Tag Archive: falling in love with a priest


Some people are trained to follow the rules. They wait for higher authorities in order to move one step forward. Well even the most antagonists against married priesthood have to bow to the Pope’s wish. Actually we are NOT inventing anything new but rather following the old example of the apostles. Most of them were married after all!

We are following the bible. We are not re-inventing the church. We are being more honest with the bible. We are not at the supermarket choosing what we like (as some Catholics describe us!). We are being faithful to the original message which unfortunately has been changed owing to superficial reasons (like not passing the financial gain of the church to the priest’s family!!).

We are happy for various reasons but there are two main ones:

ONE: the fact that in many parts of the world there are no priests to celebrate the Eucharist. This is no joke. Baptised people need to be taught. They need the sacrament to nourish their soul. They need someone to guide their community. They need spiritual assistance. They need to know more about the bible and about the teaching of the church; they need to be taught how to pray; they need strength when facing the cross in their own private lives.

There could be many spiritual people but nobody can take away the role of a priest in a community. With such a lack of priests we are risking the annihilation of the Catholic church from many communities. The loss would a great disservice to humanity because the church’s role in the world has become more urgent. Who could talk about peace if not the church?

TWO: A married priest is closer to the people. This effects his way of working with people. The priest has been working in a comfortable zone. He is well served and protected within a powerful institution. In many societies he has become an untouchable. In most cases he preaches from the ‘theoretical’ point of view.

Being a married priest, he is well embedded in today’s world. Most probably he has children so he is not simply preaching to others what to do, but he himself is living the message that he preaches to others.  He is not afraid of living 24/7 next to his wife and facing all challenges. Most of all, in his congregation, there is a public witness by having a family alongside his ministerial role. People can see the way he animates his family. It’s a kind of preaching by example rather than by the word. This is essential in today’s world.

Just click on this line for the good news!

Last week the famous author of the Thorn Birds died. It brought many memories to most of our readers! Well this is another true and sincere story which came out just a few hours ago!

I felt a small tug of personal loss when author Colleen McCullough passed away last week. She was the author of a book that, in some ways, read like the story of my life. I fell in love with my priest and later married him — the same torrid forbidden love story that fuels McCullough’s classic novel. But in other ways, my story was nothing like that romance. It was more like a nightmare.

I was in the middle of a breakup from an abusive, drug-addicted boyfriend when I first went to Father W — for counselling. He was the most caring, compassionate man in the world. He was so tender, so concerned, and our intimate nightly telephone talks quickly became the highlight of my day. I was in the process of joining the church through the adult conversion program, and in my weekly class, I saw how beloved he was by the community. How powerful. I prayed daily my thanksgiving for such a wonderful priest.

In our evening calls, he revealed to me that he cared for me more than I could ever know. After the abuse and horror of my recent relationship, such kindness was irresistible. We went for dinner one night and ended up in the rectory, passionately making out. We continued to speak or see each other often, pushing boundaries further, until the very night I was welcomed into the church at Easter. After giving me my First Communion, he took me into his private rooms in the rectory and we made love.

Then the full-fledged affair began. He came over every night, staying later each time, until he was creeping away at dawn. When I wondered about the future of the relationship, and how guilty I felt, he made me promise to love only him, and to recite the wedding vows with him one night to bind us. He told me afterwards that we were both technically excommunicated by that private act – but that our love was bigger than the church or any rules of mankind. It was something God had given us. It was, as if by McCullough’s own pen, our own “Thorn Birds” story.

Of course, we were discovered. The bishop heard rumours, confronted Father W —. He was moved from my parish to another church in another town but continued to drive back to my apartment to stay all night anyway. He eventually took a leave of absence and looked for a job in the private sector. As soon as he found it, he left the priesthood.

If you want to continue reading the story then go to: The Thorn Birds.

The second part of our blog today we dedicate to encourage our readers to be more pro-effective in our drive to make married priesthood possible under Pope Francis. We urge you to take part in an open letter to the Pope.

The association of Catholic Priests, with a strong membership of 1100 priests, has written a letter to the Pope.

“Please take advantage of the opportunity that Pope Francis provides for the sake of the church in the United States: accept the offer of Pope Francis to consider the possibility of ordaining married viri probati as priests,” says the letter sent to every U.S. archbishop, bishop, auxiliary bishop, and retired bishop.

The Eastern Catholics, who already have married priests and who form part of the same Catholic Church, rejoices in the restoration of married priests. They firmly believe that one can’t be a good pastor if one is a lousy dad or a lousy husband!!! If you want information about Eastern Catholics, you can simply google Eastern Catholics.

Important weblinks for our readers

We firmly believe that the word of God is not simply enclosed in the bible but it spreads everywhere. One of them is in the daily news. As adults in faith, we try to see God’s marvellous works every day. We are giving you some links to other websites which we think are useful in order to grow in a spiritual way.

One of this was the news coming from the Philippines. There were some married priests who had their children baptised. People were happy to have them as the priests’ shortage was being felt in that area. The beauty of it is, that the authorities know about them and they let them work in the field of the Lord!

In Europe, England, one in ten of every diocesan priest, had converted from the Anglican religion. Most of them were married! Incredibly in some cases, the priest left the parish to get married and was replaced by another married priest! Calls from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe are being heard in order to let priests get married. The shortage of priests is being described as God’s way of telling us to change! We need to change our perspective for future priests. The Pope himself has said that the Catholic church has married priests!

One of the most famous theologians of this century (ex Franciscan!), has simply made a very clear call: the church is more than just the Pope. What’s the use of having Pope Francis if a visit to a local parish would give a completely different idea of the church?

In other parts of the world, there has been many clandestine relationships between priests and women. This blog can testify about numerous similar stories.

Incredibly some people who think of defending the church by insisting that celibacy has nothing to do with sexual abuse. Their main line of defence is the proof that married people too abuse their own children. Well there has been more scientific study which shows that unmarried people do abuse children for some specific reasons. Married people abuse children for different type of reasons but both kind of reasons cannot be mixed up together! In other words, one is not a proof of the other!

Lastly we are producing a citation about a brief history of celibacy…it might come handy for most of our readers! We ask our new readers to come forward with their stories. Your experience is invaluable! Please share in order to enrich the internet with unique stories. May God Bless all our readers throughout 2015.

Second step, let’s support our married priests in their work. If we have a bigger support group, we might apply the right pressure in order to expect the necessary changes in the Catholic Church. If we remain silent and mostly non-proactive, things would never change. Let’s face others and explain our reasons. Let’s expand and broadcast our message. Please pass on this website to others. You might never know who is in a secret relationship with a priest, or others who might think about the possibility of having married priests.

