Tag Archive: falling in love with a priest


We have appreciated our readers as they have struggled to come to terms with their experience of priests. They were successful in putting into writing their own particular experience. This is what makes our blog wonderful. People from all over the world come together to discuss one experience: falling in love with a Catholic Priest.

Some of our readers have gone beyond that. They have chosen their field of study, the area where priests behave sexually inappropriately. Thanks to Stephen (at the end of the article there is some personal information about his studies and interests), we are going deeper in our reflection. I wish to welcome you to read his findings.

Clerical Sexual Misconduct Involving Adults: Now a little less ‘unknown’

Everything is on his terms. I only see him when he wants to. If he doesn’t want to see me he avoids me for months and then when he wants to see me he comes back as he pleases. He doesn’t care if I’m crying or asking him to stop, then afterwards he says he loves me then I get so very confused because I love him and I don’t want to lose him. I hope and wish that he will marry me…… I feel special to be loved by such a holy man. But I also feel very guilty and dirty for having sex with a priest. I cry and tell him that I don’t want to do it but he doesn’t care that I’m crying. So I stop crying and let him do it in order to please him because I’m afraid that if I don’t please him I will lose him (Winnie, a divorced mother of one, seeking spiritual and psychological help from this cleric).

Although the relationship was consensual, in hind sight I feel that I was very vulnerable and taken advantage of. There was a huge power imbalance and I was left feeling very broken (Cathy, a student, and a parish housekeeper seeking support at the time).

Three years ago, I wrote an article titled Knowing the Unknowns of Clerical Sexual Misconduct (see http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38542#.V79UwcUh5zU ). Clerical sexual misconduct involving adults (CSMIA) is one of those phenomena in the Church that everyone seems to ‘know’ about and yet few really actually have real ‘knowledge’ about. Thanks to the 23 women and 6 men who responded, I have been able to establish some important themes expressed throughout the stories of those 29 respondents. Similar themes were also found in the five other major studies reviewed along with many writers on the topic of CSMIA and topics closely related to it. Those themes poignantly summed up in Winnie’s and Cathy’s statement above, were language; power and vulnerability; and harm. These were discovered to be vital elements in understanding how their CSMIA was able to occur, how it was interpreted, how it was dealt with, and how it affected their lives. They are also three elements that need to be included in any discourse on CSMIA.

Language

I was extremely confused. The priest was telling me this was “love” and said I was “beautiful”. I felt wonderful while he was there, because his definition of what was happening was dominant. But afterwards I felt awful, sinful, depressed, seriously bad and often suicidal (Tanya, a young woman who had suffered both childhood sexual abuse and a rape one year before seeking this religious order priest’s help; emphasis hers).

I was finally able to have my case listened to a few months ago by a police constable who works for [withheld for privacy] who told me what happened to me was criminal abuse not misconduct…. It was the first time that I was actually given some confirmation that what happened was criminal abuse (Edith, a 29 year old married woman at the time, seeking spiritual guidance from a highly respected religious order priest).

Language and definitions surrounding CSMIA are of major importance in coming to a balanced understanding of the realities of victims/survivors of that CSMIA. If CSMIA continues to be defined as simply a mutually consensual affair, the most likely outcomes for the adult victims/survivors, past, present and future are a blaming of the victim and victim self-blaming, and a continuation of the harms that such outcomes produce. Evidence for this was found in most of the participants of this study. Women like ‘Winnie’ and ‘Cathy’ above, caught up in what can only be described as abusive ‘relationships’, both perceived their ‘relationships’ to be ‘affairs’ and even ‘consenting’ but few could agree with even their own perceptions. However, what the literature and the respondents to this survey also revealed is that once language changes, once the definitions of CSMIA and ‘affairs’ and a deeper and more accurate understanding of ‘consent’, change to ones which include abuse of power, abdication of fiduciary duty, and/or, the crossing of ethical and professional boundaries, more resolutionary outcomes result for the victim/survivor. As Margaret Kennedy, founder of MASCAS, explains:

Clergy may not force, and the woman may desire him, but he has constructed this context, in which he makes her responsible, whilst relinquishing his responsibility for the boundary-keeping he knows he, as the professional, should maintain.

Power and Vulnerability

I was depressed and frequently suicidal. In retrospect NONE OF IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED except that HE INITIATED a sexual relationship. I can say for absolute certain that, if it was up to me at all, I would have followed my sense that he was celibate and out of bounds. I fell for his bull-shit because I was convinced he was truly holy (Tanya).

I had to agree to providing a body massage in order to receive forgiveness for my sins (Andy – a single 20 year old man seeking help when the CSMIA began).

I had to prove my physical sexuality to him so I could be a Religious Brother with them. It was very confusing…He was a Brother of high standing and respect. I just trusted him but felt uncomfortable too (James, an 18-year-old novice in a religious order when the CSMIA began).

Why do you think you have the right to muscle in using your position of status to win over a vulnerable young girl with a disability (Ann, 19 years old when the CSMIA began).

He didn’t tell me God wanted us to have sex. He made out that it was between God and me and that I was to detach from him and just look at God [during the sex]. He spiritualized the whole thing….He said nobody would understand because it was so spiritual and that if I said anything it would completely destroy it and we would never be able to continue the relationship and that it would be my fault (Edit, 29 years old when the CSMIA began).

