Well let’s make it very clear: we can never force anybody to get married. We are just giving out our general suggestions. It’s the priest himself who has to think it over, decide and then stick to his decision. Please remind yourself that this is no easy decision to take.

The decision depends on the development of the relationship. One cannot force such commitment if they have simply slept together one night. Secondly, sex should not the driving force to say yes, but rather the beauty of the two who feel and act like a couple.

On the part of the priest, he must feel that it’s not a threatening yes i.e. he is being forced to but rather an invitation to live a loving relationship to the full. Consequently he has to be shown that the woman next to him is there to help him. She will stand by him in all the circumstances no matter what.

The priest has to talk to his spiritual advisor (in this case below, to the priest who is his friend), in order to have any theological, spiritual or personal questions answered. This is not to be taken lightly. The priest was bombarded, preached and lived according to a certain set of values. Now passing on to become a husband he has to find a credible answer for his conscience.

If they are so committed, they have to look for a possible job training scheme. Please remember that the priest is passing from a very comfortable zone to a very threatening one. This might become the last test for their relationship.

The decision is not to be made in one single conversation. There might be a build up to it. The woman has to slowly show him his support and understanding and obviously no rush for the answer unless procrastination kicks in. This is the latest story we received. Enjoy reading it. Please be active readers by posting in your comments. Let’s pray for the couple.

I’m Georgette and my priest’s name is George. I am in a relationship with a priest. He and I are both in our mid 40s. I am divorcing, not because of him, however. I am in an abusive marriage and had made the decision to divorce, then sought counsel for coping with the emotions of a necessary but nevertheless painful divorce.

My priest entered the seminary at 14. He was a virgin, in fact he had never kissed a woman, when we met. We talked and enjoyed each other’s company. I quickly developed feelings for him, and told him as much. At first, he was very firm in explaining that he was tempted, too, but a relationship between us would not have a happy ending. I felt incredibly stupid. He said he was committed to a friendship, and he was, always, a good friend to me.

The fact that he continued to see me signalled to me an opening to greater involvement. When I found myself alone with him, I tried to kiss him. He resisted, but eventually gave in on that day, and we kissed. It was spectacular. We both resolved that it couldn’t happen again.

That didn’t work. We began a sexual relationship several months ago, and that continues. He says he loves me, and I love him, too. I am not naïve enough to think that he will leave the priesthood, but it would be my dream that he would. We have talked around the edges of what our relationship will become, and he frequently talks in a long term frame of mind. He also makes comments about what our relationship is “right now,” and is suggestive of change in the future.

My emotions range wildly from fear of hurt to hope. I consulted a different priest, and a friend of the priest I love, who told me that what I had experienced was not an evil woman tempting a man of God, but rather, a presentation of a different and equally beautiful sacrament (marriage, rather than holy orders) that my priest could choose without shame. The advising priest explained to me that the vow of celibacy and the choice of priesthood might have been right and genuine for my love, but now he is presented with another plan for his life. The advising priest made it clear to me that my relationship with the priest may and likely is as beautiful and filled with grace as my love’s role as priest. But the challenge is to BRING THE RELATIONSHIP TO LIGHT AND CHOOSE IT. In that regard, the advising priest told me to tell my love that I challenge him to position himself in such a way that we can love each other without guilt, shame or fear, or we say goodbye.
I am working up the nerve to have that conversation. I suspect that the priest I love will ultimately choose to remain a priest. It is all he has ever known of life. However, I plan to toss up what he thinks he knows about what is right for his life, and see where things land. I will be ok if he decides to remain a priest, but I certainly hope he will have the courage to confront his feelings before making his decision.

I don’t think he abused me in any way. I was certainly the one who pursued him, not the other way around. He did accept my love at a time when he knew I was very vulnerable emotionally, and that may have been unwise, but I do not believe he acted maliciously or with disregard for my feelings. I think we just fell in love.
I hope I can develop the strength to require from him what I deserve, or require him to make the choice to recommit himself to his priestly vows and live accordingly. At the end of the day, I do not want to love him outside the context of a sacramental marriage, so we will have to make choices. I believe that walking away from the relationship will be very, very painful for both of us.

Just my experience. I am not an expert.

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