Tag Archive: falling in love with a priest


Priests are not robots. They experience, think and reflect on their experience. Like all people they face crisis. Now the crisis brings them face to face with a choice: either they change the church or else they are forced to leave. No priest ever dreamed of leaving the church. Yet, experience shows them another face of the church. It’s not the idea of a church presented in their theological books or in their early teens’ years where everything was rosy and charming. It is the real church where at times superiors stop some priests from doing some sterling work just for a slim excuse. Other priests recount incredible, horrible stories. Other priests find difficulties in working with the faithful. It seems that some of the laity want the church to remain tied to the middle ages! Some priests find people who are unchurched, more willing for some changes in the church. All this would lead to one decision: leave to work in a greener area.

We like this book (Why we walked away) for one particular reason: it makes people aware that priests do not leave just because they fall in love with a woman! There are so many issues going on internally in a priest’s life. The woman comes in because she listens carefully and is so understanding to the priest’s life situation. On her part, she sees the priest so loving, charming and full of good principles which is a turn on in itself. Married priesthood is not just about sex but rather a new enriching life style i.e. his experience in his family, helps him to manage the larger community. It helps him to formulate the thinking of the church, the spirituality etc….

This book is another addition to our wonderful collection. We are always happy that writers dedicate more time to the issue of priests who walk away. We are aware that the expression walk away might convey the meaning of running away from something….in actual fact, some of the married priests are still serving, though under new conditions, where in most cases, they feel more free to act. Ultimately it proves that they did not run away at all.

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I would like to comment on the review published Aug 29th in the Evanston Indiana Courier & Press (printed below) of a new book titled Why We Walked Away by Phillip Field et al. (Libra Agni, 2014). The fact that the author, and presumably his companions number exactly 12, one has to ask: is it a coincidence?

The reasons they give for “walking away” are accurate enough, as far as it goes, but leaves out a major factor: There seems to be no mention of the celibacy issue, at least from the reviewer, Sarah Corrigan. But I’m biting my tongue; to even call it an “issue” is inaccurate, because having a girl-friend or even in some cases, a wife — the situation of most of the men that left — was not an academic question. It was not an “issue,” it was a life choice; and in the context of a job description that called for a vow of celibacy from young men, many of whom had never even kissed a girl by age 26 when we were ordained, pitted raw unintegrated humanity against naïve rationalized delusion. The “reforms” that Vatican II helped us imagine, included a recognition that these life choices were an integral part of the picture; human sexuality cannot be dismissed in any re-definition of the religious community. The obdurate insistence on doing so has exploded in the paedophile scandals and the hierarchy’s hasty decision to cover them up. A recognition of the sexual dimension in “why we walked away” would make this book more authentic in my estimation, though its absence may simply be the omission of the reviewer who may be unsympathetic to the problems of male sexual repression and found it, as a reason for leaving, politically unimpressive. Corrigan’s review suggests these men were heroes and martyrs. That may or may not have been the authors’ intentions, but if they were anything like us, they did what was right, but they were neither.

Having said that, I don’t mean to downplay the social and political disagreements that also motivated quitting; they would have made it impossible for us to work in that Church with that hierarchy and those values, even if the celibacy “issue” had been resolved to our satisfaction. But it’s not even possible to imagine such a resolution without there having occurred a simultaneous change in the reactionary values defended by this hierarchy affecting all social and political matters across the board. All these “issues” — social, political and life-choice — are intrinsically entwined and inter-related. It’s not easy to demonstrate that in our over-rationalized / compartmentalized world. But leaving it out in the interests of self-justification does not help … at all.

Tony Equale

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – In the decades between 1975 and 2008, more than 18,000 U.S. Roman Catholic priests walked away from their calling, said Phillip Field, of Evansville, who was among them. Worldwide, that number was closer to 120,000, he said.

In their departures, which were often sudden, priests left their parishioners without explanation.
They remained silent — as did their bishops — creating an information void that parishioners filled with their own wildly varied guesses. In “Why We Walked Away” (Libra Agni, 2014) 12 such priests, including Field and his two brothers, Clark and Bill, explain their experiences as priests and their decisions to leave.

The stories are compelling and at times heart-wrenching, as the authors plumb the depths of their personal struggles — not with God, but with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and its at-times soul-crushing resistance to change. It will likely offend some.

Generally, these 12 stories come from an era of great social upheaval and change in America — the 1960s and 1970s and, not coincidentally, the impact of Vatican II. In addition to the Field brothers, submissions are from Joe Kirsch, Ed Griffin, John Ardizzone, John Raymaker, Carl Roos, Jerry Griffith, Dick Eckel, Jim Koerber and Gerry Charbonneau.

From the introduction: “These 12 tried to implement the changes of Vatican II. They were opposed at every turn … when they caused trouble bishops moved them from parish to parish like pawns on a chessboard … (and) these priests started to leave.”
But the volume is not a vengeful tell-all, Clark Field said.