The evidence for clerical/positional/spiritual power as a tool for the abuse of the vulnerable and indeed any adults in the church, became patently obvious while undertaking this research. Almost all the respondents in this study described deep personal vulnerabilities at the time of CSMIA – half had already experienced sexual abuse as children. However, 24 of the 29 participants would not have come under the definition of ‘vulnerable adult’ found in recent diocesan and religious order Prevention and Protection Policies. It is only when positional vulnerability – related to age, gender and religious status; and personal vulnerability – the existence of a full range of significant issues in the lives of people, is juxtaposed with the positional and personal power of clerics and their institutions, that the power differential inherent in CSMIA can be clearly observed in action. Accordingly, positional and personal vulnerability, need to become part of the church’s and everyone’s understanding of how and why CSMIA is as common as it is. Until this occurs, the dominant perception of CSMIA as a relatively harmless ‘affair’ will continue to rule.

Harm

I had a nervous breakdown but continued to work. Whilst she [the mother superior/perpetrator] dyed her hair, I was pulling mine out….as a form of self-harm (Maria, a religious sister at the time; in parenthesis, hers).

What happened to me stole my adulthood and developing positive relationships with people in general, and men in particular. I feel so icky to have actually married and had children (Wendy, an 18 year old theology student at the time).

At 65 years old I am still trying to accept myself as a good and worthwhile person (Scott, sexually assaulted by his novice master as an 18-year-old in a religious order).

I felt I had to leave a work position that I truly loved because working where I did with this person in a power position became untenable (Sue, a woman working in a Catholic office).

If nowhere else, the evidence for CSMIA being abusive is revealed in the harms that CSMIA produces. While levels and lengths may have varied, the fact that some form and level of CSMIA-related harms existed in the lives of all the respondents in this study, was more than evident. The harms revealed in this study included deep and life-long psycho-spiritual disorientation, physical illnesses and sequelae of practical consequences which only compounded the difficulties they were already facing.

When the elements of language, power and vulnerability, and harm are included in discourses on CSMIA, many hitherto unaddressed dynamics are revealed such as grooming, consent obfuscation, and disclosure reluctance leading to continued suffering. Without their inclusion, CSMIA can never be fully revealed for what it is and a resulting lack of drive for justice and compassion-driven change follows. Justice and compassion are not needed if CSMIA is believed to be an ‘affair between mutually consenting adults’. According to such a definition, the event is an ‘affair’, not abuse, it involves a ‘consenting adult’, not a vulnerable person, and it is ‘mutual’ and, therefore, not exploitative.

In regards to the stories and responses in my study, the events they experienced cannot be defined as ‘affairs’. Nor have these stories been ones of decisive, compassionate, just and psychologically mature responses from the RCC, if their experiences were reported. A few found understanding, justice and compassion, as well as financial assistance to try to get their lives back into some form of equilibrium, but most did not, neither at the time, nor since. Their stories include the repercussions of secondary and very serious neglect, trauma and pain caused this time, by the institutional church’s responses.

For the 29 women and men who participated in my study, their experiences were and are real. Their pain and harm was and is real. Their desire for acknowledgment and healing, has also been, and is also still, very real. It is my belief that there are great numbers more of disempowered and offended against women and men, who, along with those in this study, long for their stories to be heard, and believed, and dealt with, in order to save their faith and/or restore their lives to some semblance of happiness. It is for this reason that the microphone was given to such people in this study. However, more people are needed to step up to the microphone and tell their stories. These participants, and those who are currently under the spotlight or in the news simply because they are seeking justice and compassion, (see Box, Dan. 2014. “Disabled woman sues top priest.” The Australian, August 08, 2014), are, for the most, still in a very lonely place.

The complete study can be found at https://eprints.qut.edu.au/96038/ .

Stephen de Weger has just completed his Master of Justice (Research) in the School of Justice – Faculty of Law at QUT. He is about to commence his PhD to further investigate CSMIA particularly how it has been dealt with by both secular and religious institutions. He will soon be seeking further men and women who are willing to share their stories about their experiences of sexual misconduct, and how both religious and criminal justice institutions have responded to them when, if they reported the misconduct. He is particularly interested in men’s experiences of clerical sexual misconduct as well as those who were themselves clerics or in religious life at the time of the misconduct as there is virtually no research in this area. He can be contacted at stephen.deweger@qut.edu.au.

Woman spellbound to priest

I’m Abigail. I feel sick as I read all the comments on the blog. How did I get into this mess? Never did I imagine this would happen to me. My story began six years ago with this priest – let’s call him Fr. X. Myself and this Catholic Father instantly connected over common interests. Serving on various committees solidified our bond. I’m 15 years older, married and have several kids. My marriage is on the brink of divorce due to my husband’s alcoholism and abusiveness. Our marriage was going downhill before I met Fr. X.

Things seriously deteriorated after the deaths of several family members and friends. At first, I deluded myself into thinking he was my dear brother in Christ. He’s very endearing, socially awkward, crazy, intelligent and very human, all qualities I found appealing. My husband detected more of an attachment on my part and gave me constant grief about it. I became close to Fr. X’s family and helped them with a family crisis, further strengthening our relationship. Nothing romantic or sexual occurred, just lots of affirmation and attentiveness. He mentioned that I was his best friend and others in his circle have confirmed that.

