Tag Archive: daphne caruana galizia


The hidden challenges ahead

In the Catholic church we have witnessed centuries of blind obedience. We were practically trained in order to follow rules. We were always presented with a long list of what to do and what not to do. Everything was very clear….there was the truth, and there was the lie. If one tried to go against the tide, one would have sunk immediately. There was the middle age image that if one goes against the rule of the church, one would be penniless because people would make a boycott against all his professional activity.

How could one change all this? This is the beauty of the Catholic Church. When there is no hope, something new is born. A frail, sick and very old pope was elected. Everybody was commenting that the church was in a very bad position. He was practically elected to govern for a few more years until the two main parties found a consensus on a real pope! The dying pope was a pope in transition! He was Pope Saint John XXIII.

Well, the dying pope called for an ecumenical council (1962-65). As he lived in other countries where the Catholic religion was a minority, he met many good people. It started his own spiritual adventure: how could a good person, alas not baptised, not go to heaven? In a few words he started to put odd questions. He started to question the status quo of the Catholic Church.

These few paragraphs are very brief in explaining to most of our readers the culture of the Catholic Church. Practically most of our readers were born after the Second Vatican Council. I’m assuming that most of them did not receive a proper education where they were invited to come up with questions!! It’s like the old class where students where invited to listen and to jot down notes!

Nowadays even if one enters a classroom, one has to encounter students who have to ask many questions…one can’t simply bring the ready-made material for the class and to expect them simply to jot down the notes….the mentality has changed. Now, can adults do the same? Can we prepare a new spiritual ‘army’ with questions outside the box?

This is what the married priesthood entails. I’ve just met a religion teacher who was profoundly effected by the fact that one of the lecturers in the theology department was married…and he was a priest too! It’s a very old mentality where priesthood and marriage are not compatible. As if Jesus in one sacrament was against Jesus in the other sacrament!!!!!

For this reason, it shows that we can’t let others speak for us! We have to take the initiative to explain things to people. Many people still don’t know that Anglican priests are coming over with their wives whilst Catholic priests cannot marry!!! We can’t take anything for granted. We need to meet many more people. Many people following Catholic Media still don’t know about the Pope’s intention for Brasil!

We can’t wait for the pie to fall from the sky. We have to take action. We have to show the people how many priestless parishes there are going to be. We have to explain that a church without the Eucharistic celebration is nothing. The Catholic church can’t survive without celebrating the Eucharist at least once a week. On the other hand, a parish is simply not a sacrament station where one goes to fill up once a week. There has to be a community building. A community building needs some responsible people to be in the parish all the time. It’s not just going to celebrate a mass on a Sunday, and then going away soon after. Who is going to look for the lost sheep? Who is going to explain a lot of things of our faith? Who is going to comfort and give his shoulders to many people who feel all alone? There are many more duties which could make the Catholic Church come out alive but how could all this happen if there is no one to take on all these duties?

We need married priests, because they are prone to stay for a long time in a parish. They give a stable view of the parish, besides, they are already involved with the school system, teens parties etc….Their own children have to meet and mix with the rest of the parish! It’s a good way to keep the parish priest up-to-date with the parish current situation.

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The Father professor and his student

I’m Adele. When I was twenty, I met Fr. Karol. He was my professor first, and our friendship, relationship, whatever you want to call it, took place over about nine months. We got to know each other slowly because his class was a lecture, so he didn’t have much interaction with students. But I made a point of bringing him food, and asking him how he was doing because while he was all passion and jubilance in public, he’d make off comments in class which suggested he was lonely—he was a foreigner in a new country, after all.

My kindness to him, asking him if he had somewhere to go for Thanksgiving, inviting him to my family’s dinners, asking how he was doing, as well as my performance as a student made him interested in me. Two things really changed our relationship from just student-teacher to friendship, however. First, I told him I wanted to study theology, specifically, the same area he specialized in. So, I asked if he would mentor me. He said absolutely he would. He was pleased someone was actually interested in his area of study.

Second, I went on a retreat where he was one of the priests who heard confessions. There were only two priests to choose from, and I knew them both, so I chose him. It was an intense confession because of what I had to confess had to do with trauma I had been through in my life. Hearing my confession was difficult for him because he was getting to know me because we had already made somewhat of a connection. I think it was then I knew he cared about me in some capacity, so I began to confide in him more and more. After a few months of spending more time with him, we developed a bond.