It details history of the mid-20th Century American Catholic Church from a rarely offered and largely unflattering perspective, but it is dedicated to Pope Francis who, “…has made it clear he wants the church to become the home of all. “He has reached out to the homeless, those outside the church seeking the truth … he does not mince words. He has shown over and over again that the trappings of a former age must be left behind so as to speak to the modern world.

“We 12 who have left the active ministry … have not given up ministering. We hope the struggles this book describes can serve as a point of reference for lay people who seek to understand how priests today could best function in a world ever more in need of evangelization.”
That being said, Phillip Field said the book’s introduction is important to understanding where the church was 50 years ago and where it is today and how, in many regards, things have not changed much.

“The Laments” was the opening session at last year’s conference of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, he said.

A selection of priestly laments from that session is included in the introduction and shows, Field said, how little has changed in 50 years.
“The main differences today being the influence of Pope Francis and the hope priests have now that they will be heard,” he said.
“Fifty years ago, leaving the priesthood was the only option.”

Sara Anne Corrigan

Secret Relationships with priests

Relationships are common like air. Everybody is in a kind of relationship: at home; at work or with neighbours. The surprise is, that like parenthood, very few receive any kind of instructions or training. When things go wrong, people realise that something important is missing. People are aware of the importance to cultivate free, positive, healthy and educational relationships.

The relationship between a woman and a priest is no exception although it has its own peculiarities. Several of the readers who write about their hidden love, seems to be unaware of some basic needs/information about relationships. We are trying to make some people aware of some pitfalls before undergoing or letting go into such relationships.

Any relationship needs some basic things to survive. Let’s try to write about some of them.

Communication: Each one of us needs to tell our significant other about our daily events, the pros and the cons of our life etc… the fact that for most of our woman, the priest does not communicate or else communicates in a very strange way, is an indication that the relationship has already some major problems. Communication is a thermometer which indicates the level of strength or weakness of a relationship. No communication is equal to no relationship at all.

Mr Evasive: Any relationship involves two persons. Now maybe one is already dreaming of the priest as a future husband, plus children etc.. but does the priest think in the same way? It’s incredible how some women run really fast in a relationship whilst the priest may simply be, first having fun or else, emptying his reproductive sacks! Did some of our women check what the priest really wants from such a relationship? Is he going to be committed to you? People have a habit of procrastination or be very evasive when faced with deep questions. As we amply wrote last time, one cannot be evasive for too long. A time frame makes sure that beyond a certain time frame, one needs to let go and forget all about the priest. If not, one is letting himself become abused by the priest.

Secrecy: We understand that most loving relationships are not born by choice involving a woman and a priest. We understand the need for secrecy at the beginning of a clandestine relationship and for a certain period of time. But would you like to live all your life in secrecy? Would you accept that you can never walk hand in hand with him in public? Would you accept the fact that you can never have your own house where to live twenty four hours with your loved one? If she doesn’t have a problem with secrecy than surely she is going to hit the wall at an incredible speed. The pain will surely be unbearable at that very moment.

The significant other: the beauty of a relationship is that one comes close to another person and sees his/her personal life. Priests have a knack of preaching to others and hide behind several masks. Incredibly you might not get to know the real person. Please forget what the priest might tell you. Remember that priests are very good, persuasive talkers. They might chat about many subjects yet avoid to tell you how they really feel. They might emphasize about how bad his superiors are and/or other situations in the church, yet he does not share with you how is he going to face the situation nor does he mention any concrete steps how to come out of it. For a change look at facts! They speak louder. Does he flirt with other women? Is he just experimenting with your body? Priests lack physical and intimate contact, hence if you give him permission to touch you, he might be just releasing some physical and sexual tensions.

Loneliness: Is the priest just passing through a middle age crisis or is he just feeling lonely? In some cases the priest might look at you, first as a close friend (maybe with sexual benefits), but nothing less and nothing more! He might use you for some weeks or months, never to be seen again. This is because he is using your relationship just to fill his empty and lonely soul. If you listen to him with your mind rather than with your heart, you might get the hidden message. Homilies indirectly reveal a lot about his psychological being. One needs to listen attentively and connect the missing dots. When you read between the lines, what is he trying to say (the unsaid words)?

Daydreaming: This sounds sinister and odd yet very true. Some women incredibly make up a whole story just because the priest paid some special attention in just one occasion! Fantasies or thoughts do not constitute a real and true relationship! It has to be real. One cannot exchange just a few glances with a real relationship. How can one be sure of a relationship if there has never been a real dialogue? It’s just a waste of time and energy which will definitely lead to a great depression. One cannot live his whole life imagining what if…..

The Real One: We might have given the impression that all relationships with priests will fail. No it’s not true. There is the priest who has taken the necessary time for reflection and he has definitely decided to leave the parish. He faces the big decision on his own. Separately he has thought a lot about having a full relationship with a woman. These two great decisions should never be mixed up together. Each one of them should be examined carefully and separately. The priest should take a decision after a long time of reflection and discernment. This applies especially to the case when his woman is pregnant. The priest, although he has to accept his paternal responsibilities, must not be forced to marry. He needs to take one step at a time.