Our relationship went to another level after he was transferred and became pastor. The hot/cold behavior I’ve read about here seemed to be more apparent. I attributed that to his wanting to make a good impression and having more responsibilities. He’s super busy as am I, so I strove not to appear needy. Then, something happened this spring that had me reach out to him more. He didn’t respond as I had hoped, so I detached. Thus started a huge game of cat and mouse this summer. He practically ran after me one time when I walked by during an event we attended. I told him I didn’t want to take him away from his adoring fans to which he responded: “But you’re my biggest fan.”

That comment right there should’ve told me that something else was happening, but I chose selfishly to bask in the compliment instead of backing far away. Then, an incident recently rocked my world. I should’ve known something big was brewing. About a month ago, Fr. X texted me asking me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday, something he’s never done. We’ve always eaten breakfast or lunch; if we ate dinner together, it was with a group related to ministry work or with his family and my family. Never alone for dinner. Stupidly, I chose to ignore the warning bells going off in my head and agreed to meet him. Then, when he arrived, he gave me a warm hug and a birthday card. He’s never given me a card either; he usually texts me a greeting or calls. The card wasn’t anything mushy. After dessert, he mentioned how noisy the place was getting and wondered if we could go somewhere to talk. I suggested the library; he mentioned a bookstore and then asked suddenly if I’d mind going to his place.

Again, the alarm bells sounded but I ignored them and went to his place. I was there for several hours as a witness to a train wreck of a conversation. He was very jumpy, fidgeting and leaving to go to the bathroom several times. I asked if he was ok and he said he was. At one point, he hinted about me going upstairs because he was using the bathroom up there so much, which I didn’t take seriously as I thought he was joking. He sat in a separate recliner and then next to me on the couch.

At one point, he playfully tapped my foot with a pillow. He commented on how dark I was (I recently went to the beach). He picked up my shoe and commented on how small my feet were. He asked if I was ticklish and when I said yes and asked if he was too, he said: “Yes, but you don’t want to know where I’m ticklish.” We got on the subject of celibacy and he outright asked me if I had sexual urges! I was shocked and said that I didn’t, that sex actually is a big turn-off because of what’s happened to me. Then he said that he has strong urges and the instinct to procreate is strong, adding that it would be helpful if women dressed more conservatively.

Just when I thought this couldn’t get any weirder, he mentioned again about going upstairs to see his books. He is a voracious reader as am I. Again, alarm bells. But, I did go upstairs and saw that he had a beautiful book collection. However, the books were in his private suite and his bedroom door was wide open. He cracked open a joke book and started to read aloud from it while I looked at his shelves. He made some comment about his mattress being hard and asking me to test it to see if it was. I ignored that. Then, the kicker. It was getting late and I knew I had to go home. He said immediately that I could stay in the guest room! I was shocked – I think my mouth was wide open. I quickly said that wouldn’t be a good idea and left.

The next morning he texted me. I didn’t reply at first because I was so upset and flabbergasted. Since that time, he has texted me a few more times and he has greeted me warmly at church. When I asked him again about his behavior that night, he said he was in a weird mood and I shouldn’t dwell on it. After more attention, the cold behavior began like talking really formally to me on the phone after he called me first and left a message. When I finally called him back, he made it crystal clear he didn’t want to talk to me because his parents were there and he had to call another priest.

Then why did he call me if it wasn’t convenient? Anyway, I apologize that this is so long but I felt the need to explain everything. I’ve told bits and pieces to my sister who thinks he has definite feelings for me but is struggling. She actually said that his hot/cold behavior was a big clue to her. I guess I need confirmation that this really happened to me. I just can’t believe that after all this time, he would do something so risky. And I just feel so incredibly stupid and naive. I’ve never been with anyone else except my husband, so when it comes to flirting, etc. I am clueless. I know I need to pull back, which will be tricky as we’re involved in so many things together. I know I need to leave him alone, and believe me, I’ve tried.

He keeps contacting me when I detach. I’ve prayed and gone to confession about it and it just seems like this, along with my other issues, is my cross. I love him, but I don’t want to take him away from his vocation. I’ve gotten a lot of insight from this blog. I pray I can take the comments to heart and do what I need to do for my own sake and his.

So readers this is where you play a vital role: just give in your feedback. Please remember not to judge but our experience may help Abigail to see the hidden side of this story.

If we were to examine the numbers regarding the population of the baptised people in the Catholic Church, the percentage of the married people is overwhelming! It comes close practically to 100%. Yet who are the people who decide what’s good and bad in the church? Just a small percentage of unmarried people!

One question comes up to our mind: why did the married people accept this situation for so long? There were various reasons for the past status quo but now not anymore. During the Vatican Council II (meeting for all Catholic Bishops which took place at the Vatican, 1963-1965), the term ‘adults in faith’ was given a lot of importance. Adults have to decide for themselves after consulting the teaching of the church. They are the ones who are living the situation, consequently they know what’s best for their lives.

Being responsible for this blog, we have a wonderful opportunity of meeting various people coming from different continents. It’s an enriching experience! We thank all our readers for making our experience unforgettable!

Those who are church going most of the time they belong to that section of people in the church who wait for orders in order to move on. On the other hand, the majority of those who are not attending church anymore, have a certain degree of independence in their thought and daily living.