Well, maybe there is a third reason. Toward the end of the first semester, he asked me, with tears in his eyes, “Why are you so kind to me?” I told him, I honestly didn’t know, but probably because he was a good professor. Then, he told me that he was very glad I asked him over for Thanksgiving, because even though he had already been invited by another professor, for the first two years, no one invited him, meaning this is the first year he wasn’t alone for that holiday. Most significantly, he told me he was very lonely the first two years living in the US. When he told me this, I felt obligated to be attentive to him in the future, and it reminded me of my own father, who I always tried to make feel less lonely.

I was not interested in him romantically. What I wanted was a father figure. He was about twenty years older than me, and I was hurting because my father had recently left my mother and younger brother. Maybe he wanted was companionship, or maybe, a relationship, and perhaps he didn’t know what he wanted. But what he did want—he told me all this—was for me to read his books, talk about his scholarship with him, go out to eat with him, and he even mentioned visiting me when I went off to grad school, and he hoped to go on vacation with me at some point, (which I know, he made it sound all very romantic without intending to, I think, but I focused on the fact that he was a priest). He was looking to the future, a future in which I’d be a student he could be proud of.

We did go out to eat together sometimes. When we did, I got the distinct feeling that what he wanted from me, I couldn’t give him. I was naïve, so I had no idea how to interpret this feeling. In retrospect, I think I knew he was looking at me in a romantic way, but I didn’t know how to take it.

When I talked about my father, he’d get very upset, as in, he’d literally start tearing up. I’m not sure he knew how to handle my sadness, so he’d try to cheer me up by telling me that I was beautiful, that I was brilliant, that God loved me very much.

Later in our friendship, he revealed why it was so hard for him to hear about it: his own mother sent him away to boarding school because he was too high-energy, but she kept the other children at home with her. He felt utterly abandoned too. At one point, when I was crying with him, about my father, he told me would “never abandon me,” that’d he’d “always be in my life, no matter what.”

Every time we were together, there was a tension that I couldn’t name, and it felt uncomfortable for both of us. Except he’d always act like whatever time I spent with him was a priority. I’d ask him if it was okay for me to visit him in his office. Sometimes he’d be in a foul mood, but he always said “why wouldn’t it be okay for you to be here?” I think he was exhausted from pretending to be happy all the time, and with me, he felt more like he could be himself. I was one of the few people in his day to ask how he was doing, and I actually wanted to know.

There wasn’t just one thing that showed me that he cared. There were just many small things, like the way he was attentive and kind and sometimes teasing; the way he confided in me; the way he showed me he was so much more interested in me than other students. There were some big things too: When a cardinal from another city came to visit for a talk, there were a group of his students wanting to meet the cardinal. In front of a big group of his students, he chose to introduce me to the cardinal, completely ignoring all of his other students—they might as well have been invisible, since he didn’t even refer to their presence. I was so embarrassed because they all looked annoyed and disappointed to be ignored. I was just a sophomore, and he passed up students he had known longer than me to introduce me. He also would tell me he was meditating on me, trying to figure me out.

He came to know me, extremely well. He knew who my friends were and what was important to me. When I went on a different retreat my mom asked him to write a letter for me of support, as often people do on retreats. It was beautiful, and I could tell he put a lot of time in it, and he addressed me, “Dearest Pearl.” More important to me, however, is that he showed up for the part of the retreat in which family and friends come out to show you how much they care about you. Honestly, only he and my mom showed up, which amazed me. I went up to hug him and thanked him for showing up. Later, a woman there who I met on the retreat told me “it was so nice for your boyfriend to show up.” And it bothered me that a stranger thought we were together.

I have bipolar disorder, and because of all the sleep I missed with the retreat keeping us up late, and all the homework I had to catch up on that coming weekend, by Wednesday that week I was manic. (Sleep deprivation in people with bipolar disorder causes otherwise stable people to become manic.)

