Tag Archive: catholic marriage in Malta

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.

We’ve been insisting that married priesthood opens up the priest to a new reality: one of them meeting many people who are unchurched. One of the most common solutions would be to invite them to church and have a frankly talk. The immediate problem arises: what about the teachings of the church today? If they truly come to church there remains one big problem: how to reconcile people’s expectations with the teaching of the church. This is one of the reasons why in the Western Culture, people are leaving the church.

The Second Vatican Council (a meeting for all bishops which took place between 1962-1965), emphasized that we no longer support a theory which has to be put into practice but rather see the praxis (practice)  or how the christian community is living and form up the theory. If we really believe this, then we could start the teaching for adults and surely the adults will come. They would feel truly adults in faith as they would have a main part in forming up the teaching of the church. On the other hand, if some unmarried priests or bishops still have the main role in forming up the teaching element of the church, then surely they would be alienated from today’s problems and consequently they would not provide the true teaching of God. It’s no surprise that in the USA today contraceptives still play an important part. It’s the so called celibate, (better to use the unmarried term) priests obsessed with power. No married person who is in his senses, would propose such a thing!

On the other hand we know from experience that others don’t have the luxury of leaving the Catholic Church. There were many married priests who found it really difficult to find a job just because they left the church. Other faithful members cannot show dissent as otherwise they would suffer big consequences. But all in all, there are many people nowadays who are not in agreement with their bishops.

We are very sorry that another bishop had to resign for the same reason: falling in love with a woman. When are we going to read the gospel and notice that most of the apostles were married? Are we still in the middle ages where we used to believe that intelligent woman were either possessed by the devil or else psycho cases? Why are we so afraid of women when Mary was declared mother of God? Another secondary note is that this bishop had to resign simply because he fell in love with a woman: how about other bishops who have hidden the sexual abuse of priests? Do they need to resign? How do they sleep at night? What about their conscience? What about those who have committed suicide because of a sexual abuse by a priest?

Just one positive note: We firmly believe that the Holy Spirit has his own unique ways of changing the church. Consequently we are not pessimistic about the Catholic Church. Another married father and son are ordained as Catholic priests. Obviously there were Anglicans before joining the Catholic Church. So the people of God are getting used to see married priests. That means a lot. Well the change has come! Who knows what might happen in the future?

Homily {in Maltese}