In many cases, the married priest, if all decisions were taken in a mature way, should have a wonderful relationship with his future wife. It proves that in a mature relationship, the priest can lead a healthy, spiritual life where he could be of a better service to the whole community. One can easily google the many cases where the priests live happily with their wives. The community can testify that in most cases, one can notice the positive change in the priest leading their parish in a married state. The number of married priests is increasing all the time in the Catholic Church. This is a positive seed which might grow bigger and give more bountiful results.

I was approached by a very popular US TV station who wants to make more people aware about secret relationships with Priests. It is a big plus for our cause of optional celibacy in priesthood. If you feel strong enough to tell your story in front of a TV camera, you should not miss this golden opportunity. Just remember how many more people are suffering in silence, Your testimony could bring hope to others. Please Help!

An award-winning television production company is currently casting priests/ ministers to be featured in a new docu-series for a major cable network.

Are you a priest or minister involved in a relationship with a woman, despite your loyalties to the Church? Are you trying to keep that relationship hidden for fear of meeting disapproval? Are you determined to pursue marriage–irrespective of external pressure and prejudice, and finally confront the public about the life you’ve been keeping from them?

A team of veteran producers (fifteen plus years in the docu-television industry) is developing a six part docu-series exploring the challenges of remaining celibate in the modern era. We are looking to talk to and feature priests who are experiencing precisely this conflict, and who feel compelled to hide their relationships or risk losing their affiliation with the ministry. 

The series is intended to educate audiences about the intensity of this struggle, and to provide willing candidates with the opportunity and stimulus to achieve peace of mind.

To learn more about this opportunity and speak with an associate, please contact SecretLoveCasting@gmail.com

Time Machine

We make appointments, meetings because of time. How can we meet if we don’t refer to time? We look at our wrist watches or mobile phones to see what time is it as otherwise we would feel lost.

How about when we refer to time not as hours or seconds but rather years? Today we wish to refer to time when it comes to a relationship between a woman and a priest. To write frankly, there are many women out there who simply keep hoping that one day their priest may decide to marry them and form a family. In this context we wish to refer to time as the time needed for the priest to give his final, honest answer to the woman’s proposal.

Being a married priest site, it doesn’t mean that all priests are good for marriage! Maybe it would be possible for some of them when they make some radical transformations in their life! We are not on a witch hunt to look for all priests and to get them married. We are in favour of optional celibacy. We are aware that most of the priests never dreamt of falling in love with a woman. The same goes for some of the women who feel trapped in this Ecclesiastic net. Yet these things happen to all but especially to priests who are leading a lonely life. Priests were trained in theology and philosophy but they did not receive any instructions when it comes to emotions, relationships, middle age life crisis etc….in most cases

As a married priest website we’re not in favour of clandestine relationships, at least as a permanent solution. This is because in our experience, the relationship with a priest from the point of view of the woman is not a joke. She invests all her energy, emotions, spirituality etc….It’s not kind to take her for a ride. On the priest’s part we are aware that the stakes are very high too. In this sense we don’t support priests who simply keep their woman hanging on.

Any relationship has to grow or else it dies. We can refer to the example of a plant. We cannot force it to remain a plant but it has to grow into a tree. If not, it will surely die. We wish to emancipate the women in order to be strong enough to call for an ultimatum to their priests: When are you going to decide what to do with your life?

Most priests will try to avoid a fixed date for various reasons. They would answer….I still have to talk to….Give me another year till I finish…….the Superior told me to wait for another year….the list of lies is endless. To add insult to injury the priest might be in a new relationship with another woman!

But this is where time plays an important part. Time is the ruler with which women can be sure of their love. If he thinks that his work is more important, or that what the people/his family might say is more important, than he is not worthy of your love. The woman cannot wait for ever. Maybe her biological clock is already ticking away….We are of the opinion to put a reasonable date for the priest to decide. Beyond that, it’s all a waste of time and energy.

Now we know that in most cases the woman does all the thinking about the attitude of her priest, their relationship, their future etc…whilst the priest is a happy go lucky guy. On the other hand some priests do send conflicting messages. At times they are so loving, understanding, romantic etc… that the woman might think that the great decision is not far away. In other days, he is back to a severe man who does not want any type of relationship with any woman! This puts the woman in a dilemma unable to decipher the kind of relationship she has with the priest. She cannot understand how priests can be so cruel, incredibly difficult to understand and as cold as ice at times.

It’s because the priest is trained to rationalise his actions: on one hand there is his inner true self (loving one) fighting for survival, on the other hand there is the traditional teaching (No woman as a friend) he received during his training years. Hence it’s like having dual personality.

In most cases the woman, who is madly in love, is deeply hurt. Surprisingly she keeps hoping notwithstanding the harsh treatment by her beloved priest. We know that the longest journey in the world is between the mind and the heart. We know too that it’s so difficult to convince somebody who is in love that his love is going onto the rocks.