Because of the boyfriend comment, I became paranoid that people were spreading rumors about us being a couple. But quite honestly, his showing up confused me. Even though my mom invited him, she later said she invited just about everyone, and of course, he could have not shown up, saying that he was too busy or just politely declined. His being at the retreat suggested to me, at the time, that he wanted to be in my life more deeply, and I didn’t know how I felt about it.

Later that week, I went to his office to talk to him about it. Mid-conversation, the tears flowed so copiously, I had to lean forward to see him clearly. With what words I had left during mania, which makes people hyper-religion and grandiose, I asked him “are we like St Teresa and John of the cross?” He didn’t have an answer. It was my way of asking “this is strange and convoluted and intense but chaste friendship, right”? And he not understanding made me cry harder, so I kept apologizing because I knew I had asked something which couldn’t be undone, I wanted he and I to be good and holy, but I couldn’t say the words. My mind was too on fire to speak, to reason, and my eyes were too covered in tears to see, that I had to leave him there in his office, just to stop crying. As a 20 year old, I didn’t have the boundaries or the language to ask what his intentions were, or what he wanted from me. So it all came out wrong, I admit that. However, there was something obviously wrong with me, but of course, unless you have experience with people who are bipolar or are in the mental health field, you’re not going to know what is going on.

By the end of the week, I was in the hospital because I couldn’t sleep and it was causing me to be delirious. While I was in the hospital, he called my mom, telling her I was in love with him and that I couldn’t speak to him anymore. He said that if I did, he’d report me to the administration. When I got out of the hospital and my mother told me this, my first reaction was anger. I hated that he would assume that I wanted anything from him other than for him to be a priest. It hurt me to know he thought so ill of me, like I was a stupid romantic girl. It seemed so out of the blue for him to make that accusation. To this day, I have no idea what it was. I think he may have been afraid of the attention I drew to him by showing up and leaving his office crying. I think by then he knew that other students and professors were aware that I was a “favorite” student, and I think he might have been afraid of the worst possible perception.

Every time I saw him after that he looked, so, so, so, miserable, and when I saw him in class his eyes were bloodshot and glistening, the way they would be on the several occasions he had gotten upset in front of me. It was the end of the semester before the summer, so I didn’t have to see him very much at all, only a few times, but I knew it would be too hard to have to see him again, to be treated like a pariah after he promised to never abandon me, that I left the university. I considered him an important father figure in my life, so it devastated me to be rejected by ANOTHER father figure.

What I wish more than anything that he was honest with himself and with me what he wanted all along. I was only twenty, and I have no idea how he thought I’d figure this all out on my own without guidance. It would have been kinder too if he told me the truth, and spoke directly to me why we couldn’t see each other anymore, instead of going to my mom, of all people. In retrospect, however, I think the whole friendship was kind of inappropriate. Once he heard my confession and began to “counsel” me about my father, he put himself in a pastoral role. That pastoral role has certain responsibilities to not become overly involved, as it creates confusion for both parties. It’s why therapists don’t hang out with their patients. With all he knew about me, all he had promised to me, he had a so much power over me. It was an abuse of power for him to treat me the way he did. I found him a comforting presence, so I turned to him for help, and he offered himself as the answer to my problems. He should have known better.

We invite all our readers to give their thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement to our Adele. Please remember that anybody can fall in love at any moment in his/her life. It has nothing to do with one’s mental health or way of life. We are humans. We can’t survive without love. Now if it is born in the so called ‘wrong place’, what can we do? Removing our love feelings towards somebody is not like erasing a mistake on paper. It goes much deeper than that. Love is our universal language!

My name is Audrey. My priest’s name is Joe. I’ve had a massive crush on one of the younger priests at my parish for several years now (for the record, I’m 26 and he’s 31). A while back, I asked him to be my spiritual director, and since then, he’s answered many of my questions and concerns and helped me discern several personal issues I’ve been struggling with. On the surface, our relationship overall has been reasonably normal. However, I’m “secretly” absolutely head over heels for him, and it’s not solely because he’s a priest as I’ve never crushed on any other clergy (I work for the parish, so I know/have known/have interacted with many.) In fact, he’s the only person I’ve truly been attracted to in over 7 years.