My name is Alana. I fell in love with Jonathan – a Roman Catholic Priest. We met online on a popular social media website. We asked Alana some questions. The questions are for our readers too. Please do reflect on some of the answers. You are invited to write and comment.

How did you meet? I mean there are millions of people online, why did you pick up this guy?
I met him on a social network. He started communicating with me. I had the impression he was lonely. He actually chased me, pretty forward about his attraction towards me. I thought,”He is just a harmless flirt.”

Did he show that he was a priest or maybe he was camouflaged? If the latter is the answer, when did he tell you that he was a priest?

His social network name and handle clearly indicated that he was a priest, with his parishes’ website linked up. I did some research and found he was indeed legitimate.

What made you click together? (was it his language, listening.…) Please explain fully.

He figured out my real name based on my handle name. He was trained in Rome and was fluent in Italian and correctly guessed my real name. What made us click is that we have similar work issues, political games/problems at work, issues with favouritism etc. He told me his pastor thought he was lazy. In hindsight I believe he was an arrogant academic, but I mistook that for being intelligent and very well spoken as I’m a sucker for intelligent men. He asked me to pray for him a lot due to work struggles and I did. I would pray rosaries for him at night and he would always tell me my prayers helped him. Everyday he asked for prayers. I sympathized with him. Oh, and he even said that he had dreams about me, about us together doing things. He lives in another state about two time zones away. We first messaged each other and the conversation seemed good.

In general, what was the content of the messages?

In general we talked about life, work, family problems. We had a lot in common as far as addictive issues that run in our families. Travel and vacations, not with each other, but places, etc. It always flowed. He is very intelligent but much younger than myself, about 12 years younger, so I didn’t think anything of it. I thought myself too old for him even though I don’t look my age and I am very attractive. He then asked me for my phone number. I didn’t have an issue with this because it seemed harmless. It seemed as if we were friends.

Please allow me to ask you this question: Before you give your cellphone number…do you have any safety rules..ie in case he is psychopath, what would you do? Or maybe did you take it for granted that priests don’t do the bad things other guys do?

I simply thought that since he is a priest that there would be no harm. I didn’t even give it a second thought. See, he follows my sister on a social network too, and my sister noticed when he started following me and she said that he was a nice guy that seemed to work a lot and asked for prayers. I firmly believe my sister would be honest with me, but now I don’t know if he did the same to her! He mentioned that he followed her too and that she was very religious, which she is, more so than myself. I started hearing from him daily via text messaging. I heard from him morning and night. He would always call before bed and tell me that he missed me. It was so exciting to hear from him. I was starting to like him!! He always text messaged me and called me saying he was thinking of me.

Would it cross your mind that at this stage he is crossing from a simple and natural friendship to something else?

Yes, it did. It crossed my mind a lot. Every time I heard from him I thought about it. I thought about it after hours, before bed, during day. Thinking,”I think this guy is into me.” I kept thinking,”This can’t be! A priest? May God forgive me/us.”

In our earlier conversations he said that he could never marry. He also said he wanted something from me that was more along the lines of between a man a woman than priest and woman. I tried to slow things down when I started developing feelings. I never chased him, but he kept up with text messages and loving phone calls. He was acting totally opposite of what he was saying, so I followed my heart. I allowed him to get closer to me and I fell in love even though we never met. We would use the webcam and then things became sexual in nature. We saw each other naked; he never saw me fully naked but I did see him and was a bit surprised at how easy it was for him. There were times when would be on online chatting via web-cam I would hear his phone text messaging going off repeatedly! What little time we had to talk would be distracted by his phone. I thought only another woman would text him repeatedly in this manner.

Again, please allow me to ask you the question in the name of our readers: are are there any safety measures before revealing yourself to somebody online? I don’t know your level of understanding of today’s technology but a web-cam could be easily used for recording. Without sending you into a panic attack, did you consider this possibility?

I never thought about that. He had gained my trust almost 99.9%. I thought,”This guy is a priest. He has much more to lose than myself.” I even thought, “I must be the exception to the rule.” Silly me! With your question I now am very concerned and I will press charges should anything ever be published without my consent. Actually, it was done on Facetime via Iphone. I’m pretty new to Facetime and I don’t know if there is a record feature there, but still I am VERY worried. I TRUSTED him and I am little panicked but trying to keep my composure. This is not what I typically do. I’m being honest here. I’m usually very much reserved.
We also had an agreement that I would never call him Father, just by his name. I was okay with that and so was he as he said since he was not my parish priest. He even advised me what to say in confession, to say ‘a priest’. He said he didn’t mention me or his involvement in his confessions, but used a different word, like to skirt it.

Don’t you think that he is indirectly admitting that he is using your relationship for his own motivations?

Yes, I did. This is why I ended whatever we had about a week later. This conversation stuck in my head like no other conversations. I analyse everything and I couldn’t let this subject go. It was like my soul telling me,”Listen! Pay attention. Run! Now!” He couldn’t even say my name in confession! What a slap in the face!

He kept thanking me for my ‘friendship’. He said he was grateful for me and he was so thankful that he had me that he could talk to regularly about anything and everything. We were growing close and this scared me as he said he could never marry me.

Being concerned about my feelings deepening and wasting my time I confronted him. I asked, ‘What if I fell in love with you?” He panicked and said, “I told you early on I could never marry you.”The fact is that I was already in love with him but didn’t tell him. I kept that to myself. On his part it amply proves that most priests don’t want a full relationship which involves responsibilities. They just want the ‘easy’ or the ‘attractive’ parts of a relationship!!

When cornered he folded up like a lawn chair under pressure. He wanted the fun and games but no commitment. End of story. If any woman wants to know just ask, be bold, be upfront and get the answers you deserve! Don’t be scared! I firmly believe that people always tell you who they are without ever realizing it. Like when he mentioned about addictions in his family and food as his; I believe now he was addicted to food and sex. Addictions come in threes and who knows what the third one is! I went to a face to face confession and my parish priest believed that he was deviant and used his power. It’s been one of the toughest confessions I have ever been to and I don’t wish this on anyone. If I can help any woman or man for that matter, please listen to me,”Don’t do it.” Your soul will thank you. He asked if I thought I was used and I said,”Yes.” My parish priest used the words, “exploit” and “predatory” and “using his authority and power” and that he hoped he would see his errors soon. My priest asked me if this guy ever gave me absolution and if I am in contact with him in any form. I said no to both, which is the truth. My priest said any confessions given to him would be null and void and I would need to do any of those confessions over and seek penance.

Just a simple question for the benefit of our readers: how would you know that it’s true love and not infatuation, loneliness etc……?