It’s so difficult to explain to many women that the final answer will never come in most cases! It has been so difficult to drive the point home. But how can one understand the attitude of women who keep hoping against all hope? It seems that most of the them keep living in the clouds for too many years. Although we’re speaking to an international readership where it’s so difficult to generalise, yet our experience teaches us that if the priest does not decide within the first year, most probably he will never say yes.

Hereafter it makes sense to propose a fixed time frame in which the priest has to give a final answer. Obviously no ifs or any other kind of excuses would suffice. When the time frame expires, than it will be the time to move on for the woman. We hope of being of a good guide to the many women who write to us, week after week. We are trying to give a message to all.

We are still of the opinion that when they do click together, than the whole Catholic community sees the fruit of a healthy relationship. A happy married priest is like a happy worker: he will work more and more to the benefit of the surrounding community.

The number of new readers that find our website is very encouraging. We do not market our site. But most of our readers are using the internet to find other people who fell in love with priests. They are pro-active people who use the internet to find a community with similar spiritual growth. This is the beauty of the internet where there is no need to catch and pay for an expensive flight. There are no time zones problem. We write messages to other people who may live thousands of kilometres away. Most of them are happy, that, when they wake up, they find an answer for their question. So when you’re sleeping, somebody might be reading and answering your question!

We just appeal to everybody. If you want more stories like these, please don’t be afraid of sharing your experience with other readers. If you want we can change some of the information so as NOT to give away your exact location and place. You might never imagine how much hope and spiritual help your story gives to other readers. One of the most common messages we read is that some claim that they never had an idea that such a website exists! It exists because there is a need for one. It exists because people look for it. It exists because people write their honest experience. Please write! The story of today was found online. This is a free and edited translation from the original Spanish.

I fell in love with a priest, Marcela García Llorente writes for this blog her testimony about a “forbidden love.” Her experience has changed her into an open person who helps others who have experienced something similar but they still prefer to remain in silence: the love that can be born between a priest and a woman.

When one realizes what this means, the first feeling is that of guilt. Paradoxically we label it as “guilt.” Actually it’s a feeling which is more beautiful and sublime than any other human need and experience. It is a love “forbidden” to be born and is therefore condemned to be hidden and underground. I had a loving relationship with a priest for over a year, living all the wonderful experiences that surround love, but not without switching into phases of difficulty, pain, confusion, anxiety and a host of feelings who struggle to find a solution. One of them is that of a deep loneliness… I felt alone in this world. I wondered how many more would live this experience and how they would live. That led me to search tirelessly these people. I still relive the great joy and relief that I felt the day I found the first one. Interestingly and to my surprise it was a priest to whom I confessed to, who was in transition (thinking of leaving active priesthood), because of living through the same situation.

He had lived in the anguish of my love to keep it secret, both to protect it as well also by an immense fear to speak and be judged. Until I lived my difficult separation, I was confined to a great loneliness. My greatest strength was to understand that love also meant “release”, so let it go and wish that you would be immensely happy. All this led me to think about creating a space to facilitate expression of those who needed, since everything we maintain repressed tends to recur repeatedly, even with a progressive increase becoming a powerful source of anxiety, stress or neurosis. This space was not only to support and enrich many people but also for myself.

The patterns behaviours tend to be similar in most cases, abounding the comings and goings, immaturity and coping when major problems occur, the irresponsibility and the “leak syndrome.” Currently I accompany large number of women from different countries and even also some priests and religious to, because like us, they happen to be experiencing the same things. The priest is a human being. At some point in his life, he needs one human affection. Practically he needs a real person. When this happens, he would be swimming in a sea of doubt and they often face the question: Why I will resign from the ministry for which I have prepared and I’ve always wanted to do?

In other cases, with the ambiguous claim of chastity, they play lots of games. These are games of seduction that are not defined and end up affecting both members. The fragility of the individual who is subjected to these internal and external pressures are so great that the person won’t have enough clarity for serious reflection nor for a mature and responsible decision. Each person contacted for the first time perceived one desperate need for help and a great relief to have someone who had lived same experience and listening without judging beforehand, someone to accompany him/her to transit through their experiences, answer questions, heal wounds, understand and see a light in their way forward.

There are many cases of people who have been left with very deep scars, even with total loss of faith or unable to attend Mass because doing so meant reopening his wounds. The healing process usually is very painful to carry it out. Normally it is done without someone to accompany the person. One needs to tackle this heavy weight and achieve some inner peace which allows the individual to clearly discern that path he/she will take. Repression does not solve the problem. The only sin that Jesus appeared to forgive was hypocrisy. I think it does no good to anyone shut these issues because the Gospel says “there is nothing hidden that will not be discovered one day, nothing secret that will not should be known. ” If this situation is not addressed and try to learn it and not deny, no we can never arrive at an understanding of it and think about of a possible solution to many existing cases.

In or out of the community?

 

We are all born in families. Although it’s hard to define exactly what a family is, we all know the good times. Maybe we don’t remember all the details of a family feast but we simply remember that we had joy and fun in those moments. We felt one as a team. The family is a micro society. The Catholic Church belongs to a macro society. But it’s still based on the same principles. We all remember the good times when we were celebrating in the Catholic church.