Earlier this week, he and I were teasing each other, apart from a major difficulty I’ve been facing recently (my desire for power/control, facilitated by lust – which is directed at him [but i didn’t mention that bit]), and it led down some…rather spicy rabbit holes. I was caught off guard when he asked for details (again, I didn’t mention him in those details at that point), and he seemed intrigued by what I told him about various kinky fantasies I have, such as feeling an immensely pleasurable rush at the thought of choking someone [him]..although in retrospect he was probably searching for the reasons for the lust so we could work on resolving them. Needless to say, I answered with gusto, but, as you can imagine, my problem has gotten considerably worse because the conversation wildly prodded my lust-buttons. No joke at all. I had to restrain myself from leaping up and kissing (!) him there and then. Notwithstanding, I kept my cucumber coolness as well as I could, and our session ended with prayers as usual.

Armed with plenty of new, nasty thoughts, and eager to continue our discussion, I asked to see him a few days later. When we sat down in his house again, I was completely giddy, and my heart was pounding as I fidgeted nervously on the couch. I began by saying that I wanted to clarify some of the things we’d talked about the last time. I looked him dead in the eye and told him those crazy thoughts were all about him, and that I love him.

To my surprise, he wasn’t taken aback. He said he had known already. Friends, I’m not subtle, and I’m a flirt machine when I see somethin’ I like. Nonetheless, I fully expected him to tell me to leave and that we could never meet again – but, he said it was ok for me to stay as long as I promised to work on resolving my over-arching problems with control. He also candidly admitted that it’s “happened before” (?) and that, of course, he can never marry…which was amusing because I only said that I loved him, not that I wanted to marry him. But alas. we ended with prayers, and I audaciously asked for “a hug…just a small one?” he complied with palpable reluctance. It was so worth it.

That last session left me feeling enormously conflicted. I had initially assumed that, in my head, we had “broken up” and I’d to move on…but instead, it’s intensified my desire for him another hundredfold, fuelled by his continued offer to help me find peace (his own words.) I’ve seen him since then – at Mass a few times and reconciliation – and he doesn’t seem annoyed, disturbed or otherwise affronted by me. However, I feel that our dynamic has changed: we catch eyes more than we did before my affection-confession, but that’s probably just me being extra weird.

As with the rest of you ladies (and gents), I know this has been and continues to be an exercise in futility, and I would honestly be mortified to strip the Church of one of her priests (and an exceptional one at that), and yet, the selfish lasciviousness blazes on, and I can only look forward to the next time we have an uncomfortably awkward interaction.

I wish to thank our contributor for this week. Thanks to some people who are not afraid of sharing, we can move on in our spiritual journey. To you dear readers to discuss (peacefully) our last romantic story on this blog. Happy Reading!

Rev Father has a baby!

Hello! This is Aj from the Philippines which has a large number of Roman Catholics. I’ve been looking for this site because I want to share my feelings and story too. I need some advice so I can move on and know what to do. I’m a Director in my company and a nurse by profession so currently I’m a health advocate and sharing true health to all people. One day a friend of mine referred me to a Major Seminarian School, so maybe I could offer them my products. At first I was very shy because it was my first time to go there, meeting seminarians and Priests. But it was all good.

Then one Day they invited me to visit again the seminary school for there was a birthday party, probably a luncheon together with the seminarians and all priests who resided in that school. On that day we were about to start the birthday party when a Guy about 5’7 in height came out from the office downstairs and with a smile, of course I smiled back. In my mind ” Hmm He’s cute and Handsome” All I knew he was just one of the ordinary people destined to meet that day but to my surprise, He was the Birthday Boy and what hurt me was he was a Priest. Well, nothing is special, I just let the idea go by the wind. So, I greeted him with a Happy B’day Father!

I ate lunch with the seminarians and all the residence priest together. And I just left the place for almost a year… then it was one month of Sept.2016 when I went back to that place to sell our products because it was already my deadline to pay bills and credit cards so I went there. This B’day Boy, ” The Priest” that I once met was there again. I asked him to buy my products…. he he that was so embarrassing coz I’m selling it by force! And He offered me to lend me his money. I promised to return it back in due time. I ate my pride and took it! He was leaving for 2 weeks for his retreat in Baguio so we’ll see each other after that. We texted and having video call after his activity and before he was going back to bed till he came back after the retreat and planned to see each other. Finally he returned back after 2 weeks. To give thanks and for welcoming him again and secretly send him a bunch of flowers and balloons in the seminary school as a form of thank you and post b’day gift. He was really surprised that day because that was his first time to receive such a gift like that. And he knew it came from me. Ha ha it was my first time to do that too. Ah well I’m in a long distance relationship for 3 years now to my Fililippino bf who’s in America, had never had the chance to see each other personally just in skype, fb and social media.