By going for married priesthood we are trying to bridge the gap between the unmarried and married people in the church. It’s a two way traffic lane. The unmarried appreciate the daily trials, challenges of the married people. The married people come closer to the church and understand what constitutes the church.

Answering various questions about priests, parish, church etc…..shows that there is a great thirst for information. Yet on the other hand, there are very few people in the church who are ready and available to answer people’s comments. Most probably because the old monasteries, who were once the seed for knowledge and innovation have become fortifications of protection to those inside! Priests, monks, nuns have unknowingly created a safety zone which cuts communication with the common people.

Calling for married people to become priests is easier said then done. People need a lot of time to be trained properly. That’s why we always insisted that the time has come to start early. We need to start today to have a sufficient number of people to take care of our parishes (just to mention one urgent need). We can’t call married people and tell them to manage our parishes overnight. Otherwise it would be a total disaster.

How many married priests are ready to be in charge of a parish if invited by the present Pope? That would be an interesting answer to see the reactions of our readers this week. Readers, you are most welcome to take charge of our blog by writing your opinion.

Women deacons = married priests?

When we were at school, we used a particular expression called the missing link (referring to apes in view of human beings). We are all the time pushing for a married priesthood. Yet maybe we are missing a good link. How can the Catholic Church allow its priests to get married when there is a low appreciation of women? The fact that some women marry a priest and are still regarded as those who tempted the priest to abandon the altar (table where mass is celebrated), may speak volumes! Why are all important decisions taken by men in the church?

The recent decision by the Pope to allow studies to investigate (it’s still a study, please don’t jump into conclusions), the case of women deacons, may finally help our cause. What’s a deacon? Well the deacon is one who celebrates all the sacraments (except mass and the sacrament of reconciliation), and could deliver a homily (explanation of the readings) during mass. But if you want a more detailed and a biblical explanation, go for this link. In any case, together with the married apostles, there is the hidden figures of their wives. What did they do? Surely as married couples, they were aware of Jesus’ call.

Let’s not forget about the Holy mother of God, Mary. She carried baby Jesus in her womb for nine whole months. Now by general criteria of priesthood, she would classify as a priestess: she gave Jesus to the world; She had great intimacy with her son; She suffered and practically took part in the sacrifice on the cross. In many saintly books, she is portrayed as the one who leads to Jesus (priests’ work). How can such a glaring example go unnoticed?

Mary Magdalene was the first person who saw the risen Christ, before the apostles according to the gospel. Does not this give a special message to women’s active participation in the church?

In today’s world, it’s still the woman in many cases who nurtures and keeps a close contact with children. She is the one to pass or not to pass on faith. She is the one who attends most frequently church activities (in some areas, statistics prove this). Lay women and lay men are the ones who share the priest’s vision for their parish. In most priestless parishes, they are the ones who are guarding our treasures. Whether we like it or not, this is going to be the future. Priests are much less and in the Western world they are going to be in such a small number, that they would be completely outnumbered by lay people. Shall we live in denial and still press for celibate priests?

On another level, one main argument which is being unfortunately discarded is that of the signs of the times. God is not enclosed in a book. God can speak to anybody in any time. If all the corporations, companies, schools and the general public, there is rising awareness of the importance of females, how can the church put its head in the sand by ignoring women? How can God speak to the general public in one way and then speak differently to the church?

In David Rice’s book, (Shattered Vows, Exodus from the priesthood), there is ample proof that the priests’ wives have increased the spirituality and enthusiasm of the priest to work for others whether in a sacramental form or another. Instead of writing negative comments about the church, maybe we need to be more positive and write about the miracles which take place in today’s church, through the active participation of women. Let’s hear from our readers, how they sanctify priests!

One of our readers has asked a few ‘outside the box’ questions. I believe that if our blog has to continue and increase readers, one of the key elements has to be honesty. Well I’m trying to be as honest as possible by answering her questions. It has to be one of the imperative motivations when working with adults in the church: no question could be discarded; nobody should feel embarrassed to ask any kind of question.

We are being told that the reason why women are not priests is because Jesus was a man, celibate, and his disciples were men, therefore to follow in his footsteps, a priest must be a man. Married priests, well, it has to do with money, and would cost the Church way too much to support not only the families, but in a case of divorce, it would be too costly for child support, etc. Everything has to do with money, and having more time to ”devote” to his church, therefore priests should remain celibate.

That’s another myth which says that married priests will cost more. Actually some of my priest-friends who are not Catholic are telling me that a single, unmarried priest in the Western world, costs much more when taking into account the whole picture. But let’s base our arguments on the bible. Yes it’s true that most of the apostles were married. Nobody can deny that. It’s true as well that celibacy has a biblical value. Again nobody can deny that. In our opinion the conflict is that they have tied celibacy with the priesthood. We are in favour of a well chosen celibacy and not a forced one as it is now, where every priest has to promise celibacy. Regarding the married priest not being available is a lie as most of them are more available more than non-married ones. Try to phone a non-married and see if you’ll get an answering machine. Phone the married one and you’ll be answered to, together with the sound of a happy family, children running, shouting etc….