I believe now it was loneliness that got me sucked in. I take care of sick family member a lot and most of my time is spent doing that and whatever time I have left is for myself on my studies, work, my dogs and at the gym. Most men don’t approach me because I am an attractive woman. Most men tell me that are intimidated, so I don’t have very many confident men around. Even women tell me, “You are beautiful, but I bet no one ever tells you that.” So yes, I am lonely and a total bookworm.

I then told him that he was more than happy to use me but not marry me and it would be best to cut off all contact. He panicked and wanted to be friends still in regular contact, that he needed me and my friendship, he said he needed the contact. I told him no, that he sent out too many mixed signals and I’m not going down that road of being used. He kept apologizing saying he was so sorry. He asked that I continue praying for him and I didn’t answer. I even explained to him that I saw him connecting with other younger girls on the social media website and this proves to me realistically that even if he left the priesthood he would pick the younger girls anyway for something for traditional. He was silent. He asked for a Hail Mary at the end of the conversation. I said,”No, I need to get back to work.” We hung up and never spoke again after that Christmas Eve.

Luckily, I only spent about two months of my time on this relationship, but it was something I had never intended; to fall in love with a priest. I felt an enormous amount of guilt for getting involved and I pray that God forgives me. I’ll always love him deep down, but I’ll never tell him that. I should have known to never get involved. I do still miss him.

Just a personal comment, not for Alana but for our readers: somebody once said that’s it better to be all alone that in an abusive relationship. In this context do we miss being in a relationship or do we miss a particular person?

Oh come all ye faithful!

One of the reasons people don’t visit the church nowadays is because of the rules made by the church. How can a gay, lesbian, divorced, or those in love with a priest come to church when they hear all the time that they are sinners?! Some people in the church make sure that the others feel bad about it because they (the church going ones) are observing the law! It’s the better than thou mentality which is still rife in the church.

Now who has the authority to say that one is in sin? The pope himself expressed the same way of thinking by saying ‘Who am I to judge gay people’? Yet some Catholics feel that they have been given a divine mandate in order to judge people and to say who is Catholic and who is not Catholic.

Now one of the most basic teachings of the church is, that the whole church is full of sinners and is in repentance, and journeying towards heaven!

Recently I have witnessed such double standards when hearing the story of a friend of mine. He is living with a woman and they are not married in church (Wow!). Now the truth is that his partner has been through a terrible marriage. She wasn’t granted the annulment (a Catholic declaration that her marriage was null and void), so in Catholic laws, she is still married to her husband. This new husband has taken care of her and of her children. He has been paying all bills and has been present through all times……yet he is a sinner (because he is living with a wife without being married in the church!!!). So he wasn’t granted his request to be a godfather/godmother (any woman/man who serves as a sponsor for a child at baptism or confirmation) to another friend’s son. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the young guy, my friend is a truly father especially in his case where his biological father ran away years ago. In fact he often goes to him for counsel, company and sharing other vital information.

Being present for the ceremony I could see other godfathers/godmothers…….I don’t want to judge people because that’s God work, but knowing people in town one cannot hide his feelings when he sees others who were truly sinful playing the part of the godfather/godmother. I’m not going to write about their sins but in town everybody knows such people and the trouble they caused in certain past events. The godfather/godmother has the job of being a model to the person receiving the sacrament and has to be ready to help the person grow in its faith. Publicly one could say that they should have never been given the permission of doing that job in church if their public image is tarnished. Yet they were there playing the role of the glorified Catholics walking up the aisle in the church! So who decides who can be a good Catholic or not?

Surprisingly one sees that in some prisons, murderers do assist to a Catholic Mass (rightly so). Yet for those living outside the sacrament of marriage there is no way out. So does a murder make one less guilty than one living outside the sacrament of marriage? The murderer might have left a family without a dad forever, yet he is free to receive the Holy Communion but the other non-married couple no, where the new dad has accepted the responsibility of taking care of the children!!

Another case is that of a priest who refuses to give absolution (the condition of being formally forgiven by a priest in the sacrament of penance), to somebody who is living with a non married man. Believe it or not this same priest has a secret lover!!! To add insult to injury, this priest condemns another priest who lives openly with a woman. The married priest takes care of the woman and her five sons. He is always present, 24/7.

Well we can mention so many cases where the traditional teachings of what is a good Catholic person is in crisis! Now some of the Catholics who feel abused by the same system, unfortunately pack up and leave. They never put their feet in a church any more. Well we are making a very special invitation this Christmas: please feel part of the church, celebrate Christmas. The catholic church is a church of sinners. Jesus as a doctor visits the sick people (not those who think too highly of themselves!!). We do need the Eucharist for our spiritual nourishment, so let’s celebrate together. It would be helpful if you find a church or a house gathering, where the Eucharist is celebrated by a married priest. If somebody challenges you because of your ‘sin’, well just tell them that if they are without a sin, then they should cast the first stone. We need a different kind of christians who can see beyond the traditional box or way of reasoning. In other words we can’t expect a change from the hierarchy (governing body) of the Catholic Church if many people leave the church.

A happy Christmas to all and hopefully I’ll hear that you have celebrated it in a Eucharistic celebration!

The tricky word – Relationships

If there is a course which needs to be publicised, that of relationships should be a must for all people. We are human beings. We come into contact with other people all the time. We simply know the faces of some people. Others, their names. Some, we know where they live. A few we share some common interests. The preferred ones, are our friends. The best, become best friends.

Every time that we meet a new person, a new relationship is born. The person could be simply on a nodding acquaintance, but the fact that we notice the person or the person notices us, there is a common point which could remain at that level or be developed into something more friendlier.

In a church, relationships happen all the time. We go there frequently. Most probably we meet the same people all over again. In some churches, the congregation is becoming less and less. Consequently we get to know each other more because of the small number.

Now people carry their luggages all the time. Luggages mean all their emotional and intellectual and physical experiences. Some are looking for company, others are looking for attention. The list of colours of human needs is truly infinite. In any case, the people who go to church, like all other people have their own needs. It’s this hidden agenda which may give new life or kill/poison relationships. Unknowingly, people tend to see the outer layer (the body). But beneath that, there is a complex layer of humanity which includes several hidden assets or challenges.

Now coming to our main theme: that of a priest woman relationship, it has all this plus many more. The priest is the one who is supposed to listen. There aren’t many people who tend to listen outside the best friend ring. Consequently, unknowingly, he puts himself in a vulnerable position. In other jobs (in psychology), people are trained to deal with these issues. In most cases the priest has been trained in philosophy and theology, but rarely in emotional development (except the usual keep your distance approach!). He is already in a big disadvantage. In most cases he does not know how to deal with most of the cases he listens to, except for the fact that people bestow on him the power to speak about relationships with no professional training at all!!!