To cut it short, I’m single for almost 8 years after my first boyfriend and next was this LDR for 3 years. So, for me that “killing factor in tagalog” or goosebumps and attraction every time I saw this Priest is really breathtaking for I used to be alone every time. Back to that roses I gave him, He thanked me a lot and he even cried for he never received one ever since” Well, you’re a Priest that’s why! He he.. We agreed that “to fall in love with each other is a BIG NO NO! For us because we are just friends and it’s a wrongful act If it ever does happen then we need to move away from each other. The communication continues… then one day he invited me to attend his mass in cabugao, so i decided to go. He invites me to eat at the parish in order for me to introduce my products to the other priests but i refused. I told him that I’ll just meet him outside. After his dinner he gave me a lift at 711 and decided to stay together to have some catch ups! I was really nervous and excited that time because the feeling was really good and it was so overwhelming. We don’t know what happened next till we just discovered that we are already in a certain place, private place, private room, to be exact like normal couple and Yes! We kissed, We hugged and We made Love. We stayed together till morning! Things happened so fast. I couldn’t explain my feelings. We bid goodbye after that 1st time that we made love. The communication continues… and it gets deeper and deeper especially from the moment when he said “I LOVE YOU”, and of course just to be honest to myself I said “I LOVE YOU Too”.

After the first time we continued seeing each other every Sunday or anytime as long as we wanted to meet. The feelings gets deeper and deeper like normal couples who used to made love and share happy moments together. For almost one year of having together we had a Baby Julian and he thanked me a lot for giving him the opportunity to give him a child. We love each other so much that one time he told me to leave his ministry for us, his family. I told him to decide well because it will be a BIG decision. He cried every time he’ll see our picture with our baby. He wanted to be with us normally but just can’t.

A few months from now he’ll be leaving to Australia, he promised me that he’ll be with us very soon. My mom knew already that he’s the Father of my Baby and accepted it. Now we don’t know what to do. He’s 6 years in service to God. He pursued his Priesthood because he bargained to God that if his mom survived the brain tumour then He would serve him forever…but now, I was already on the scene and our Baby. Do you have any advice about us? Please help, we love each other so much.

I remind everybody that comments which judge or try to bully this woman will simply not be tolerated. But besides that. This case has a new revelation. The priest now is a biological father of a baby. This changes everything. He has the legal and moral duty to take care of his own baby. Now excuse can be used in order not to take care of the baby. He can’t simply hide and go away. Let’s continue following this case. Let’s all be one in our online community by helping Aj to have a proper care for her baby.

I was happy editing the latest story I had for publication……..I received an email where the person concerned tells me NOT to publish her story. This has been happening quite a long time. Why are victims afraid to have their story published?

This is common for all victims of criminal activity. We consider the fact that a priest who abuses his position of authority and trust, on the same level as that of a policeman who forces his victims to commit any illegal act under coercion.

One of the first steps is make the victim aware of what kind of action is she victim of. Victims, because of various reasons, cannot comprehend the seriousness of the act committed. As a defence mechanism in fact, in many cases they blame themselves rather than blame the man of God. Maybe it will be more devastating to their faith to admit that the man of God commits such criminal acts!!! Some of them try to camouflage it as ‘love’. In most cases the priest might be called a serial abuser of women. In most cases these women are in a vulnerable position (most probably emotional one) who simply cannot refuse some form of attention/cuddling/kisses etc.

The priest knows that as a public person he is at a very high risk if his story comes out. Living such high risk cannot be tolerated so he turns the tables by turning the abused person into a terrorised one. This game cannot be understood by the abused person as in her situation she feels too weak to react. She tries to console herself (mistakenly) by thinking that he is the only one who pays attention to her. In some cases the priest allures the victim by buying some expensive gifts.