Apparently, Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene? Apparently, proof of that, is that back in the day, a man was not allowed to ”preach” if he was single. Otherwise he would have been put to death. So, Jesus was married? She was referred to as the Holy Grail. Mary M followed him everywhere and was also in the painting of the Last Supper, right beside him. Apparently they also have a daughter.

Another point: Apparently in the past, there was one woman Pope, but the reason she had succeeded in becoming Pope was because she pretended to be a man. Evidence proved otherwise when she became pregnant.

Apparently the Church is hiding all this from us because it would cause a whole revolution in the catholic Church, starting with women justifying becoming priests, pope, etc. ??

I have now watched “Da Vinci Code”, and now, I admit, I am more confused than ever. Can you shed some light please…. and why if it is not true, are there so many documents and videos that talk about such stuff? (I have not watched the videos to confuse me even more, but saw that there are tons out there!)

Well thanks to the internet we are being exposed to more ideas in a shorter time! On the other hand we have to be very careful when it comes to believe who is saying the truth. We have seen it before in books and newspapers (not all that was published was true), and we are seeing it again on the internet. It’s ok to put your ears to the ground and hear what other people are saying. But in this camp we need people who have studied theology in order to digest everything with theological glasses. That’s why we need more laity (ie not priests, nuns or friars but baptised people), to go for theological studies, as in the future most parishes (maybe already!) are going to be run by laity whether Rome likes it or not.

Now regarding the special woman called Mary of Magdalene. We only share news and secrets with the most trusted friends or significant others. It’s a fact that when Jesus was resurrected he appeared first and foremost to her (Mary of Magdalene!!). The resurrection is central to our faith. Now that theologically means a lot. There surely was a very sound relationship spiritually. Why did he appear to her BEFORE the apostles??!!

Secondly, it wasn’t normal for a man in the Jewish mentality to let a woman touch him in public. She did when she washed his feet……now we can’t jump into conclusions. Other hearsay doesn’t mean it’s true, but neither can we discard that there was a truly good relationship between the two. Now we can never be sure of a marriage or of a daughter (to be truthful). This is like in court, we cannot condemn some body because we think he’s a criminal. Only one concrete proof condemns him to prison. In theology we need some kind of proof before we can accept it as true. Now we understand that it’s not easy to study about somebody who lived around 2000 years ago!

On the other hand, some cultural changes, makes us read the bible with new eyes. Women are not to be excluded from important decisions. Hence, whether we have proof or not from the bible, we can testify that today’s cultural vision (regarding women occupying important roles in society), is another way of God talking to us. We never believed that the bible is the ONLY vehicle through which God speaks to us! God cannot be closed in one single book! He goes beyond the bible. Besides, most of the theologians believe that there is not single sound theological reason why women can be excluded from priesthood!

Another important note is that all theologians teaching at a university need a permission from their local bishop. Hence if a theologian is studying (not simply hearsay or just reading a newspaper) and comes to a different conclusion, most probably he would have his licence to teach, withdrawn! This effects their studies, lectures etc…..We only hope of having one single university in the world, where theologians would be totally free to come forward with odd ideas!

We encourage all our readers to continue the debate…..

I would have never guessed that such cases do really exist. How could a priest treat his wife like a slave? Although he is not functioning as a priest any more, yet he was trained and lived as a priest (in public) for many years. Technically he is still a priest because once a priest is always a priest. How can one explain such barbarism with a fragile woman? We are looking to our honest and mature readers in order to receive their kind feedback. Is there a human rights’ lawyer amongst our readers?

It’s very easy to pass judgement. It’s harder to help and try to win this difficult situation. As adults in faith we are obliged to help first and foremost. Hopefully it will serve as an eye opener for other women.

My name is Patricia. I did not have high education and worked with my family since I was 16 years old. Lately we had financial difficulties.

I decided to search for a man on the internet. A man (Lawrence) contacted me. He wanted to marry me. He promised me a better life. He promised to take me to several exotic places. A friend I knew called me and told me about Lawrence. He knew about him and consequently I trusted Lawrence more.

Lawrence sent in all the papers necessary for marriage to my country. I still had some doubts but Lawrence would every time assure me of a better life.

Because of his compelling words and my own dreams to have a good and happy family life, I made the biggest mistake in my life and agreed to book the marriage at the Registration office to get married.

We finally got married. On our wedding night he wanted to sleep saying that he was tired. The second day was the same. I understood that he was not interested in me as a women. He acted like he was afraid of me or he was never before together with a women. I asked him why and he told me that he was a Catholic Priest for a long time and never had any sexually contact with a women, so he needed time and my help too.

I believed what he said and trusted him, but every time he was angry and would shout at me. There was always a reason to be angry at me.

One day after coming back home he said that the following day he was going back to his country!!

I asked about myself. He said that I would go at a later date.

I didn’t hear anything from Lawrence. i tried to contact him on the internet but he did not reply. Finally he replied on a certain date. The message was devastating. He asked me to go to the Registration office and ask for the cancellation of the marriage!!

If we wanted to cancel the marriage we had to go to the Court and ask for divorce. But Lawrence does not want a divorce. He wants me to go to the Registration Office and delete the Marriage certificate.

Every day I cried and begged him not to ask that from me because it was very difficult to stay alone and with my family relatives asking so many questions about ‘us’.

Then Lawrence agreed to let me visit his country but I had to promise him to obey him and to work hard.