The woman who speaks to him, is seeing just one angle of the priest: obviously the most attractive which is the caring man who listens to her needs and who is no hurry. He might be physically very attractive too, which adds more fire to the burning heart. The more the woman shares about her personal life, the deeper their relationship becomes. Obviously, sharing fuels all great relationships.

Unknowingly, the fact that they speak in a private place adds more intimacy, which makes their relationship one step away from a truly deep one. Now in a professional setting, the professional person, although he/she listens to one’s personal stories, keeps the distance in a healthy way. In the case of the priest, who lacks professional training, and who passes through crisis and has no supporting wife or significant other, becomes more prone to fill up his life with such a relationship. It’s his inner suffering or emptiness which makes him call for help. The woman, in many cases is the only one who knows about his inner turmoil. When the priest, shares his own personal experience, he changes from a counsellor to a client. He needs a counsellor, where the woman, maybe out of pity, fulfils this job.

During such level of intimacy, in most cases, the promise of celibacy has already been broken, with or without sex. The personal attention and the level of sharing implies a very special friendship. Even married people at this point are in a very delicate situation. It’s very easy to slip over and from a deep relationship it turns out to be a romantic one. The fact that social media has brought many lives very near each other could mean that now relationships are put in a new light. People can share and get to know each other without physically meeting at all. Again this influences the woman-priest relationship, when in order to avoid gossip they prefer to meet online. Once there is a deep sharing from both sides, it’s a question of time when kissing, hugging and the rest becomes part of their story. In most cases, both of them feel the lack of important relationships. Hence their relationship is the only one which keeps them going.

Please do send in your comments. We would like our readers to have a great say in our blog by writing their views. Please remember that we are not going to judge you. In our case, sharing is important because it could be an eye opener for others or peace of mind for some.

I am Rose. I was reading the Maltese Married Priests website again, and one of the posts- the one on relationships, really helped me. Of course, all these simple logical things, such as communication seem so obvious – I would have seen all these things regarding other peoples relationships. With myself however, I’ve been pretty blind.

A couple of horribly painful events happened a couple months ago between the priest I’ve written to you about and myself. Ever since I’ve been healing – slowly, very slowly, but still feel caught in a cycle of frustration, anger and pain. It gets better, but then worse, and while I know it is necessary to give things time, I don’t want to fall into wasting any more time on grief or baseless hope than has actually been necessary. I usually try to keep everything as “bottom line up front” when I write to you, but unfortunately this time I doubt I’ll be able to with this article.

A couple months ago, I learned that the priest would be moved to a new parish. I expected it, and had been waiting for it with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I felt deep sadness and fear at him leaving – on the other, relief, that my activities at that parish wouldn’t any more chance running into him and I would have some peace at least.  But I won’t lie, the pain was stronger than the peace.  It made me think back to all those most painful times in my life, as all of us have, where I thought, “I don’t know what to do. How do I even ‘be’ in this?” It’s almost like falling between the cracks of existence, frozen. Here I was, almost having become a nun the year before, not having done so because of how my love for this man changed me, and he was about to be ripped out of my life. All the while, we’d said nothing about it to each other.  I could see and feel the intensity of the battle he was in – he would look at me as though I were an angel descending from heaven one minute and there was a lightness and joy about him, and then next he would become harsh and heavy and look at me as though I were a nuisance at best and poisonous snake at worst. I tried my best to be myself, while still concealing my feelings for him. The negative reactions increased, and one mass I attended that he happened to be celebrating, he saw me sneak in late in the back of the church, and his entire posture changed. He went from cool, collected and preachy, to frustrated and angry. During the consecration I could almost feel the heat of it burning my way. He didn’t have to say it or even look my way, I knew it was directed at me.  He was livid at my presence, and the intensity of it actually did frighten me.

At the young adult group I volunteered with – which he had been helping as well, I was scheduled to give a talk with another friend  on what would be his last day there. Other group leaders decided to make the night from being just talks to also a farewell and thank you for the priest. I thought that of all those days they could have scheduled me to speak that summer, I was scheduled as the very last person he would hear give a talk before he left. So strange, creepy almost  – no coincidences, right? Up to the morning before the talk, I literally made myself sick with worry over the whole situation between the two of us – especially the pain and fear of losing his presence in my life. I begged God, all day, for help. To be selfless – to give, even in this void of having nothing to give, and to in my power make the night the most encouraging and loving for him, and also for others who would hear my talk. I was terrified – of losing him, but also of giving a talk in front of  40 or so people. For a naturally shy person like myself, the latter alone is no small feat.

I decided to speak about “Healing our image of God”, prepared most of it that morning, and stopped at a friends request to pick up some snacks for the farewell. I pushed myself, to the deepest part of my core – to give, to remind myself that its times like this where giving really counts. I grabbed snacks I knew the priest in particular liked, and didn’t tell anyone about all the extra time and thought I was putting into making that night as best as I could for everyone.  I’d heard that the priest had wanted a group photo with the group a couple days before (even though they’d previously taken one), and decided immediately that I shouldn’t be in it. I don’t mean that in some kind of dramatized way – but that it left me unsettled – it felt off – like it was some kind of “trophy” to him, and I wanted no part of it. I assumed I’d be able to slip out after the night was done before they’d take the photo, and it would be no big deal.

The night began late – due to the farewell for the priest, and so my friend who was speaking before me started his talk late. As he began speaking, I realized how full the room was – there was at least 50 people. When it came time for me to speak, my friend introduced me with, “and Rose will be speaking on women’s spirituality..” I told him thank you, and then to the group that I would actually be speaking about a necessary base for both men’s and women’s spirituality, just from a woman’s perspective. I could hear the priest stifle a sarcastic laugh in the back of the room to someone, and they chuckled along. He’d kept a wide birth all evening, keeping far from me, and sitting himself as far back from me as he could. The laugh stung – “why would he act that way?” I thought. Was it “from the woman’s perspective?” that annoyed him? Was it issues with women? I was already so nervous speaking in front of the group, that I pushed it down in my mind and began the talk. To give a super short summary – I focused on how men and women must first and foremost have a healthy image of God before everything else, and it was deep. Emotionally, spiritually, it went straight to the core, and I could see the reactions in the group. In the back, the priest looked down most of the time – uncomfortably so. Especially when I said, “Until we make that 18 inch journey from our heads to our hearts, we’ll never be able to evangelize”. Towards the end of the talk, we were already running late, and I resolved to finish up as quickly as possible, so I could leave, and the others could all leave for the picture. Either way, previous talks have gone over by half an hour or more, so I didn’t think there to be a serious rush. I saw the priest sneak up the side of the room, and whisper to a group leader in the front of the room, and go back to his seat in the back. The leader soon afterwards said, “we’re going to have to leave soon, some people have to go and want to be in the picture.” I looked back and saw a couple people who had come together, looking ants. The priest said, “They have to leave soon but they want to be in the picture.”  I responded to the group, “Oh, OK, 60 seconds, I’ll wrap up with the conclusion quickly…” thinking it would be easiest for everyone, as no one would have to come back down to finish the talk up.  Another woman in the front, speaking harshly suddenly said, “Rose we need to go now.” I was surprised at her tone, she’d never spoken to me in that way before. It was actually mean – as another friend observing later told me. I tried to keep light, and responded with, “OK OK, wrapping up, seriously it will be super quick….” Before I could get another word in, the priest, without getting up, sat forward harshly in his chair, threw his arm forward towards the door and demanded, ordered, ” No, we’re going NOW.” I was shocked. It was really really rude.

