Archive for December, 2019


We make several experiences, each and every day. An experience could be something ordinary such as a visit to a restaurant or something much deeper such as falling in love.

When we discuss love issues we tend to forget the most important organ of them all – the brain. Once the brain is effected, then the whole personality changes.

It’s very easy to label a woman falling in love with a priest as a psycho (besides other wonderful nicknames!). In our pastoral experience we did encounter women who make up (invent) the story of falling in love with a priest! This doesn’t imply that all women are in the same boat!

On the other hand, once a woman is imagining the love affair, it doesn’t mean that it’s not real (from her point of view).

From a practical point of view we still take the same pastoral approach: we need to lead this person to Christ. We cannot judge or worse look down on people who are passing through such experience. In fact one of the most challenging issues facing young people is that of mental health (visibly shown in eating disorders, drug taking or violent actions).

Obviously, in such a case, we emphasise the need of not talking or communicating with the innocent part – in this case – the priest. The traditional approach is outlined by the phrase: if one is not ok, how can one truly love another person?

This calls for a professional person in order to give an exact picture of the mental situation for the person. As married priests, we are aware that leading a family it clearly outlines our limitations and it calls for a professional approach. We cannot as priests pretend to solve any kind of problem! We have our own kids. We do love them yet they need somebody who is a professional who could lead them in the right way.

The rest of the women who are not psycho are still effected in their mental health. Every love experience drains a lot of energy from a person, especially if the end result is not positive. Most probably most of the women have received bad treatment from their priest. They do need a special treatment in order to regain mental stability.

One of the challenges that mental health is facing is that while a physical wound is easily visible, a psychological one is not visible at all! Yet the effects might linger on for a much longer period of time.

This might make us aware that in such experience we need to make ourselves stronger. Besides, speaking about mental health, should not be a taboo! In this case it is understandable why some women prefer to ‘love’ an impossible choice rather than none at all or others who are still too weak to share their stories!

May God Bless You All, especially those who feel mentally sick.

The concept of a team

When one is watching TV on his/her own, one can watch any station for any reason. Once the person is joined by just one single person, the scenario changes completely. One cannot watch any station in the new situation. There are two people now. They have to discuss what are they going to watch. Most probably two people have different tastes and ideas about what to watch.

In the church we are still individuals. Most people think about themselves and God. Whenever one starts meeting others for faith talks, one starts seeing cracks. The others don’t understand me; they label me; I feel threatened. This is just some of the comments that we priests witness when trying to gather together a flock. I thought that it was only when it comes to face to face meetings. No, it’s online too. When we don’t see eye to eye we start fighting!

Some people might think that they have lost their faith as they see Christians fighting each other. Well, let’s be blunt: fighting between Christians is not a good publicity at all and under certain principles it shouldn’t exist at all. Yet, if one reads the bible regularly and in a prayerful mode, one discovers many instances where fighting becomes the order of the day; whether it’s physical, emotional or on any other level!

There is never a dull moment in the bible. It happened to Christ himself. He wanted to start His church. He could have done it all alone with no mistakes, perfect method and perfect publicity. Maybe it would have progressed with no hiccups! But that’s our human mind who does not want to face any difficulties, sicknesses, challenges and different opinions then the ones held in our grey matter.

Christ himself chose Peter. He was surely not the diplomatic or ideal person at all with no academical qualifications! Sincerely, who would have chosen Peter out of all people? From the practical point of view there were others who were more qualified for the job. Yet Christ chose Peter. We can never comprehend God’s will 100%.

Reflecting on such events one may come to some interesting points. Is the job of Peter so important after all? Who is in command of the church: Peter or God? Who can perform more than humans: Peter or God? If the church were to be based on human beings, it would have already collapsed! Yet it has a unique long history of at least 2000 years. Is this not a miracle in itself?

Some people might have lost faith after the sexual abuse scandal which turned out to be incredibly universal. Yet it’s not the first time that the church has faced such difficult situations. If one mentions the case when the Pope had six illegitimate sons….when we had two Popes at the same time…when the Pope was more similar to a king than a real shepherd and had attacked and conquered other nations…. when the Vatican was going to be attacked during World War II…

In the bible we have one of the earliest quarrels in the church when both Peter and Paul had totally different opinions about the process of joining the church itself!

We have just seen one aspect: the lack of cohesion and agreement in the ‘crowd’ mentality. How about advantages? Could one have all the ideas of the world in his mind? Could one have all the talents, the spiritual power, the will to help the church? Surely not. That’s why we need the others. Besides there Christ’s words that when two or three people are gathered in his name, He is there, present.

The idea of a team is that a good coach studies each and every member and puts him/her in the right place. It’s useless if we start pointing out the bad side of each person. Jesus is in command of His church. We have to pray more in order to see things from God’s point of view. He knew about his apostles’ weak side, yet He chose those twelve in order to kick start his greatest project on earth – the church. Shall we start dissecting his apostles to look out for defects? Or shall we accept them as God’s messengers?

When facing other people in the church, yes we’re going to meet with sins, fragility, incompetence, hard headed people etc…..yet they are all in God’s wonderful hands who can transform a cemetery into a living group of people! He is God of the impossible and not just of that which is possible!

From our experience, being responsible of a parish, we always tried to find people for particular jobs whilst having a blind eye for their defects. One who talks a lot might be used to transmit quick and urgent messages in the parish! One who was good in projects undertaking was used to conduct projects in the parish. One who was full of peaceful thoughts was brought in when having arguments etc…

If one wants to meet the new baby Jesus in the coming months, why not make a list of positive aspects about your ‘enemy’!!! If you want to dig deeper, why don’t you go for the second step: how can we use your positive side and his/her positive side to the benefit of the church?