I went to his country. His brother and wife picked me up from the Airport and I stayed with them until Lawrence arrived, as he was abroad.

Soon I discovered that his house seemed like a Guest House because people from all around the world used to come and stay free of charge. He drove them all around the island, going to the beaches and restaurants, while I was not permitted to join them and had to go for work and take care of the guest house and host all visitors.

He did not allow me to call my family and shouted to me not to call them nor to talk with them. This was the start of more bad things. He wanted me to work and he found me a job as a dish and pot washer in a beach restaurant.

I worked 7 hours a day, it was hard and heavy work and one morning I could hardly move due to pain in my back, but Lawrence forced me to go for work.
I worked again for 5 hours, but my back hurt me a lot and I couldn’t work any more. Lawrence became devilish to me…screaming, cussing and he beat me. It was the first time since I was with him.

Every day he had women from different countries in his house and he wanted me to host them. He brought the women saying that it was their house and they could enjoy themselves.

Myself, as his legal wife, he always said not to touch this, and not to use that, not to use water or hot water, electricity etc…

He founded another restaurant where I had to work (cleaning dishes and pots for 6 hours a day). It was a very hard job for me, but Lawrence forced me to work and he would not allow me to stay at home while he was enjoying him self with the women guests in his house, he drove them around and accompanied them to beaches where they swam. With the meagre pay I received I had to buy the Grocery
for home.

Many times he ate from his mother’s or friends’ and from restaurants’ while I stayed at home, hungry and with no money to buy food. But to his guests he wanted me to pretend that I was a happy wife.

When I lost my second job, Lawrence was very angry again and he said “if you do not go to work i will bring you men to have sex with them to earn money!”. I immediately refused and promised him that he would do that, than I would readily commit a suicide as I was not a prostitute.

Lawrence brought me to a cleaning company to work for 4 hours per day in a Bank. I was very happy with that job but he wasn’t because he wanted me to me to work full time.

With the money I earned he forced me to buy foods and everything needed in
a household.

Besides, during my work, Lawrence always guided me outside the house and told me not to talk with other people. Once he saw me talking with a neighbour. He was furious and warned me again not to talk with other people outside his house.

All the time I was there he wanted me to visit his parents and spend time with them but no one else. Lawrence expected a lot from me, I had to obey him and to take care of him. I had to hand him the money I earned. But he did nothing for me nor to make my life better. He gave me lots of hopes and promises before our marriage, but they were all empty promises.

Lawrence told me that he had a friend in another country and they needed someone to look after their disabled child. I was not happy to go to another country and to look after a disabled child. I came to his country because he married me,
but he did not want to treat me as his wife.

He said again that if I earned enough money I could stay in his house, if not, I had to pack up and go back to my country.

I dared warn him that if he would not treat me as his wife, then I wanted to divorce him. He told me that I had to pay for a lawyer. He beat me again. Lawrence always warned me not to talk with his neighbours, nor to his brother and wife or his parent what was really going on between us.

I lost the cleaning job at the Bank because I asked for a full time job. In the meantime I met a lady Doctor. She said that her cousin needed someone to clean dishes and pots in his restaurant. It was a part time job again. Lawrence did not want me to stay in his home doing a part time job. Incredibly he
not earn the amount of money he demanded from me!!

Lawrence threatened me to put me on the streets. He offered me the solution of going back to my country. If not, he would kill me!!!

My marriage with Lawrence took place in a cloud of lies, manipulations and
force. Now he is refusing to grant me a divorce.

Lawrence has a reputation, as a priest, of being a pillar of society. [Officially he has left priesthood now]. He vows to serve as a man of God and help people in need..whenever they are in need. Actually it seems that he was helping himself in order to have a decent living from the proceeds of his fund raising.

In the mean time, with his own hand he had turned me into an ‘Orphan’ because of his unreasonable treatment towards me. I’m his legal wife. He married me under false pretences and have treated me like a piece of scum ever since.

His marriage duty bounded him to look after me, his legal wife…to take care of me in good and bad times and to take care my body and soul.

Since the end of 2015 I haven’t heard anything from Lawrence. I am desperate and do not know what to do. I can’t pay a lawyer to help me with the Divorce. I can’t go back to Lawrence’s country for problems with visa. He destroyed my life and made me the outcast of the village. I live here in my country as a registered married women. Consequently I can’t start a new relation without a divorce.

We had some technical problems so we couldn’t publish this story yesterday. Thank God we have solved our problems and we are again publishing regularly.

My name is Lucy! My heart aches when I read all this stories.. First of all please note that English is not my first/native Language, so I apologize if I make a grammar mistake.

I received Catholic Education in Private Schools all my life until High School, Nuns/Priests schools which in my country are very common since we are a Majority of Catholics.. so I found myself a very caring/respectful person towards a Priest. Actually I’ve been sending money monthly to the Seminary of my city for about… I do not know more than a decade every month.

I just met this priest around 6 months ago, this is actually his 2nd or 3rd year as a priest. He is 10 years younger than I am.
I’ve been married for 15 years, I started thinking about him since I first met him… it was basically pure attraction and I now I am not certain if its just attraction, I just cannot get him out of my mind..