We became grown ups in faith. We started to question some practices or beliefs……trouble started brewing. Just by asking what others accept unconditionally put us as non-believers. Others started to go away in our presence. Others reported us to higher authorities. We felt that we simply couldn’t connect with the people who gave us our faith! Maybe they will never feel or appreciate our walk of faith. We felt as if our home did not exist any more.

Imagine if the one who is disagreeing with the teaching of the church is a priest! There will be some people who will say that they are completely scandalised! (lost faith). Others see a ray of hope that maybe the priests of tomorrow will be different.

There are people who try to minimise the damage by saying that the priest needs a lot of prayers and support. What these people don’t realise though, that it’s not simply the problem of one priest. Many faithful people are asking the same questions. Shall we deal with these questions or shall we just label that one single priest?

We always believe in the community. All the gospel points to a community based church. We cannot undone what the gospel has built. Yet, there is always an uncomfortable question: when does the community kill my faith? We are not extremists. We are not in favour of the community no matter what! We believe that the community has to take care of the individual and the individual has to contribute towards the community. Yet in real life there are moments when some individuals look deeply into some issues and propose some practical solutions. The community has political games too. Some ideas are promoted or are lost not because of the idea in itself but rather to some sinister lobbying or other political games.

This kills the community spirit. In fact from that day onwards, some individuals may look elsewhere to continue living their beliefs. This is the case of the married priests. Although most of the world will look into the romance story, the married priest is one who looks differently into what we are supposed to believe and live (in a religious sense). In some cases, he has decided to marry his parishioner or friend, because they agree on many principles, contrary to most of the remaining parishioners. This closeness brings them to marriage and of leaving the community.

Others, because of various reasons, may still prefer to remain in the parish and try to convert the others to their thinking. In most cases, the priest will be misunderstood and none of the conservative type of parishioners will change their mind. The good priest will feel all alone and in the area of the lost team.

We feel that the married priest or other priests who have left officially the church should start their own communities. This is because the Catholic Church is inclined to keep all the old ways alive. Hence it’s so difficult to have a real update on what we should really believe in and how can we live our faith in today’s world.

There are countless stories about priests who were successful in this kind of journey. They have been successful in bringing back to faith many people who were classified as ‘non-believers’. Others have approached God and saw him in a completely different way. One needs simply to google such stories.

Many have put their hopes in Pope Francis. Although we wish to have high hopes in his charismatic way of working with people, yet we still feel that the church is far away from a good update of its ways of reaching God. There have been so many changes in life, and the way humanity deals with them, that we strongly think that we need more than just one good Pope to bring about the much needed change.

We firmly believe that once a priest is always a priest. All the priests who left active priesthood are still priests because the ordination (like baptism and the confirmation), cannot be undone. Hence the question if they are still priests is meaningless.

These priests (wrongly referred to as ‘ex-priests’), have to answer the call from several parts of the world, from baptised people in order to help them in their walk of faith. Such a priest cannot refuse to offer his services (as stated in the law of the church – please refer to 21 laws which justify the use of married priests).

 

History of Married Popes

Talking to people about married priesthood, makes us realise that most of the people have been brainwashed for a very long time. The way some people look at us, give us the impression that we are either crazy people or else they treat us as if we are great manipulators. They suspect that we are playing around. Something must be wrong in our heads!!! Well with the help of the internet everybody can check the facts. There is no need to buy expensive books which are written in a very difficult language. Our readers can check for themselves who has been taking the people for a ride! Today we are presenting  some FACTS: Popes who had children, either legally or illegally.

There were early Church leaders who were married. We are indebted to Dr. Fulliga for his research work. Well done!

He identified 7 Popes who were married. They were St. Peter the Apostle; St. Felix III (483 – 492 who had 2 children); St. Hormidas (514 – 523, who had a son); St. Silverus (536 – 537, who had a daughter); Clement IV (1265 – 1268, who had 2 daughters) and Felix V (1439-1449, who had a son).

Then, he listed 11 Popes who were sons of other Popes and other clergy.

They were St. Damascus I (366-348); St. Innocent I (401-417); Boniface (418-422); St. Felix (483-492); Anastacius II (496-498); St. Agapitus I (535-536); St. Silverus (536-537); Deusdedit (882-884); Boniface VI (896-896); John XI (931-935); John XV (989-996).

Then, he listed at least 6 Popes who had illegitimate children after 1139. The date is very material because it was in 1139 that celibacy was reiterated in the Second Lateran Council. The 6 Popes were in office from 1484 to 1585.

They were Innocent VIII (1484-1492); Alexander VI (1492-1503) A unique Pope indeed. This Pope needs a whole library full of books to study all his deeds……!!!; Julius Paul III (1503-1513); Paul III (1534-1549); Pius IV (1559-1565); and Gregory XIII (1572-1585).

By way of footnote, Alexander VI was the father of Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia and many others. Alexander VI’s reign was scandalously marked by libertinism and nepotism that Julius II reportedly forbade under pain of excommunication any mention of Alexander VI and any Borgia.

