a basic distinction: sexual continence refers to abstinence from sexual relations, whereas celibacy refers to forgoing marriage (and of course presumes sexual continence as well). The logic of purity sees the sexual continence of the clergy not as a freely embraced charism but as a canonical obligation intended to preserve the purity of the priest in view of his holy office. When it became difficult to ascertain whether married priests were observing sexual continence before celebrating the Eucharist, bishops and regional synods began calling not just for priestly continence but also for priestly celibacy.
The logic of purity is constructed around a selective appropriation of the norms governing the Levitical priesthood, as presented in the Old Testament. This logic treats sexual activity as a form of ritual defilement. It also draws on ancient Stoic suspicions of human sexuality. Sex, even in marriage, is viewed largely as a concession to natural appetites and to the necessity of procreation. Partly as a consequence of this second logic, sexual continence and eventually celibacy would become a canonical obligation for priests in the Latin Church.
Finally, there is a third logic for celibacy, what we might call the logic of ministerial freedom. This logic sees celibacy as providing a greater freedom for Gospel service because the minister is not preoccupied with familial obligations. (A fourth logic emerged in the early Middle Ages as a way of protecting church property from the inheritance claims of the clergy’s offspring, but this logic lacks a properly theological foundation and so will not be considered here.) Note that the logic of ministerial freedom, like the logic of prophetic witness, assumes the presence of a charism, without which celibacy will be experienced only as a burden, not as a gift.
As long as celibacy was intended to preserve ritual purity, it made sense for it to be a canonical obligation for all priests. According to the logic of purity, the point of forbidding priests to marry was just to prevent them from engaging in sexual activity, which was judged to be incompatible with their cultic function. Since the Second Vatican Council, however, this logic has been largely abandoned (for good reasons). So we are left with the logics of prophetic witness and ministerial service. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to “the affairs of the Lord, they give themselves entirely to God and to men [and women]. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God. (1579)
But this leaves us with a difficulty. As Heinz Vogels argues in Celibacy: Gift or Law [2] (1993), a celibate life lived as prophetic witness and in genuine freedom for gospel service cannot be mandated by canonical obligation; it can emerge only as the free recognition and embrace of a particular charism.
A better understanding of celibacy’s proper role in the church would require a better theology of vocation—one that properly distinguished between various ministries on the one hand and various forms of holiness on the other. Despite some helpful developments in its theology of vocation, the Second Vatican Council continued to draw on the traditional view of Christian vocation, configured around three alternative “states of life”: marriage, priesthood, and religious life. However, an alternative framework presents itself in the middle four chapters of Lumen Gentium [3]. Chapters 3 (on the hierarchy) and 4 (on the laity) explore how the church is constituted by its different charisms and ministries. Chapters 5 and 6 are concerned with the call to holiness—the former with the perfection of charity to which all Christians are called, and the latter with the public witness to holiness offered by consecrated religious. What we see embedded in the order of these four chapters is not the traditional “three states” schema, but the outlines of a new schema constructed along two axes. The first is ministerial: Am I called to serve the church through the charisms I have received from baptism or through ordination? The second axis has to do with holiness and forms of Christian discipleship: Am I called to pursue that Christian holiness proper to all disciples of Jesus, or am I called to give a public witness to the demands of discipleship and the values of the reign of God through a form of public vowed life? This framework has the merit of unhinging the ministerial priesthood from any necessary relationship with either celibacy or marriage, since the call to priestly ministry would be realized along one axis, and the call to the single life, marriage, or committed celibacy along the second axis.