The whole room was in a stunned kind of silence, and then everyone started getting out of their seats, zombie-like almost, and started walking out the door to the chapel. The same woman ordered me in that same tone, “Rose, come take the picture..” as she walked by and out the door. A good friend of mine, another woman who had been sitting in the front and who I’d confided in about my feelings for the priest, took my hand in hers and we walked out with the group. I almost went with the flow, numbed with pain, I was walking the same direction as everyone else, but split off into the women’s bathroom as we passed it by. I stood in there, and I prayed. I thought about just going up, thinking they’d think I was being difficult over the talk by not being in the photo or something, but I resolved not to, because it would have been from a place of fear. I had peace standing in there praying, so I stayed.

When people came back down, many wanted to hear the end of the talk. The priest hadn’t returned. Before I could get a word in, my other friend, the friend who had given the talk before me, cut across me, and said, “now we’ll have a question and answer session”.  As people asked me questions, and I responded, I could see this same friend looking at me in my peripheral vision, and he was fuming. Towards me. These “friends” all of sudden had this intense anger towards me since I’d begun the talk.  Afterwards, I spoke with others, who informed me that the priest would be celebrating a night mass before leaving in the morning. I decided to go – to not be afraid, even though I was racked with pain. At mass, he was mad. As he had been at the mass before, but now even more so. As he read the gospel, he accusingly spat out, “beware of false prophets, they come to you in sheep’s clothing, but really they are ravenous wolves..” – “my talk?”, I wondered. I almost cringed at his words, he sounded so angry. Then during the homily, he mentioned me by name, “…as Rose said in her talk…” – the whole thing, was just – a mess. “Why are you drawing more attention to me?” I wondered

The next day I spoke with my friend who I’d confided my feelings for the priest in, and she told me when everyone went up for the picture, the priest made an unnecessary point to “apologize for my absence” and hoped I hadn’t been offended by him cutting off the talk. He then proceeded to run out after the picture and write a long post to the group page on Facebook, making a particular note to “thank everyone who gave talks (including Rose tonight….) She told me, “Rose, last night should have told you everything you need to know about him, even if there are feelings there. You don’t need someone like that.” I could see at that point, how selfish he’d been that night, and then he tried to cover it all up, by dragging my name through the mud, publicly, three times.

I apologize….this is already so long, I’ll try to wrap it up here. But you know Rev, what was the worst thing? After the priest had done everything he’d done, others were accusing me of “not keeping time well”, and were angry towards me. My friend I’d confided in told me, “Rose, when you were speaking, it was like you were a pillar of peace, and around you, all these people erupted into a storm. The whole thing was surreal.” And when everything was all said and done, no one did anything to defend me, and many of the people who I’d been friends with before the talk, spoke to me differently afterwards. Cautiously, at a distance almost. My friend is right – it is surreal.

These are my conclusions, when all is said and done, and I wanted to run both them, and this story I’ve just recounted by you, because I don’t want to live in my head or in a fantasy, and waste any of this precious life that God has given me. I would love to hear any wisdom or insight you may have, if you think it sounds like I am in any way out of bounds or imagining things. Here goes:

I was drawn to the goodness in this priest, and especially his deep feelings for me. As time went on, and they grew, on his and then on my part, it was something I’d never imagined possible – euphoric, wonderful, and full of joy. Then, he felt himself “falling too far”, and has been stuffing the feelings down. Denying them. But it came to the point that my mere presence disturbed him, and like that last night after the picture, he literally had to run out. My talk disturbed him, and others, because so many need healing in the area of their images of God, and they reacted in some ways almost violently – if only in words.

This whole thing remains a mess, as I’ve said before, in my mind and heart. You’ve said it before, and the priests actions proved it – that he is immature – and indeed still far from real love. His good name and popularity that night was more important than me. Rev, I’ve been trying so so hard to end the feelings for him. But they persist. I’m not even at the point of hating having feelings for him still, after all he’s done and said. I feel like I should, but I don’t. And I still am reminded of him often in the day, and I hope he’s not unhappy. That he won’t be trapped in this forever. And yes, that small, stubborn part of me still wonders if he’ll wake up one day with new eyes to truly see, and that the strong intuition I had when I first met him will prove its meaning as something meant to happen between us.

Ah, I don’t want to waste time! Please, I don’t know how to navigate this whole thing, and how to let go, as I should. My friend told me, “Rose, he doesn’t deserve to know you loved him!” I read so many stories of train wrecks between women and priests, and how women hold on, despite all logic’s warning. This priest too, is caught up in that world – in this spiritual ego rat race, while “constantly dodging the fear of hell”. As you’ve said about other priests – still far from real love.

What happened to Catholics,  Christians for that matter who actually know Jesus? Where is that loving community? Don’t get me wrong, I know I sound a little gloomy at the moment, but I’m constantly searching for that church of the first Christians who were so on fire with Christ’s love. So many people are. If anyone searching saw how “Catholics” had treated me that night, and they were searching in earnest, they wouldn’t want anything to do with Jesus or His Church. 

I have hope….It just hurts, so much. Everything. And I know my share, is only a tiny fraction of the pain of this giant tumour in the Church.

Thank you, once again, for listening patiently, and for supporting those of us learning to love in some of the most difficult trials.

Our reader wrote about her initial ‘spark’ between herself and her priest. Although it’s a little bit long, we don’t want to delete any of its contents as it is so interesting and mind captivating. Many women out there are passing through the same adventure. It could help others who are aren’t so capable with writing to feel some empathy towards their situation. It could happen to anyone. As in most cases, it’s not because the woman tempts the priest…..

I am Diana, a 28 year old woman, who by all accounts, is very attractive. I know some think beauty is a virtue and a gift, and I suppose in many respects it is. But I have also found that being especially attractive brings with it many responsibilities and burdens. I have encountered all kinds of uncomfortable and often infuriating circumstances on account of my appearance, from married men to model agencies that have reduced me to a beautiful face and a nice body. I have been the “trophy woman” latched on the fat cat millionaire’s arm, the brunette Barbie in her new sports car, frosted with diamonds and designer jewelry, I have been border-line raped, fought over, and strangled by jealous boyfriends. That was a dark past. I have, as such, grown a thick skin and a “stand-offish” demeanor as a means of protection. Let me be clear, I enjoy my solitude.