When I realised about this feelings I thought…. Really God? Is this a bad joke? I’ve been helping the Seminary of my city for 15 years and now I am falling in love with a Priest? Is this a temptation? Am I crazy? What am I thinking? Guilt, Sin etc…I am married and he is a man of God bla bla…… all this words crossing my mind.. I was educated so as to always pray for Priests, to always respect Priests etc.,

How did all this start? Well my boys started going to the catechism in the Parish.. both go with him and both just love him and he loves them too. I started getting involved in the activities in which moms were needed so I helped a little bit during some important celebrations.

I do not know if he likes me, but sometimes I think.. yes.. We started getting together from time to time, not alone, but always with some people but he looks at me in a way I can hardly stand, I turn all red, I say non-sense things, I can’t talk,… when he looks at me my legs shake, all inside of me shakes.

When he says Hi, he gives me a kiss on the cheek and he holds my hand longer than a normal Hi takes… sometimes he tells me you are cold… or whatever my temperature is.. haha!! or he just holds it like if he doesn’t want to let it go…or let it go very very softly and slow..

He is always looking for physical contact, he rubs my arm, my elbow, my back, once he even rubbed my leg, (I have to confess I almost died) all this for a few seconds, but I think he doesn’t know the effect his touch has on me… when I am with my kids he can’t stop looking at me, as if we are “kind of alone” he behaves very affectionate, but if we are with a lot of people he doesn’t even talk to me… he hardly says hi, and he becomes sometimes cold, distant.. or he turns to the opposite side..

During celebrations, not properly the mass, (but sometimes even there), in other celebrations or activities I see him looking at me… smiling at me in a very discrete way, but never never says hi until people would have just left… He stands up close to me.. and he rubs my arm… and how can I forget one time I was alone and he came and stood up right in front of me..with his guitar singing God knows what because 1st, he was singing very low.. and 2nd.. I just could not pay attention because I got so nervous that I just got deaf.. after all this or when something “important” happens he just goes away, he just stops talking to me or tries not to even look at me… sometimes he even adopts this “I am a priest position.”

He has never said anything to me… not one single thing… all he does is just what I told you… and I have never said anything to him either… but I think he knows… Obviously I do not confess with him but I do it with another priest of the same Parrish but I do not speak about my situation with him. I have told the priest that my friend-priest is someone I know from work.. anybody else knows because once I tried to speak about this with my friends but nobody understood what I was going through and all they thought was that he was a bad priest…

I started going to Therapy, my Psychologist said I should tell him in confession… or just ask him what was going on, why all this touching? But then I asked for spiritual advice from a priest and he said no way I should say anything, that I should live with it and change my feelings and move on… continue with my marriage.

Of course I understand this leads me to nothing.. I am married, he is a man of God, which I do not really try to disturb, even when I know I might be doing it already… I already feel terrible for being in this terrible sin, sometimes I do not even participate in communion specially if he is giving it because I just can’t look at him that close… I feel ashamed and not deserving it because of all this feelings and thoughts I have in my mind…

I would be very very glad if you can just give me an advice..!

One who is reading our stories, may get the impression that the only challenge for priests – in view of relationships – is the that of women. Well, after eighteen years living in a monastery we can safely say that most priests are attracted to men! Some readers have already pointed out, that the monasteries is an all men club. So it’s no discovery that most of them like, enjoy and feel secure with other men. This is another reason why married priests is never going to be a priority for whom relationships are equal to men.

We are in favour of relationships. We are never going to condemn anybody who falls in love. We know from many other stories, that nobody selects the person with whom it may fall in love. Yet we want to state clearly that we are not in favour of clandestine relationships, whether it’s with a man or a woman. Secret relationships point to all the negative connotations. It may seem interesting and exciting at the beginning, but one may soon feel all the negative effects, mentioned in several of our readers’ comments.

Today, we have the story of a man who falls in love with a priest. We are happy that men too write to our blog as it reflects the hidden reality which is found in many cases around the world. It maybe that in most cases in the Western World, men find it difficult to put their case in writing. We hope that this example may encourage other men to write too.

My name is Eli. My story is probably not very different although I am a committed man in a relationship with another man. This year, I decided to try return to my previous parish. My first mass there, the priest essentially cornered me and made the excuses giving me confession in his office after mass. Then it proceeded to having drinks and then on another occasion dinner. Following this, we had an exchange via text and email that was exciting, In the excitement of getting to know a new person, and also having flirtations.

Did I mention that this priest is a very good-looking man? In our discussions, he mentioned the things that he could not do as being part of the church. So many things, of course sexual and also do not have favouritism, or exclusivity for anyone person in particular. In our discussions, he mentioned to me that after six years he had prayed to God to be given a companion. Obviously there is an attraction there, and I’m certain that it is mutual. There has been nothing physical, however I feel that six months later I cannot be in this situation in my life of having to take care of the emotional needs of a lonely priest.

It was not more then two months and that I was feeling a very strong emotional connection to him and feelings of love. I mentioned this to him and he hoped that he was not the cost for instigating or starting any of these feelings, And begged me not to make any rash decisions and leave my relationship.

In this time, he has gotten to know my partner and I, and my children. Currently, my feeling is that he has potentially developed some feelings for me and is running away from them and so can run hot and cold with me. It is in this way that he says: ‘God bless you’, that makes me feel his instead of saying something else. However I might just be the one that is a bit delusional here. I consider myself very intelligent person, and feel that an emotional level I’m dealing with someone who has the intellectual capacity in relationships of an 11-year-old. He can go from being very sweet and caring one day, to ignoring me for four days.

