Tag Archive: are priests celibate?

The signs of the times are calling for married priests in the Roman Catholic church. It’s not far fetched but we do feel that the wind is blowing in that direction. On the other hand, we are standing on the ground and not flying too high. It’s not going to be an easy change. This is because for various reasons. One of them is, that many people want progress but nobody wants to change.

If the church really wants married priests, how are they going to call for vocations with the present circumstances? The church calls itself the expert in humanity. Yet, do workers in the church have the best conditions of work? Is the church ready to preach by example? How many married men are going to join the church with the present conditions? What type of hindrance keeps married men from joining priesthood? Can we alter something in order to attract the best possible candidates? The financial package is not to be forgotten, plus spiritual, humanistic and intellectual formation.

On the part of the laity, are they prepared to study theology and other studies to give a professional service to their parish? Studying means many years of studies. On the other hand one can’t have a course similar to the one provided for non-married priests where they can afford 6 to 7 years without gaining money. How can they receive married ones while maintaining the responsibility of the family?

What about the general reflection about the family? Are the married ones expected just to obey? Are we prepared to re-write the whole ‘relationship’ chapter in the theological studies from the point of view of married priests? Are these married priests to be given their right to give a unique feedback to the general church?

One of interesting debates is when married priests have teens themselves. Even when they preach to the congregation their own teens will be there! That means somebody who is trying to live the gospel. This week I met some families who are complaining that there teens are abandoning the Sunday Mass!! That would already be a tough challenge for married ones. Yet, the challenge itself could prove to be a witness to many other families!

Speaking about the teens, what about the women. Is the wife of the pastor going to be a silent spectator? Or is she going to get a significant role in the running of the parish? After all, like many other women she is the silent supporter of her husband’s work! She is the one to help him going on. She could be the voice of many other women who are still living in the periphery of the parish!

With all this in mind, it makes sense to call back all those priests who have left. Why? Because they have something which new candidates don’t have: experience! Once they were at the centre of activity in the parish. In these last years, they have lived their most difficult time of their lives. They know how one feels when one is discarded in society. That makes them better candidates to look at those in society who feel not welcomed anymore. Those discarded have always been an important part of the church. It’s the new generation which will form up the new church. It’s not a surprise that most married priests welcome all kinds of people who are in different phases of faith!

Priests today have a dark cloud above their heads owing to the sexual abuse crisis. Yet married priests could prove vital to thwart that conception of priesthood. This is another hidden asset of married priesthood which could link the church with the outside world once again.

Do you wish to read about a true love story between Anna and Peter – priest? Well here is the uncensored story….We did not change not even one single word. We just changed the names of the people involved. Readers, please do react. Write what you think about this story.

I’m Anna. Forgive my English, it’s not my first language – I hope though that I will make some sense at least.

I’m sorry if my story is too long – but I want other women who are going through this to know
exactly how I feel and know that they are not alone, so I am telling it all.

My priest, Peter was ordained 11 years ago – so he is matured in age but not old. We started off as friends,
just exchanging emails. All my life I have been very ignorant about how priests live and feel as
human beings. I have always sincerely thought that they are all genuinely celibate and they never fall
in love. So I never imagined that he was busy falling in love with me, until he told me. When he told
me, in my mind I just thought he was just sexually frustrated and just wanted a release after which
he would dump me. I asked him what he wanted from me because he is a priest. I asked him straight
out “Do you just want to scratch an itch and then forget about me? What can you possibly want
from me other than sex? Are you even allowed to date?” He admitted that he is not allowed to date
and that in his mind he knows that it will be wrong but in his heart it feels right and I make him

And to answer my question about what he wants from me he said “I just want a bit of love and a bit
of understanding. I want you to understand that due to my age and limited experience I am not
going to make a perfect husband”. He said he is not looking to scratch an itch because after the itch
is scratched there will still be a need for more. He was hurt that I thought he just wanted sex. He said
he loved and respected me.

I admitted to him that I loved him too but there is a conflict in my mind because of the priesthood. I
live with this conflict even to this day. He says he is conflicted too. I have tried to end the
relationship twice. Both times he was tremendously hurt and kept asking me what he had done
wrong. It’s hard to break up with someone who has done nothing wrong – where you don’t have
something specific to blame, other than “because you are a priest”. When we broke up, we
remained friendly, we did not stop communicating and both times things just automatically
gravitated back to a romantic relationship.

We have been intimate twice, but I can’t anymore – I feel too guilty about having sex with a priest.
He understands and accepts my decision. But it bothers me that he never felt any guilt about being
intimate with me, I am the only one that feels guilty about it. This makes me wonder if he is not a
player who sleeps around. I wonder if he is not sleeping with other women. Does he really
understand and accept my decision to be celibate because he loves me or because he can get it
elsewhere whenever? I asked him if he is seeing other women, as expected he denied it. I hate to be
so distrustful, but it’s a huge challenge for me to understand intimacy with someone who has taken
a vow before God to be pure and chaste. He says his feelings for me are far beyond sex, so he loves
me even though I will not have sex with him. However, he did say that he has a problem with this
because he asks himself, if I am not doing it with him, who am I doing it with? But he realises that he
can’t ask me such questions when he has not given me a commitment (a ring). He says for now it’s
enough to know that we are in love and he loves me without sex. I asked him how difficult it is to be
with me in the same room and be celibate. He says it’s hard if we are kissing and hugging because
naturally after that one feels the need to go further, but he can control himself. I must be honest; I
don’t know how long either of us can be strong in this. We are not animals, we can control our urges
– but we are human, we do have these urges and they do get stronger as time goes by.
Do I think he will leave the priesthood to be with me – NO. When he said that he needs me to
understand that he will not be a prefect husband because of his age and experience; that made me
wonder if he was considering being my husband but I never I asked, I just wondered internally. The
fact that he did not think that his priesthood stood in the way of being a perfect husband – but
rather that he thought the issues were only his age and experience kind of makes think that maybe
he could leave the priesthood. But I doubt it. I have asked him why he allows himself to be in
relationships because when he chose this life he knew what it entails. He knew what he would have
to do without. He said he made this choice a very long time ago. He was very young when he made
the choice. He said when you make the choice you are all hyped up about serving God and you think
you will be happy without love. But after living there alone all these years and as he grows up into a
man, he can’t. He says maybe he is weak. Now, if he sees it as a weakness, just a phase of
succumbing to temptation, that makes me think he will never leave. He will fight and pray for
strength and then he will stay. I feel like I am nothing but a temptation to him.