I have since awoken from that long nightmare and embraced a simple and drama-free life. I am single and like it that way. I have my Master’s and I am accomplished at a relatively young age. I am also a devout Catholic, but since falling in love with a priest some 9 months ago, I have approached the idea of celibacy with a new pair of eyes. My opinion on the matter is becoming clearer and clearer—this is not to conveniently make my own feelings legitimate and condoned (they are legitimate, regardless), but because I do not believe celibacy should be a package deal to a Godly calling to which men genuinely answer. Celibacy has its purposes and can be a powerful force to make a point, and also to help one tune in to his/her spiritual voice over the louder and persistent corporal one. But it should not be forced on anyone–least of all on young men who are experiencing a heightened zeal for their faith and are particularly impressionable. But to my story…before I begin let me make a disclaimer here. My love story with my parish priest is still in its initial stages and has not and may not progress to the stages most others’ have here. A part of me wants it to, but I cannot fight the “what if” voice in my heart—“what if this really will endanger yours and his salvation?”

In late January I was beginning to feel like my life was steady and complete; I had my Master’s in Conflict Resolution, I was commencement speaker for my graduating class, and I was offered a wonderful paid internship in the Holy Land. I had tunnel vision and all my attention was invested on my career. And after two years away from home, old water had passed under the bridge, former drama had dissipated and I was vying for nothing and no one. I felt thankful for having for the first time in a long time, no heart break with which to contend.

My mother and I were driving through my hometown one late afternoon, when we passed by the town’s principal parish. We had driven past this church countless times and I cannot recall having gone there once. I looked at the clock: 4:55 PM.

“Mom, let’s go say a quick prayer here! We never have before.” I cannot explain why, but I felt this tugging coming from the parish. Naturally my mother was all too happy to oblige, embracing her daughter’s new found zeal for her faith.

We sat three pews from the altar and there were only 15 or so parishioners joining us. The church bells rang and my mother realized then that we were about to sit in for mass, unintentionally. She looked at and I shrugged my shoulders as if to say, “Meh! Why not?”

The priest steadily walked up the aisle and approached the altar. He wasn’t very tall—maybe 5’7” with salt and pepper hair and a balding spot on the back of his head. His energy was very cheery and he sported a smile as he reached the altar. When he turned around to face us all, I made note of his patchy white and gray 5 o’clock shadow and glasses. At this time, he was just one more to me than middle-aged parish priest—nothing more and nothing less. That would rapidly change.

His gaze reached our direction and I distinctly remember some 9 months later his reaction after having spotted me. He tilted his head much like would a confused puppy and cracked a smile to himself. The rest of the mass his eyes kept meeting mine. Each time I blinked in innocence trying to appear like one of his regular parishioners. In truth, I didn’t think too much about his persistent gaze; at the risk of sounding terribly arrogant, I was used to this. He was after all a man—priest or no. Moreover, I was a new face. No big deal, right?

During his sermon it was clear he was from Ireland (I should say right off the bat: I am a sucker for Irish and Scottish accents, even though I grew up in Ireland). But what really stood out to me was his out-of-this-world sermon. It is clear that in every sermon “G” gives, he purposefully seeks to inspire us. He certainly has for me. I would later learn that Father G is known for his Irish wit, outrageous sense of humor, and saintly kindness. I would add he has the most beautiful and soften spoken voice I have ever heard from any man, and just thinking of it makes me weak.

On the way home that night my mother and I discussed “G” at length. “He truly enjoys his vocation,” my mother said. “Yes,” I replied. “A modern-day apostle.” I meant it then and I still do now.

Having loved his last sermon, I started going to his parish daily and I can honestly say that any good work I do, I can partially credit G’s sermons. I assumed that after some time, I would blend in with the normal crowd and he would no longer single me out. I was mistaken—sorely mistaken. What is even more alarming, was my body’s reaction every time his eyes met mine. Suddenly my heart was racing, I felt feverish in my face and my knees were shaking. “What the Hell is wrong with you?!?!” a voice screamed in my head, while I kept a very peaceful and reverent demeanor. His gaze become too much for me; I started practicing custody of the eyes and could not look at him. His looks drove me wild. I also noticed that he no longer stepped down from the pulpit when giving his sermon, but remained up there (remember, I sit only three pews for the front). The few times I greeted him at the end of the Eucharist, he went form smiles and laughs with the others, to frozen stone with hardly a smirk when I approached him. “Take care,” he said very quickly, hardly making eye-contact with me or giving me a chance to respond before looking to another person to greet. From then on I began to exit the side doors of the church, upon the conclusion of mass.

My first time in confession at this parish was beyond awkward, to say the least. It was anonymous but yet somehow he seemed to know it was me. He was very curt and said very little. This surprised me; I added in my confession that I wished for the Lord “to forgive all those I have unintentionally inspired to sin, for it was not my intention to provoke such thoughts” He then gave me absolution quickly and shut the door to the screen. The most awkward part of all—he forgot to give me my penance. Mass followed afterwards and I could sense the feeling of embarrassment emanating off of him—he was read in the face, distracted and made a point to not look in my direction the entire mass.

I asked a friend about his behavior with me—another parishioner there. “I don’ think he cares for me very much,” I said. “No,” she said. “It’s quite the contrary. He cares for you very much—maybe even too much.”

G fell down the side parish steps and fractured his foot. He was out indefinitely. It was during this time that I realized to myself the feelings I had developed for him. To not know when he would return, to not be able to give him words of encouragement, or know how he was was torture to me. I and other parishioners gave him “Get Well” cards and care packages; I myself gave him a card and wrote to him words of encouragement. Nothing terribly personal—just “chin up” and “you will conquer this”. I also enclosed a beautiful wooden scapular of Carmel.

Two and a half months went by, and each day therein I woke up and went to bed thinking of him and praying he was safe. When he made his surprise return one Tuesday morning, I fought back the involuntary smile by looking to the ground and talking myself through it.

Our usual eye “tug-of-war” recommenced; as he would sit and listen to the Lectio he would look over to me, then I would look away, then I would like at him and he would look away. One mass it was so strong and border-line ridiculous that we both fought back smiles, and even shared a look of “okay, let’s keep it together!” I remember looking to the left and a lady whom I think was sweet on him gave me a stern look. Apparently his gazes had not gone unnoticed.