Dr. Fulliga summarises his thoughts in four main points:

* Mandatory clerical celibacy reduces the Roman Catholic sacraments from seven to six as no one can receive both ordination and matrimony.

* Mandatory celibacy for Catholic clergy would mean the continuing decrease in the number of priests and the increasing number of sexual scandals as is going on now.

* The Catholic Church allows matrimony for clergy of the Eastern rite although married clergy cannot become bishops.

* Why does the Roman Catholic Church allow married Protestant clergy who convert to Roman Catholicism to become priests while denying the same privilege to its own clergy?

Now please when talking to church people, make sure you present these facts. Show them that you already did your research work and that you  don’t accept any BS. Facts cannot be altered. You are on the right side. Nobody has brainwashed you. You are looking at some facts throughout history.

One final question: why did they hide this information for such a long time?

 

Not all married priests or other priests involved in a relationship can come forward and be public about it. Sometimes we take it for granted that we enjoy full rights in all parts of the world. Well, although we are living in the year 2014 it doesn’t mean that everybody accepts a married priest in the Catholic Church, especially in some European countries. In a way it is understood. After so many years of brain washing, now people in the church view a friendship of a priest with a woman as sinful or wrong. But that should not be the attitude of the Church which is based on the gospel and the early lives of the apostles.

Notwithstanding some negative attitudes, there is some hope. The young people of today, although unfortunately they are not experts of theology nor of the bible, feel that there is nothing wrong with having married priests. Discussing the issue with some young people (not all of them though), they see a married priest as one who is in a better position to understand their life and its challenges. Other older people, like many people of their age, are the ones who understand best the situation. Notwithstanding some prejudices, the older people are the best people to see for advice.

But today let’s focus on the couple: the priest and his wife. Do they have an easy life? We’ve been telling many couples, that although we are all in favour of married priesthood, they should prepare themselves for some challenging times. Some of the wives have to bear the grunt or the criticism of the parish people where sometimes she is viewed as the one who took away their priest…..others call her by some strong names such as a b……..Others have suffered consequences on their professional lives. Some of them had to change town or city.

The big problem is where to live. In most cases the priests depend entirely either on their family or their new spouse. Some family members would shun their so called ‘ex-priest’ because they find themselves under the spotlight. It’s very difficult to convince them that there is no ex-priest as once a priest is always a priest!

The priest himself has suffered consequences because after all that training and experience, most probably he is not allowed to work in a parish, even though parishes are dying out because of lack of priests!! It’s shameful that it treats them in this way. The priest in most cases needs to find a full time job. We try to give a professional advice on what kind of job he might be able to do, although we don’t know the requirements and working conditions of his country.

On the other hand, it is an advantage because he can start his own community and start accepting people who were left out of the ‘normal Catholic community’. In that sense the priest would start seeing things from the point of view of these people. It could be the initiation of a new spiritual journey for the married priest. Obviously not all priests would like to continue working as a priest. In most cases they abandon their priestly work forever. We cannot force anybody but we just pray and talk to these priests to show them that their work is badly needed, especially as the number of priests is dwindling down.

On the other hand, now that he cannot ask for money as was his normal way of doing things in the church, now he has to find a full time job. Normally it has nothing to do with the church, unfortunately. Most priests though, do not know how to put into writing their experience in the parish to manage other similar jobs, albeit in a different working environment. They need professional help in order to re-write their CVs.

But what is the first step to do after taking the decision to marry his love of his life? Our opinion is that the couple needs first and foremost to settle down as a couple. Like any other couple, romance or dreaming is one thing, living together is another thing. How is the priest as a husband (not exactly the same one she saw preaching and being available to the others…..)? The same goes for the priest. It’s one thing to see an attractive woman, dressed to kill and it’s another thing to wake up with her and seeing her without any make-up! One day or another they are going to have some conflicts as any other normal couple after all. But the way they manage their conflicts is very important. It could be the end or maturation of their relationship.

Living with a woman 24/7 is surely a new experience for the priest. His wife needs to adapt her mind and will to live full time with her dream – man and priest. They need to start sharing all things between them, the good and the bad days. Some priests who have lived their whole life giving orders or having the last say may find themselves in difficulties in order to admit that they are wrong or that they need the advice of somebody. On another level, they cannot expect their wife to fulfil all his needs, as was the custom in the parish.

Being a priest is not a part-time job. A man who has chosen to become a priest did so because of number of reasons. Some priests might have second thoughts on leaving the parish. The guilt feeling might become so strong that it makes his life miserable. This is the reason why always ask the priest to distinguish between a moment of crisis and a new life decision. A moment of crisis could be resolved without making any big changes. A new life decision would always involved turning one’s life to a different direction.

Sadly some priests need a new direction in life, but because of social pressure, they may decide to go back to the parish with some fundamental questions unresolved! In other words they go back just because they are afraid of gossip and judgemental people.

As this is your website, we would like to receive your comments and/or questions about this subject. Please don’t hesitate to make this website full of your opinions and what you really think about it.