Now about us not having sex – we do kiss and hug and we both struggle with not going all the way.
One day I asked him if our relationship can survive without sex. He said it can’t survive because we
are young – if we were maybe 50 years old, maybe we would survive celibacy. I don’t know what to
make of that. He later took it back, but it lingers at the back of my mind. Truth be told, I also wonder
how long I can hold on to a relationship that has no future. Because if he does not leave the
priesthood, then we don’t really have a future. Sometimes I even wonder if I can call what we are
doing a relationship at all. I wonder if I should be dating other people and find someone who is able
to commit to me in a more meaningful way. But I can’t because the priest has my heart. I love him
and I am not the kind of a person who is capable of loving 2 people at once. He told me that he
dated a woman once, but they were never intimate, only phone calls and emails. But the woman left
him when she met someone who wanted to marry her. He never gave up the priesthood for that
woman, he let her go – he won’t give it up for me either.

The secrecy is the hardest part for me. I live alone at my house, so he visits me there. We do go out
to the movies and do eat out at restaurants. But when we are out we can’t hold hands or stay at a
restaurant too long – in case someone who knows him sees us. I can’t visit him at his house because
of the secret that must be kept hidden. It is possible to visit him if we plan in advance, so that he can
organise for the other priest he works with to be scarce. But still, this walking in the shadows
frustrates me a lot. Not being able to introduce him to my friends as my boyfriend hurts. My friends
don’t even know that I am in a relationship with anyone – to everyone I am a lonely spinster. People
even want to set me up with guys. I am actually ashamed to be in love with a priest. I feel like I am
being trashy because that’s how people look at women who date priests. In people’s eyes we are the
dirty evil ones that are seducing holy servants of God. I know this because that’s what I thought
before I was the one in love with a priest.

Knowing that I will never meet his family and friends as his girlfriend (or wife) is so painful. On his
birthday this year I visited him at his house for the first time, just to spend his special day with him.
He did suggest that we go to a hotel but I refused. I will not sneak in and out of hotels to hide love.
Love is supposed to be a beautiful thing. I will not deliberately expose his secret but I refuse to stoop
so low as to go and hide in motel rooms as if I am having an affair with a married man, which I would
never do – and I told him this. Honestly, it angers me a bit that I have to live in secret when it’s not
even my problem. I am not the one who took a vow of celibacy. I am not doing anything wrong; I am
just loving a man. (But OK, that’s a wrong justification to do wrong – that’s what women who date
married men say as well, that they are not the ones who took the marriage vows. I suppose it takes 2
to tango, so it’s my problem too). Anyway, so we went to his house. I was surprised though that he
wanted us to go out. I thought he would hide me in the house and order in. But we went out and he
introduced me to people. He didn’t say we were in a relationship, but he walked up to them and said
“Meet so-and-so”. He even introduced me to his grown nephew and we spent the whole day with
him. Although he did not tell the boy about the relationship, anyone with half a brain would know. I
don’t know what all this means. I am not holding my breath that he will leave the priesthood – in
fact I think he never will – but he is becoming more open about me day by day. He has also told his
best friend, who is also a priest, that we are exchanging emails and he was very excited and relieved
that he has finally told him. That’s all he told him, that we are exchanging emails, but it’s a step.
I am still conflicted about the wrongness of the whole thing. Even loving him without having sex still
feels wrong sometimes. I asked him if our love without sex was a sin and he assured me that it’s not,
but I don’t know. I have considered going to the confessional with this to get advice from a different
priest, but I think I know what advice I will get: “Stop the relationship”.

I did say to Peter playfully that he must marry me if he wants to make love to me and he said I must
ask his mom…we laughed.

Writing becomes interesting and infectious when one writes about his/her feelings. This case becomes interesting for our growing number of readers as they all long for true stories about this ‘prohibited’ love couple – a woman and a priest. We’ve been receiving many stories, but somehow people were afraid to share. One woman, one of our readers, is in love with a bishop! The problem it seems that some people would not trust the internet to write about their ‘prohibited’ feelings? Why share your innermost secrets? One of the main reasons is because we can testify that it can help other people who are in a similar experience, who might otherwise think that theirs is a very rare case. Others wish to discuss these issues openly to reach a mature decision about their relationship. Others would like a sincere advice which takes into consideration the magic of love rather than what she/he should do. Finally one of the main reasons is that secrecy is one of the tools in the Catholic Church, which serves to hide lots of things, good or bad. Keeping it a ‘secret’ may help the church to continue to hide these relationships as if they don’t happen at all! If we don’t share these stories, the people at the very top of the church may not be convinced to change the man made rule of celibacy! Let’s start a revolution by breaking the silence and discuss this issue NOW!

We are very happy that a woman who has fallen in love with a priest has given us permission to publish her story. We never publish anything without the permission of the writer as we respect her/his decision for privacy. We hope that many more will give us permission to publish their stories.

By the way, if you still feel guilty of falling in love with a priest just visit this website to understand where the church is going to in the near future…..