That mass I walked up to receive communion when he stopped everyone in line and rummaged through the chalice for one of the broken pieces of the Host he had just blessed. He then made eye contact with me and placed the Host very hard in my hand and if to say something—but what exactly I can only speculate. It’s these little nuances but clear efforts to communicate that move me to seek the thoughts and advice of others. I wanted to replay this moment and many like it over and over in my head, while the logical part of me said, “Don’t over think it.” But after months of such instances, and being very astute to the attraction of men, I know for a fact this isn’t just love-goggles playing tricks on me. Especially when my friend has noticed his way with me, too.

The retired-in-residence Msgr (also from Ireland) and I became thick as thieves, over the months I started attending daily mass. I decided to tell him about this attraction. I said I was attracted to a priest and to my surprise this 82 year old man immediately said, “It’s Father. G isn’t?” and he had a large grin on his face. I was shocked for two reasons—one: How did he know? And two: He is very ridged and old-fashioned and I was not expecting him to smile at this! I also told him I was worried that the attraction would get so intense that he would request a transfer, in which case I would leave so my parish family wouldn’t lose the best priest I have ever had the fortune to come across. Msgr vehemently denied this likelihood. “No! For one thing he is old. For another, I have a lot of money in the kitty here. Even if he wanted a transfer, the bishop would not likely give it to him.” When I asked how old he is, I was floored—fifty-six. Now, Msgr is old and forgets a lot but these details usually don’t miss him. I wouldn’t have put G a day over 45, and even then his personality was like that of a teenager most times. “Don’t worry about it,” Msgr said. “This happens all the time and it will soon pass. Your friend has been trained on how to handle this.” Well low and behold the attraction has only intensified.

One Saturday evening before mass, I was in the vestibule looking at brochures and taking a bulletin with me when Fr. G entered. He stopped in his tracks and I stood still and stoic, but unable to say a word. There was an awkward moment of silence and intense attraction. He had a look of surprise and fright in his eyes but for the sake of breaking the sense of awkwardness and attraction, managed to say, “Hell—hello…” and he quickly waltzed through the doors. All I could do was smile at him in reply. The energy that was bouncing off between him and myself at that moment was so intense that I half-expected sparks to fly…fireworks and bells to ring. Realizing I was holding my breath, I exhaled and put a hand to my forehead. “For Christ’s sake, girl, get a grip!” I told myself aloud and followed through the doors a few moments later.

My friend and I exited the front that mass, and while she shook G’s hand I tried to slip away. Alas, she called my name to come back. She smiled at G and said, “We have to greet our priest, after all!” G and I exchanged looks and he smiled at me warmly and said, “Well that’s okay!” and then he reached out his hand. I took it and gave him a smile and a very soft shake.

A week ago in confession he was much calmer and collected, and we even chatted up and laughed a bit, almost forgetting that I was receiving the Sacrament of Penance. A sensation of joy and peace overcame me, and I wanted so much to stay there with him and keep talking. I loved hearing his soft throaty familiar brogue; I wanted to reciprocate and provide him with the attention he was giving me at that time, even though it was only his job to do so. We both shared in some laughs and when he prepared for mass that evening, he seemed especially chipper and walked back and forth past me a least half a dozen times, trying to catch my gaze. But his behavior is a roller coaster of uncertainly and contradictions.

As is with every morning now, he greets and hugs some of the parishioners before beginning mass—most of whom are elderly or matronly. I often watch with a wee bit of jealousy, wishing I was embracing him, myself. When he reaches my pew he hardly looks at me but says a quick “morning”. I take no offense—on the contrary, I feel special in some sorts. But this game of nuances and “tag you’re it” is leaving me frustrated on all levels–dissatisfied and I wonder if he feels the same.

A part of me thinks I should stop this juvenile behavior between the two of us and elevate this attraction to a spiritual one; we cannot share a physical relationship but we do share a great thing in common and that is our faith. Perhaps we can be friends? But then I think that I am far beyond that naivety, and moreover can’t help but wonder if he would welcome a friendship with a woman to whom he is clearly very attracted. He is also twice my age and there is little chance for a future. I do believe we would be an incredible pair; our personalities click and we share a sense of humor under appreciated by most. We are both book worms, Catholics of action before words, lovers of Christ, practitioners in our faith, and let’s not forget that intense and undeniable attraction! Thoughts of being with him on an intimate level drive me wild. I know he entered the seminary very young, but I wonder if he is a virgin. He has a vibrant and fiery sexual orb around him; the man is very sexual, even if he doesn’t make use of it. He is also just damned sexy—to me, anyway, and I gather other women there may have a wee crush, too.

Aside from the obvious mutual sexual attraction and appreciation of each other’s company, all I have to boast is fantasy and speculation. One half of my heart says to leave it at that and let it go, for the odds and facts are against us both. The other half says I should stop holding back and go get him. Yet I know this will end in catastrophe and terrible heartbreak. And so I want an in-between, where I can share my love with him in a way with which we are both comfortable and happy. But I cannot carry on with how things are much longer. I will go mad—no, not stalker mad—just within my heart and to myself. To start bringing this attraction to a heightened spiritual level, I have begun reading the Lectio on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I used to tell myself I am not in love but in lust. I now know this is not the case; if suffering in unrequited love for him would keep him happiest, or even leaving the parish so he can carry on without diversion, I would oblige. He need only say so. I just want him to be happy. When he is in pain, I am in pain. When he laughs, I cannot help but join in.

I have read many books and watched clips on the priesthood and celibacy; from “Priests in Love” to “Dilemma” by Fr. Alberto Cutie. I have also researched the introduction of mandatory celibacy in the Church, and I am resolved to believe that while I love my faith, I am very weary and at odds with much of the Vatican. I have always said it is just another political institution wrapped up in a religious camouflage. I now can say the larger part of me believes it.

Who knows what will happen between G and myself. As a professional peacemaker, I maintain that status quo is the most dangerous menace to peace. I have no intention of leaving this at the status quo– that is for certain.

Please we’re waiting for your comments. If you want to make this blog alive, please do write your comments. Not surprisingly, the New York Times has discovered a new niche in writing – priest’s celibacy issue. It’s an invitation to all writers or better to people who have passed a similar experience to put your experience into writing. Our readers want more true and passionate ones!

The adults in faith.

I shall be happy when I’ll grow up; I shall be happy when I’ll get a job; I shall be happy when I’ll have a man/woman……the list goes on and on. It’s the feeling of somebody who is being alienated of today’s joy and challenges by hoping in a better future! He is after the pie in the sky. Is not this the universal feeling in the Catholic Church? Some journalists had commented about the synod (meeting of a selection of Catholic bishops). The synod has come and gone. Now they are saying that the next synod (2015) will bring about the desired results. And then if that synod will not reap the desired results….shall we wait for the following synod 2016? What sort of game are they playing? Are we expected to base our life’s happiness or expectations on what others desire? Do we want to play kids all our life?