 

The priest who is in crisis

 

 

 

 

We were brought up in a society where the priest used to be one of the pillars of society. We see him in our greatest moments in our life: baptism; confirmation; marriage; funeral; reconciliation etc….We speak to him whenever we have doubts, sins, worries, difficulties etc…Indirectly we expect him to be a man for all seasons.

Yet the million dollar question is: is the priest that strong? What makes a priest become frail, weak or fragile?

One thing which is obvious is that we expect too much from one person. In reality, the priest studies about philosophy (it’s about thinking in an abstract manner) and theology (study about God). Most of his studies are done in theoretical manner. In real life, everything is different. It’s one thing to study about God and it’s another thing when one has doubts about God. So although he is fully qualified to speak about some issues, he has never lived these issues in his intimate life. This should bring about a radical change in the priests’ training scheme. Is it ok to ordain priests who are so young? Is it ok to ordain priests who have never ventured out of their nest? Is it ok to have priests coming from the so called ‘good families’?

Let’s forget all about his studies. Let’s assume for once that he is fully qualified for the job. The priest is expected to deal with relationships challenges; he is expected to lead a community of believers of various ages and cultures; he is expected be a good manager… and the list goes on. How many things do parishioners expect their priest to do? On the other hand, one of the most urgent needs in today’s parishes is that most probably he is expected to live all alone. So while he leads other people, he himself might be facing a mountain of challenges which might be of faith; existential or relationship ones. In most cases he does not have a person of trust with whom he can talk to. This leads to frustration and boredom.

Ironically, he finds himself talking to a woman and most of the time, without knowing it, he might be starting a relationship. In many cases, the woman herself is surprised to find a man who is available to talk to a woman about his feelings, thinking etc…This in itself is an attraction for some woman as they hate men who just talk about sex or other tedious or insipid subjects.

Some married priests have experienced this kind of introduction, although we remind our readers that we can never generalise as there are different kinds of relationship initiation for married priests.

The advantage of the married priests is that without forgetting or turning aside the training they received in the seminary (training grounds for future priests), they are experiencing a normal family life where experience enriches their philosophical and theological training. The fact that they are leading a family life is giving them enough training how to manage and preach the gospel in the life of today. It’s not easy to talk about the young people when his own teenagers are sitting in the first row!!! When he is talking about relationships or marriage, his wife is part of the congregation too!! He cannot tell lies or just speak beautiful words. If he is not capable of leading his family than all his congregation would see it. On the other hand leading a family gives him energy and talents to guide the larger community (parish).

 

 

 

 

We are happy enjoying the show……..that’s what most people comment when asked for their comments at the cinema or the theatre. We are in a comfortable zone so why bother? Are we happy to be passive in our life? Do we wish to take the driver’s seat and give our life a different direction? Let’s copy the example of the brave 26 women in Italy and speak out in front of others….

We have received many emails from all over the world with hundreds of unique stories….they all have different colours and shades. Some with a happy ending and some with a tragic one but they are all beautiful as they show the beauty of trying to live a life to the full by indulging or listening to human emotions. One of the most requested pleas is ‘please just keep it between the two of us’. Don’t publish it. Let’s make it clear: we are never going to publish something against the person’s wish. We tend to value trust more than any other value. The value of trust from our readers remains number one for us. Yet we humbly appeal to all: let’s look at the big picture. How can we persuade others of married priesthood if we continue to keep our stories in the dark? We know that besides these 26 there are many more intimate and loving relationships with priests. If they are just 26 women they can easily be classified as heretics or something similar….yet if the number runs into thousands, then it’s not just a number.

To reach a compromise with those living these love stories we offer to change the details in some cases so as to protect both the priest and his lover. We can take out some personal details or comments. Yet, in the long run, history won’t change unless we take an active role. Coming out we realise it’s not easy. Nobody likes to put his/her relationships under the spotlight. Yet there is no other way to convince the mainstream Catholic people unless they know how many priests are involved. Let’s show them how much a priest improves spiritually and offers true counselling to other married couples since he fell in love with somebody. Let’s show them that such an intimate relationship is not a hindrance to his pastoral work but rather he feels enhanced and encouraged. His wife helps him understand the femmine way of humanity. The celibate priest can only imagine and dream about women. The married priest lives with one 24/7. Most probably he has children too. So he is a true father again 24/7. If he preaches to the teens of today, most probably he has his own son or daughter who listens to his homilies……he has to preach the truth in front of his congregation as they can easily gauge his success with his own children!!

Let’s start speaking about married priesthood to other people. Some people may be gifted to speak on TV or radio. Let’s put married priesthood on the agenda or on the discussion table. Let’s take away any prejudices against married priesthood. Let’s speak about the lack of priests in many parts of the world. Let’s speak about the need of the eucharist every Sunday, not once a year!

Speaking as an editor of this blog I can testify that whenever we publish a true story of love between a woman and a priest, readers run into hundreds. People do read such stories. They ask questions. They feel encouraged that they are not alone. One of our readers wrote that she was crying when she discovered that her story was not the only one on earth! Others are happy of finding a website which discusses such relationships.