The abuser, ie the priest, inflicts a sense of guilt or that of fear in his victim in order NOT to talk (like all criminal people), or write. The victim most probably lives in a highly inflated sense of fear. She is enslaved with this sense of fear. Maybe she feels sorry for him. In most cases it’s true that the congregation, again because the truth is too hard to handle, they might opt in for labelling the woman as a great sinner (they use another much stronger word!), when rumours start to surface. But this is another proof that a relationship based on fear is no relationship at all and there is no sign of love at all. How can we speak clearly to so many women who fell victims to their pastor?

We are all for support and education to ALL our victims. We need to make them aware of the game being played by their priest. We need to empower them to take action. Obviously, it’s easier said than done. But this is an important part of our pastoral outreach to such victims. We are not here to judge but rather to accompany these people in their spiritual walk of life.

We are all in favour of publishing such stories (although changing of names, places etc. might take place), because the people attending churches need to know what kind of priest do they have mingling with their families. They have the right to know. We cannot take away rights. Nothing to add nor delete. Secondly, it would be an eye opener for many others including some who are already passing through such experience. Thirdly, it would help our cause to press for married priests. Most of the priests, because of the celibacy promise, have become sexually dysfunctional. We have to make it very clear though that we don’t intend to push all priests to get married. We do acknowledge that not all people should be married, for various reasons. But married priests are a welcome change in the church in order to bring subsequent changes in the parish.

Finally let’s all remember that when one is doing a journey there are people at the beginning, half way through and those who are at the very end of it. In the spiritual world we’re in a journey. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. It means everyone is on different levels. Let’s remember that maybe before passing through a love experience with a priest, most of the readers would have condemned such women. Now after a personal experience they have walked further in their spiritual growth. Now they see a lot of hidden aspects that were hidden previously from their understanding. Let’s realise that everybody is progressing through such spiritual walk. Nobody is perfect. Nobody can feel superior to anybody. Let’s welcome everybody on our blog without the fear of being judged or labelled.

The priest and today’s world

The media and the common people are very creative when they invent stories especially involving a priest who has just left. Most probably they give a reason to something that they find extremely hard to digest! The usual answer is that one left to get married!

Although in some cases it might ring true, yet in most cases, we encounter a different picture. The priest is not so happy with his surroundings, happenings or way of life. In the quoted article, one finds an ex seminarian (one who is studying for priesthood), who is not happy with the way of life the friars are living in the monastery. He feels very uncomfortable that whilst his mother has to make both ends meet, in his monastery there is a superfluous luxury notwithstanding the fact that they took the vow of poverty! The most important thing of all is that it has effected his spirituality. Although for others it may seem to be trivial, it cost him his place in the monastery. He couldn’t accommodate this divorce between what he believes and what he sees daily in the monastery.

One of the most terrible lies is that priests don’t get married because they need to be 24/7 for the people of God. Many years ago people used to call them to come and accompany people at their hour of death. Now that job is practically gone except maybe in hospitals. The problem with most priests is that they view their work according to the number of masses or sacraments they need to administer. In most parts of the Western world church attendance has gone down so practically they have much less work to do especially during weekdays. On the other hand circumstances have changed and most people are not be found during the traditional eight to five working shift.

Mass and sacraments have lost their magic touch for the common people. People need to be evangelised. People need a human contact with the church. They need to be taught many things about religion as they are ‘ignorant’ in most religious issues. Most probably they would get the wrong impression of the church because in many cases it’s mostly silent in the digital world! When people are passing through a difficult/loving phase in their lives, the church is mostly absent. Even attending mass, in most cases it is something very anonymous! This is a fact which seems not to preoccupy bishops when amalgamating parishes!

Most probably the biggest issue (which goes unnoticed by many), is that most priests, outside the sacramental world, they don’t know how to deal with it! The still don’t know the importance of building a real community in their parish. They were never trained how to do pastoral work properly (it is not simply the distribution of the sacraments). Pastoral work should culminate in the person finding Christ and building a personal relationship. Now before embarking on such an adventure, one needs to know the flock. There are various ways and means how to get to know the flock but the best one seems that of family visiting. It is physically demanding and time consuming, yet it yields the best results. It builds a good bond between the priest and the parishioners.