The adult is the stage when a person is capable of taking decisions and face the consequences. When will that time come in the Catholic Church? Why are we waiting for somebody to decide about our spiritual lives? Experience tells us that each and every time that we based our decisions on what others expect of us or what might make them happy, sooner or later we’ll regret that decision.

Spirituality is not something which could be passed on. Just ask responsible parents who do all the necessary things to pass on their faith, yet their kids simply don’t want to hear anything which has to do with the Catholic Church. Everyone of us has to walk on his/her own. You can indicate or show the way, yet the person has to walk the way, all alone. That’s why it’s for adults.

Now when it comes to educating people in faith, this has been one of the greatest sins in the Catholic Church especially when it comes to families. People were never taught how to pray on their own, let alone contact God. They had formulas, but never a personal prayer. It was not just about spirituality. The priests pretended to command what goes on between married people especially when it comes to intimate relationships. The biggest fault in the so called natural method was that it was based simply on the body’s temperature. There is no regard for feelings or the stage at which the relationship has developed. We want to say it out loud: it’s not simply of having or not having children, it’s about the couple who have to know where they are and how deep their relationship is, first and foremost. This is for the good of the couple and indirectly for any offspring which might come along the way. Now nobody can give an answer to that except the couple itself.

It’s not simply about body language. This applies to the spirituality in all its aspects. The priests always presented themselves as experts or know-it-all. The people were never educated to find their way in the big spiritual world. They were kept like small, innocent children! Now the signs of the times have indicated that the people of God are adults in faith. Now as adults they are capable of taking decisions and abide by them.

Now are we going to respect them as adults? This should be of utmost importance especially when it comes to discussing families in the Catholic Church. We are not happy of simply accepting gays/lesbians or divorced people. Obviously indirectly there is still the intention that they are great sinners. The Catholic Church should do much more than that. It should respect the spiritual walk of each person. If we try to apply some rules to everybody, that means that we are photocopying people as there won’t be any respect for individuality nor of the unique spiritual journey of each person.

Some people are still of the mentality that the teaching of the church should not change. Well in our seminary days, it was highly emphasized that the Second Vatican Council (meeting for all bishops of the world – 1963-1965), documented that the pastoral work was not simply the applying of some principles to everyday life as some priests still imply today!! But it’s finding God in the daily living, struggles, challenges, sins, injustices, faults etc…..and after making and gaining experience one can formulate the theory. This is one of the biggest truth finding in the last century. It’s not destructing the principles but bringing them to perfection. How can God create humans who might be gays or lesbians and than we say that they are intrinsically bad? Are they not God’s creations?

We just mentioned some issues but actually it applies to all of the teaching of the Catholic church. Married people are still being addressed to instead of being part of the process where they formulate teaching. The change won’t happen unless there is the change in attitude. The change of attitude is speeded up by the adults in faith who boldly show the way forward. They won’t wait for others to understand them, but rather be leaders, and leaders are there to show the way. Consequently we are not waiting for the Pope to announce something new because as married priests we are already leading the way. We don’t try to reach out to families (as the most optimistic faithful expect the synod to do), we have a family ourselves where we can experience God in our everyday lives. At the moment we’re all painting and decorating our house where paint, dust, sheets of plastic etc….is all over our place!!

In Malta we are looking for a new bishop. If you want to have some fun, why not nominate a married catholic priest? Please note that they won’t acknowledge your request. Most probably they would simply put it in the dustbin.

It’s so easy to see yet so difficult to hear about. The church (in this case we refer to the bishops and the Pope), is trying to listen to what families have to say during this synod  (meeting between a selection of Catholic bishops from all over the world). It unknowingly implies that ‘family’ is coming from outer space! What happened that made priests so alienated and far away from the today’s families? Why were some families ‘forced’ to tell the bishops everyday happenings? Is it so difficult to hear the same messages from people in their own diocese? (diocese is the physical area where the bishop is responsible for all Catholics) Or is it Pope Francis who took off the lid from the boiling kettle? In our opinion we are simply amazed why such common stories are making the round of the world as if we have discovered a new planet!

All this could have been avoided, if there was a permanent link between the priests and the family. In this case we make a fresh appeal: Why not introduce married priests in order to have the family an integral part of the church, permanently? There won’t be all this effort to make the family part and parcel of the church! In this case, then we would focus on only one aspect at a time. In fact some bishops are trying to tell journalists that it’s not just about divorce and living with somebody outside the sacrament of matrimony. Obviously all the married people of the world know that marriage is much more than those two issues. It’s the Catholic Church which is simply discriminating against people who are LGBT; divorced and unmarried people. All other people (murderers; bankers; blasphemers; perjurers; corrupters etc…..it’s an endless list) could receive Holy Communion and be seen as part of the community!!! So it’s not the journalists who are focusing into just two issues!!!

Secondly if the people feel that these two issues should come up for discussion……who is going to refuse? Who knows if the voice of the people is being gently touched by the Holy Spirit? We should thank these people, that notwithstanding the harsh treatment from the Catholic Church, they still seek reconciliation and communication with God!! Do we make a difference between a person who does not recognise authority and a person who is seeing the reading on the wall? We feel the need to define the Word of God. We’re afraid that we’re still stuck to the book. We firmly believe that the Bible is the word of God. But we firmly believe too that God is not in a prison (bible). God could use anybody to send us his message..including the common people who although they have not studied theology, yet, like small children, they can listen to the soft murmurings of the Holy Spirit.

In Sundays’ readings during the celebration of the Eucharist, we notice that they rarely mention the married life, a common reality for most of the people in the pews! When will we have a revision about the choice of readings during the Eucharist to reflect the married state of most Catholics?

The church of Jesus was all inclusive. He never put somebody away….He knew beforehand about Judas and his evil intentions yet he didn’t put him away!! So on what grounds do we intend to put people away? And why some and not all sinners?! Who would be in the church if we start to put people away because of their sins? This is the question we humbly ask to people who still insist that divorced people should stay away from the Eucharist (spiritual food).

One of the families simply said: our son asked us to bring over his boyfriend for Christmas. We couldn’t say no because he is our son. Sorry for coming back to the same argument. Married priests live these issues day in day out. Some married priests have gay sons or lesbian daughters. In that case they are not just simply delivering a homily for others but they do live all the excitement and trouble of such a challenge. Married priesthood will ensure that the priest focuses on real issues in time and not wait for a synod to discuss what other people (us included) have been saying for many years!!

We just invite you to visit the links provided as they help you in your spiritual journey. We encourage other readers to send us their love stories with priests in order to make the whole world aware of what really happens when some priests amply prove that celibacy should not be mixed up with priesthood. Let’s make it optional!

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