I’ve told my partner about this maddening crush, and have prayed for a long time about it. I no longer want to play guessing games, or be used by anyone else to make them feel better about themselves. I would really like a solution to this situation; Do I continue to harbour a friendship? Or do I close the door on this, and move on. I should also mention that in the meantime this priest has also developed a fondness for my partner and my partner is more interested in continuing with the same parish. I think if I had my way, I would leave. I’m hoping readers can provide me with some insight on the situation.

Some readers were moaning that we were just publishing impossible love stories. Priests were simply playing with girls/women and leaving them hanging on for ages, without ever deciding to go for the big jump. Well first of all, these are the readers’ stories. We do provide false names in order to cover up some personal details (at the request of the readers), but we never make up stories. If the readers are sending these type of stories, please don’t blame us! Secondly, it amply shows that most priests would never leave their comfort zone. So this could be an excellent lesson for those who have just joined our blog!

Finally, we did receive a story with a very happy ending! But it does not mean that there aren’t other successful stories. Most probably they don’t bother to publish their stories. If you do know of other successful stories, please try to contact the people involved and kindly ask them if they wish to see their love story published.

Hello. I’m Amelia. I happen to be someone who did fall in love with a man who left the priesthood to pursue our relationship. His name is Ivan. We met at his parish and are still together more than five years later. I came out of a very bad relationship and the love that I have received from this man has changed my life. It is all about commitment.

There were times in this process when it was very difficult and still is at times but that is life. I like A’s comment. If it is meant to be it will happen and last. Falling in love with a priest is not what I planned and not what he planned either. We live openly and I have not tried to hide our relationship any more. It has amazed me what a wonderful and loving man has come into my life and I thank God every day for that love. Leaving the priesthood can be done, but it is full of ups and downs. My life hasn’t been easy so I never expected this journey to be easy and neither did he.

We support each other and realize at this point in our life that we need each other. After he left the church it was very difficult at times. I worried a lot about whether or not he would want to go back and how he was going to make a living. His steadfastness and dedication to us has been amazing. We are slowly building a life together and more people know about our relationship now. I hope that in our small way we are showing our local community that life can go on after leaving the priesthood.

When we first started having feelings for each other it was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. One of our repeated conversations that we like to have is pinpointing that moment when we knew we were developing feelings for each other.

Going down this road is not for the faint of heart but before this I felt very hardened and almost had a lack of understanding what love really was between two people. Priests who want to leave to pursue a different life should be supported and I wish there were better support systems for that. I wish we could help others who are considering leaving and help them and support them.

Well we are here to give a helping hand. Readers please be active by asking all the questions you deem fit. It’s up to Amelia and Ivan to answer our questions.

We are providing just one link (there are many others), where the love of a woman has enhanced the life of the priest. Just click here.

I am Petra, my friend/priest’s name is James. We first met in our place where he was invited to celebrate mass, since after that he was already close to our family. He even brought us to his hometown and met his family there, it was such an experience to be able to know him better as a person. Many days have passed; we were consistent in our communication like every day. If he wasn’t busy, he would call/text until we were actually seeing each other and when the time came he confessed his love for me. We secretly meet once every week. We went out at some private place where we were free to express our love to each other; we kissed, held hands and made love. Our relationship got deeper and my family had a suspicion of us being so close to each other.

There was a time that I forgot to log out my account on my laptop and left it on. I didn’t know that one of our family member tried to use it, and accidentally saw our conversation, including our pictures, and printed all of it as proof. I was unaware that they started to investigate my schedule every time I stepped out from our house and there was a parishioner as well who reported to my family when my priest was not around at the church, so they would trace us to see if we had met.

After what happened we’ve talked about it we both admitted that we felt guilty of what we had did; we lied to them just to have our own happiness without knowing that it would have hurt other people immensely; he told me that he was willing to sacrifice his love. He told me that we would have stayed as friends and nothing would have changed. At that time I thought that it was really over between us but fortunately, later on, he was sorry for things he had said to me because he was stressed and confused at that moment. We are still fighting for our relationship. It has been 2 months since we last met. We are not meeting just to avoid the issue for the meantime and I don’t know until when we are doing this.

I describe my family as religious and conservative type; I can obviously tell that they can’t accept him because of his status, his age (we have a big gap, he’s much older than me) and they don’t want to lessen their dignity as well. In our country priests here are highly respected people. They think that once a priest they can’t commit sin, they are not supposed to hang out with girls, they can’t enjoy, they can’t drink in public, etc. I don’t think it is a sin to marry a priest but in the eyes of the people it is already a sin.

As long as we love each other we can survive the upcoming circumstances, I am not afraid and ready of what people will be saying about us nor about me because I know what kind of situation am I into.

Sometimes I asked him about his plans if he would leave or continue. He has no answer yet but he was happy that we’ve come this far. He had mentioned the idea of having a business and sometimes he had mentioned that he wanted to have a family in the future. There are some cases where he’s having a problem on dealing with his superiors; based on my observation I don’t think he’s happy anymore. Well in fact he requested the higher official to give him a break from religious life but unfortunately they gave no feedback about his request, so it’s still pending.