As priests are transferred from one parish to another, the parish council seems to be the most appropriate one in order to work hand in hand with the pastor. How are relations with the pastor? We can find various examples yet very few parishes provide professional teaching and caring for it. The parish council is another largely unknown ‘thing’ in the parish. Most people are never introduced to it. They never vote for it so how could it be an effective instrument in the hand of the parish?

Then there is the church in general. The priest comes into contact with many relationships, hidden or otherwise. Yet he is representing the church. In many cases there is an internal conflict between what the church believes and what the faithful are living. Some people prefer to ignore such conflicts. Others simply leave the church, others try to find a leeway. Many pastors know that such conflict is bound to get bigger all the time if the hierarchy (people at the very top of the church), do not live in the same conditions. Recently I had a discussion with some religion teachers. They were surprised that the church hasn’t changed her mind when it comes to contraceptives. The fact is that these religion teachers have taken a different answer to such challenge in their married life which is beyond that of the church. Now what about priests and their internal conflicts? How would they solve them?

We hope of providing some food for thought to our readers. As usual, we didn’t cover all that needs to be written down. But that’s a big plus for our readers to start writing immediately in order to provide more shades about the mentioned topic!

There are several ways of how to control people. In the church there has been a very common one : creating a strong sense of guilt. Most people, even if they leave the church, deep down in their hearts there would remain a lurking sense of guilt. In history, there have been several people who opposed the church, yet during their last moments of life on earth, they simply surrendered and gave all property and riches to the church in order to redeem their soul!

The sense of guilt has been built not in one single moment. It has been going on for centuries. The Catholic church has for many centuries, did not build a conscience for adults, but rather a set of directions of what to do and what not to do. It’s no surprise that the recent letter by the Pope has confounded some Catholics. In simple words, they assume that the church should say what’s black and white. Incidentally Pope Francis mentioned the grey colour!! They find it hard now that the present Pope is letting them decide. Most probably it is for the first time in the history of the church that the adults in faith are being treated as adults. They examine their own conscience, listen to God’s voice and decide!

Parents understand it perfectly well, because at one time, one’s child, is going to decide about something which one does not agree to. At one moment, one knows and understands that the child is no longer a child but a fully grown man or woman. He/she now has a different opinion and might make choices which are not according to what parents dictate! It’s the same process which is happening in the church today. Pope Francis is really bringing a revolution without any blood being shed or terrible fights (including that of discussion!!).

One of the main ideas of the so called ‘conservatives’ (ie those who are in favour of the black and white mentality and who won’t accept any exception at all), is that they see the others as sinners. Jesus the shepherd gives us the idea that if he looses one, he goes out of his way to find it. When he finds it, he makes a feast! Are we looking for the so called the ‘missing ones’?

How about walking in their boots for one day? How would we see reality? How would one see the church? The advantage of being a married priest is that people, knowingly or unknowingly feel more at ease to discuss matrimonial challenges. We have been living this kind of theology (ie starting from experience and NOT from some medieval teaching) for many years now (much before the latest letter from the Pope).

But let’s focus on the fact of a women falling in love with a priest. We have been insisting for many years now that falling in love is not simply a button to be pressed at will. It can happen to everybody, saints and sinners and all!

Women and men meet at a certain date. It could be a casual encounter or one which leaves deep imprints. Whatever happens, we do believe that God is speaking to both persons. It’s not fair and just simply to tell any one of them to forget and go away. After all we preach and say that God is love! So why when love is round the corner we simply give it another name: temptation?

Obviously we are not referring to a passing crisis or infatuation. We have in mind several couples who although they stayed far away from each other with no contact for a long time, they both discovered that they have to share their journey of life together!

I’ve been asked several times to assist such couples which I happily do. Yet it doesn’t mean that I have to decide. It’s the couple who need to take such decision. We can only help them mature and make a sound decision whilst taking into consideration several challenges and trials. Indirectly we are breaking the sense of guilt that many priests who love their woman (and vice-versa), feel. Obviously we don’t expect to break this sense of guilt immediately after so many centuries of pure brain washing. Yet we are confident that no wall cannot be broken down to single stones to let people discover new areas of teaching in the church.