Falling in love is not just for the young ones. Even falling in love with a priest is not always a story between a young priest and a young woman, as this story illustrates. This is Jacqueline who is sharing her story with all our readers. She is first telling her story. In the second part, I’ll ask her some questions.
I think I just have to share this story. I am still shocked by it. It goes like this: I met this new priest about four years ago. We clicked instantly. He is now 48 years and I am now fifty. I was never married because I never wanted to, however I was so attracted to this foreign priest who came to our isles. Yes we kissed but there was never any sexual relations because I believed I should not be the one to do that with a priest [old school thinking]. After four years into the friendship he was transferred to another parish. He still visited my home once a week. Eighteen months in this parish he called me to tell me that he was leaving the country because of a situation [a sexual relation with a seventeen years and nine months girl and to please forgive him]. He said he had ignored her several times but eventually one day it happened.
One month afterwards, the girl started calling him and telling him dirty things when he was seen speaking with other women. When he told her about it, the girl told her parents. The result was that the priest had to flee the country like a scared puppy, never to return. All the parents wanted was that he would leave the country. We were in contact every step of his journey and I knew his agony.
Parishioners never knew the true reason why he was leaving. However, from his religions order (eg Franciscans, Jesuits, Carmelites etc…), where I knew some priests, I was able to find out that the young girl took a ready made meal at times to the priest. On that fateful day, realising that the priest was intoxicated, she began stripping and a sexual relationship took place. One priest told me that she was a problem girl and that it was evident in her messages e.g are you f***ing her?
I told him that I loved him as he left. A few days later we spoke and he said that it was a real test for him. The girl sent him a message saying that she hated him because her parents now hated her. That was two days after he left. He never replied and he never heard from her again. As for me I was in shock for days and I realised that if he cannot be faithful to God he cannot be faithful to no one. He is many many miles away from me but we do still communicate.
Where did you meet?
I met him in my parish.
What is his character?
I found he was the humblest man I ever met.
What was happening in his spiritual life?
He was extremely lonely for all his relatives were abroad. He was quite spiritual but very realistic.
What do you really think about his relationship with an under age girl?
I found he drank a bit too much but he never drank alone. After drinking he may have said foolish things. He was from a country where girls marry at sixteen years of age. Like in his country, he thought that a minor was sixteen years and under. I understand the temptation of priests. A priest in his order confided the entire scenario of what happened that dreadful day and the fact that the girl stripped in his presence to me, she was out for him and it was premeditated.
Why do you keep communicating? Is there a future for your relationship?
The incident is still fresh in my mind, I still want to know that he is good. He asked my forgiveness so I bear no grudges and he is miles and miles away from me, so very soon the communication will dwindle and he will be a memory. Definitely there is no future for us but I wish for him to get counselling and stop the drinking and be a good priest again.
Now to our readers to start the discussion. Just to start the ball rolling, does a sexual relationship happen all of a sudden? Is a priest prepared for such situations?