Some male religious communities have preserved this distinction by insisting that those seeking entrance into their community focus on their embrace of its charism and apostolate before they explore the quite separate question of whether they are called to priestly ministry. The process for those entering the diocesan priesthood should be adapted along the same lines, so as to leave room for the possibility that a candidate for priestly ministry may not have
a charism for celibacy [4]. The lack of that charism should not be thought to invalidate a vocation to the priesthood.
For much of the history of the Latin Church, priestly celibacy was defended according to the logic of purity: the priesthood was seen as essentially incompatible with the sexual intimacy of marriage. This logic depended on a rather harsh appraisal of the character of human sexuality. A much more positive theology of sexuality emerged in the twentieth century, offering the possibility of a new assessment of a married priesthood—one based on the recognition that Christian marriage is not an alternative to an ascetical life, but a form of it.
I have no wish to demonize secular culture; grace is at work there too. Yet we cannot ignore the force of consumerism, which turns goods into commodities and encourages an “upgrade mentality,” even with respect to human beings. This mentality can make lifelong commitment appear almost nonsensical. At the same time, our culture’s preoccupation with romance and passion can make the mundane marital practice of companionship appear boring, laborious, and ultimately unnecessary. Consider the myth of Mr. or Ms. Right—the naïve conviction that there is one “right person” out there for each of us. This is a myth often underwritten by an inadequate understanding of divine providence and the misguided Christian conviction that God has intended “one person and only one person” for each of us who feel called to marriage. This myth can make the inevitable pains and disappointments within a marriage appear as indications that one has chosen the wrong person (“I see now that my spouse was not the right one”).
Against this cultural backdrop, authentic Christian married life will inevitably be countercultural and prophetic. The public profession of marriage vows engages Christian spouses in a prophetic form of renunciation, a free embrace of limits for the sake of Christian witness and mission. The vows of marriage bind a couple together “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” The faithful companionship to which Christian marriage calls us retains a vital and necessary ascetical character. Moreover, we must resist reducing marital lovemaking to “the thing celibates don’t get to do”; it, too, participates in the prophetic witness of marriage. Conjugal love is not constituted by a mere “right to the body of one’s spouse” (ius in corpus). In its potential for intimacy and vulnerability, as well as delight, and in its humble openness to new life, it is a sign of contradiction in a culture that commodifies sex and depreciates fidelity.
Christian married couples, like faithful celibate priests and consecrated religious, give prophetic witness to eschatological values associated with the coming of God’s reign: chastity, radical forgiveness, vulnerability, fidelity, hospitality, generosity, and gratitude.
Were leaders in the Latin Church to recognize the prophetic witness of Christian married life, they might look at the possibility of a married priesthood with new eyes. They might see that marriage, like committed celibacy, is a concrete form of the universal call to holiness that can fruitfully support priestly ministry. They might come to see a married priesthood not as a reluctant pastoral or ecumenical accommodation but as a genuine gift to the entire church. They might recognize in a married priesthood a valuable complement to a celibate priesthood, a form of life well suited for both ministry and prophetic witness. And if a married priesthood helped challenge the misuse of priestly celibacy as a support for clerical elitism, well, that wouldn’t be so bad either.
Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College.
His books include: Keys to the Council:  Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II (co-authored with Catherine Clifford, Liturgical Press, 2012), When the Magisterium Intervenes (editor, Liturgical Press, 2012), Ecclesiology for a Global Church:  A People Called and Sent (Orbis, 2008) and The Church in the Making (Paulist, 2006)

Humanity did a lot of progress when it comes to medicine, technology, communication, education etc…..But surprisingly from the point of view of the common people, the RCC is still seen as a ‘museum’, where things never change. In part some of the priests were responsible for this as they were highly interested in keeping the people without knowledge so as to continue with their power games.

The Holy Spirit works silently, unobtrusively and without glamour. The first important part is that people are asking a lot of questions. One of them is about the celibacy of priests. Is it lawful? How come in the Holy Bible most of the apostles were married? Are we to follow the bible or do we start censoring the bible in order to please someone in the church? The number of people studying theology is increasing. This will breed a different type of Catholics.

On the other hand, other people who have not studied theology, notice the special friend of their priest. They do realise that things are going on but they do understand that an unhappy priest will reflect on their parish and all the pastoral work. They do ask questions too: what’s wrong in having a married priest? They do see the practical advantages of having a married priest.

All these changes may give fruit to a new movement in the RCC, that of married priests. Obviously the most important part is that of married priests who need to feel 100% priests in order to assist people all over the world. The fact that some priests are full of guilt (sometimes it’s their partner who feels so guilty), proves that the propaganda has been going on for many years. Yet the fact that in the Bible apostles were married should make a strong case in favour of married priests. Once a priest is always a priest! Priesthood is not something which can be undone! This is another part of the false teaching done by some unmarried priests. It’s a sacrament which if received will remain forever! Nobody can cancel it. Some of our readers too, when writing, show that they still did not understand this principle.

Most of the priests when promising celibacy where too young to take such a decision. Most of the times they were gently urged to make the promise. In some cases they wanted to make their parents happy or in other words not disappointed by leaving priesthood. We know that legally, those in authority should have prepared their candidates differently before making such a promise. Hence from the point of view of the law (celibacy),  it was null. The priest who leaves the parish has never contemplated to do such a thing in his preparation. Yet God speaks in different ways. He has shown the priest the beauty of serving Him as a married priest. Experience in the church is not just a passing moment but it’s God who tries to tell us something. It’s up to us to listen and decide.

I can speak about my experience. I never thought of working as a priest again. Obviously the anger had to cool down at first. Then some people were ‘cheeky’ enough to ask for sacraments. They still viewed my sacramental, permanent mark. They urged me to continue working in the church as the need was plentiful. We, married priests are reaching out as the number of priests is dwindling immensely. We love our church. If we stop working, then that would be considered as a cowardly act. It’s not that the priest would like to continue working, but rather the lay people are looking for pastors who are not afraid of taking drastic actions in the church. The people who follow these priests are creating a new church. We know for sure that one day the church has to change her man mande rule and accept priests who have left to get married. They have an immense experience especially with people who have left the church. They have been hurt themselves. They have lived as ‘lepers’ in the church. That experience makes them in a favourable position to reach out to people who are not considered to be in good Catholic standing. It’s not just the wishful thinking of a few but the experience of some Catholic communities which might reach the mainstream ones too. In other words it is the sign of the times.

We can say that there many Catholics who welcome a priest who has left the parish to marry his loved person and continue working as a priest. They acknowledge that there has been a great difference in his pastoral work. The happy couple serve to witness God in a very special way. One that is in tune with today’s world. Following there are some articles which will help our readers understand better what we’re trying to write about this week. Happy reading!

how does the married catholic priest movement start in a country?

our movement has been writing about Reform a long time ago……….

the church is always changing…..against some views held by the so called ‘conservatives’…..

what forced celibacy does to priests…

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