One of the most important aspects of this blog, is that women are giving a wonderful insight about falling in love with a priest. They are showing a new kind of theology, one that speaks from the heart. One that starts from real experience.

On the other hand, we feel responsible to provide the missing link….how the priest thinks, behaves and decides. What makes a priest decide to stay?

Is it a spiritual reason? In very few cases yes. The priest believes that his love affair was something that brought about a big change in his life but it encouraged him to tune in or invest, in a better relationship with God, the church and in the case of a religious priest, to lighten up his fraternity.

In most cases, though, we believe that other reasons hold the priest on a ‘ransom’.

One of the most common reasons is that of brain washing. The priest has been bombarded with the same message for years. How can he now let go of all of it? It’s still a common culture in seminaries (place where priests are trained), to keep some distance from women; to take extra care; don’t give too much personal attention; don’t show too much interest; some are outright and very explicit against women that they see them as ‘devils’……..

The fact that a priest finds some time to talk to a woman outside the priest-penitent relationship, might already make him feel guilty! The concept of ‘sin’ is carved inside the skin of a priest and it may play havoc with a relationship. Excommunication is another word which has lost meaning for today’s world but NOT for the priest. He might be excommunicated (send off, he won’t be part of the church officially) if he marries a woman without dispensation (permit from the Pope). All this forms part of a legal framework which many women find hard to understand, let alone digest. Now applying for a dispensation may become a nightmare for the priest as they ask so many intimate questions (and against human rights), that makes him feel like an ant…..in other words it’s like a rape.

The hidden message is that if one wants to get out, he has to bare it all, or it’s like putting the soul in the nude. Some people think that God’s judgement won’t be that harsh or that deep!! The worst of all is that the priest has to admit that he has fallen and cannot live the gospel! The official words would be: from priesthood he is to be reduced to the lay (ie means not a priest and neither a religious person who lives in a monastery) state!!!

All of this creates a barrier for the priest to decide. It makes it practically impossible to leave.

He’s used to speak to a crowd but not to a one to one relationship. He’s used to have a ‘platform’ ie to speak with authority. How can he make himself vulnerable to a woman? He is caught unawares falling in love, because he feels so uncomfortable in a relationship. Normally he sees many people but nobody stays with him to get to know him so well.
Another big hurdle is that of the safety net within the church where he receives money plus lots of benefits (including retirement). If he goes out, most of his ecclesiastical certificates count to nothing (unless a good job counsellor teaches him how to translate his skills into a normal job vocabulary).

In most cases he needs a place to live…maybe the present one is in the parish or where people have known him as a priest in a parish…..now the same people look at him differently!!! In other words he needs to move out and most probably he needs help to sell his apartment and buys another one. In the case of the religious priest, in most cases he doesn’t have money at all to buy basic necessities, let alone an apartment!!!! So it makes it 100% impossible to leave.

The priest as an unmarried priest relies heavily on his family. What does his family say? Can he go against them if they don’t agree? Most probably his family understands his decision. They can’t see him suffer anymore…..but what is the problem? They can’t face the people because they are going to be victims too (this could be the major reason why they don’t side with him!!!), which brings us to the gossip problem.

The hear say or the gossip reason, is the one which the priest preached against, now is one of the major reasons why it makes his life so miserable. It’s not only him but her as well. She might be easily slandered and nicknamed unchristian names!!! It’s so hard for a public figure to make that change. Most woman don’t understand the public role a priest has. Everybody looks up to him. Now the column of the town has left…..most people don’t like uncertainty and consequently they make the priest pay heavily for that. Other people have confessed crimes etc….now they see him holding hands…..they might feel vulnerable and crossing unchartered waters.

These are only some of the reasons. We leave the rest to our intelligent and God seeking readers to explain more fully and to write about other reasons too. May God Bless you all! You have given birth to a new theology, one that makes God incarnated (born of flesh) into our unique and personal lives. Happy Christmas to all!

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