People cannot compare between married priesthood and celibate priests unless they experience both paths of spirituality. We always tend to compare with past history in the Catholic Church. Now one of the biggest advantages of the Second Vatican Council was to listen to the signs of the times. Common people see a great value in married priesthood nowadays. There are so many surveys which prove that the people are ready for such a change in the church. It’s a practical sign that the Holy Spirit is blowing. How long can we keep our minds or ears shut? Better, who can stop the Holy Spirit from bringing the necessary changes?

We are still surprised that the news of married priesthood (that we published in the last post) did not reach mainstream Catholics. Many news journalists ignored this kind of news. We are still hopeful though that the people of God are interested in having married priests. This is our main point. It’s not something that we wish to promote but rather we are being the ones who are publishing what other people utter in small groups or gatherings of few people. In other words we are being the voice of those who are afraid to say so in public. There are many surveys worldwide which amply show that people are all in favour of married priesthood.

Many priests are in favour of married priesthood too but like many baptised people are afraid to handle this hot potato in public! There is a certain kind of strange fear. This kind of fear is won by more people speaking, discussing and asking for married priesthood. This is one of our main goals of the website. We have met many people who were unaware of such situation in the church.

Catholics all over the world have to understand that with the power of the internet, we have to put up more places where other people hear what we have to say. We can use social media in order to get our message across. We can use several types of communication but obviously we have to be strong and persistent. No change comes easy. We have to convince and make ourselves heard in many parts of the Catholic World. It’s not a pie in the sky. We, that is all baptised people, have to work hard for it.

In our opinion, married priesthood is not just to have more priests but rather to bring about a new vision in the church: the point of view of a priest who is living in the ‘world’ and facing the same challenges as many other common people. This is not discussed in most of the articles which are written in favour of married priests.

We are doing our own survey on the teaching of the Catholic church. Please answer truthfully. Here is the link : http://tinyurl.com/n3vszo3

[If it doesn't take you to the link just copy it and place it in a new tab in your browser]

Here is now an article of our friend Alex Walker who writes in The Tablet.
A married priesthood would right many wrongs
12 April 2014 by Alex Walker

Pope Francis has indicated he is open to the possibility of allowing married priests, but as The Tablet reported a few weeks ago, he says it is up to individual bishops’ conferences to reach a consensus on the issue first and then petition Rome.

Francis made these startling comments to Bishop Erwin Kräutler, a visiting Austrian bishop who works deep in the Amazonian rainforest and has 300 deacons and only 27 priests for Brazil’s largest diocese, Xingu, where many Catholics can only receive the Eucharist a couple of times a year.

Coming from South America, Pope Francis will understand more than most about the need for priests and the nurturing of faith through the celebration of the Eucharist because there are many dioceses there in the same situation as Bishop Kräutler’s.

If the celibacy rule were lifted, a large number of the 300 deacons in Xingu could consider priesthood and therefore have the ability to preside at the Eucharist and the other Sacraments.

In England and Wales there are 2,282 secular priests and 788 deacons. Some of these deacons will have a calling to priesthood. Although the Church won’t release the figures, the support group Advent estimates that in the last 50 years as many as 10,000 priests in England and Wales have left ordained ministry in order to marry.

Some have argued that a drought of vocations to the priesthood is because of a lack of faith on the part of the faithful; we do not need to change the rule concerning celibacy, rather we need to increase the faith of Catholics so they hear the call of Jesus to serve him in the priesthood.

Others argue, and I would be one, that there is no shortage of candidates for the priesthood, but there is a shortage of celibate candidates for the priesthood.

The Church’s insistence on a celibate priesthood is starving the vast majority of Catholics today. Jesus’ imperative of “Feed my Lambs, feed my sheep” is being frustrated for the sake of the discipline of a celibate clergy.

There are priests like myself who when leaving the priesthood to marry went through the long and painful process of applying for dispensation from clerical celibacy. Others refused to put themselves through the ignominy of the process and simply married in a register office.

The terms of the dispensation stipulate that we cannot even serve the Church by preaching, distribute Communion, teach in higher education or hold any kind of pastoral office, and we have to keep away from places where we were known as priests. Some priests would consider returning to active service if their rescript of dispensation from clerical celibacy were rescinded .

The Catholic Church in England and Wales, via the establishment of the Ordinariate, has proved that a married Catholic priesthood is not only possible and acceptable to the vast majority of Catholics but brings with it an additional dimension to the priesthood.

Now that Pope Francis appears to be giving greater authority to bishops’ conferences they need to be brave in finding a solution, in consultation with their dioceses, to the shortage of priests and offering Pope Francis and the Church a way forward. It has been staring them in the face and requires courage and belief that a married priesthood working alongside celibate priests will not bring the Church to its knees but could enrich it.

Alex Walker is the director of Advent, a support group for men and women and their partners who have left the active ministry or religious life.

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/blogs/1/351/a-married-priesthood-would-right-many-wrongs

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