Tag Archive: falling in love with a priest


A relationship starts immediately after our first hello. Whether we know it or not this is a basic fact which happens to all sorts of people. It’s up to us to be aware of it and to guide it according to our beliefs, thinking and desires. Now speaking about sharing of emotions or of any other significant experience makes the process of relationship building super fast. Besides it is kept together in the oven of attachment. It is the first real consequence of a special relationship. But this is not the only consequence. Most probably it’s the time to experiment with our bodies such as kissing, hugging, fondling each others intimate parts etc…

On the part of the priest, as he realises that he is becoming vulnerable and swimming in an unfamiliar water, he might be tempted to shut down all sorts of communication. It’s a ran fast and away approach. Most woman don’t understand this attitude because their cultural baggage is totally different. In the priest the moral part becomes really talkative. He is used to hear all sorts of bad things happening with sex or sexual experiments. So under the pressure of sin with all its paraphernalia, the priest tries to hide the problem by ignoring the woman and blaming her for all that had happened! But let’s hear this unique story of this month. Readers, you are more than welcome to send in your comments.

I started talking to some people online, just to make connections and friendships ’cause living alone can be lonely at times, even if you are a grown adult in late thirties. One day, I was talking to this man, in another country, and he told me from the start he was a priest, so having no negative experience with priests and seeing them only as ”special”, my guard was down. I really thought a priest was a spiritual being, and all his ”man thoughts and sexual energies” would be channelized through works, as nuns and brothers are trained to to. Little did I know, we were bonding closer and closer.

Because he is a priest, it was curiosity more than anything, that made me continue getting to know him. Curiosity on how far this would go, and actually not believe it would go far. I quickly realized he was just a man, under that title, with needs to talk and become ”liked” by women.

To make a long story short, I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back I can agree that I was actually having a long-distance man/woman relationship. We talked, talked, joked, flirted, for hours on end, very often, and then started making plans to meet.

I went to his country, we met, spent time together, and it was wonderful to finally meet in person and be ”together”, but it was his first time, so it wasn’t spectacular, but it was so special and will be remembered forever.

Now, turn of events after I came home a few weeks later. He suddenly goes silent, he deletes me from skype and facebook, and suddenly I am left alone in my pain. I cried on and off for many months. It felt like a break-up. No explanation on his part. Two months or so after I was home, I get an email from him, saying that he regrets having done ”it”, and basically he was blaming me for everything. Bunch of bull…. as he wanted to as much as I did. Maybe him being a priest was a way to get rid of the guilt.

Eventually, I wanted to say goodbye to him ’cause it was hurting too much to not only be ignored by him but to have him twist the story around. But soon after, he wrote back to apologize for his silence, for his twisting the story around, and that he would like for me to stay in his life, but that he is trying to be a good priest. It’s been four years now, and we still communicate, he will flirt at times, but I know, he told me he never wants this to happen again, and he never wants to see me in person again. I will never understand why he doesn’t want to meet in person again. I don’t know if he has feelings for me, ever loved me, and if ”never seeing me again” is because he is afraid we will fall again, but I wish he would express himself and open up about it, instead of just saying we will continue writing, but never meet in person or cam. I am sad ’cause I love him so much. Part of me is wondering if his communicating with me in writing has now become simply ”polite”, or if I mean something to him.

He has re-added me to fb, but things are not the same between us, even if we communicate often. My heart skips a beat every time I hear from him, but I will forever wonder what he feels in his heart: is it politeness, love, or just plain friendship? Were we together due to his curiosity of being the first time, or because he truly had feelings for me?

I keep him in my life now, regardless if I will ever find someone for me or not, ’cause it hurts more to have him out of my life than in my life. Sounds odd, but yeah, it is what it is. We don’t choose who we will love or hate. The heart has a mind of its own. It’s almost like we need each other. He wants to stay in contact with me, just like I want to stay in his life. Even if it hurts that he can’t be mine only. It also hurts me so much that he can write many times per week, sometimes per day, but then will ignore me totally for days, sometimes even more than a week and I don’t understand that.

I wrote to the pope in the past few years, asking if finally priests would be able to live a normal life with relationships, marriage, but unfortunately I never got a response from Pope Francis.

Well let’s make it very clear: we can never force anybody to get married. We are just giving out our general suggestions. It’s the priest himself who has to think it over, decide and then stick to his decision. Please remind yourself that this is no easy decision to take.

The decision depends on the development of the relationship. One cannot force such commitment if they have simply slept together one night. Secondly, sex should not the driving force to say yes, but rather the beauty of the two who feel and act like a couple.

On the part of the priest, he must feel that it’s not a threatening yes i.e. he is being forced to but rather an invitation to live a loving relationship to the full. Consequently he has to be shown that the woman next to him is there to help him. She will stand by him in all the circumstances no matter what.

The priest has to talk to his spiritual advisor (in this case below, to the priest who is his friend), in order to have any theological, spiritual or personal questions answered. This is not to be taken lightly. The priest was bombarded, preached and lived according to a certain set of values. Now passing on to become a husband he has to find a credible answer for his conscience.

If they are so committed, they have to look for a possible job training scheme. Please remember that the priest is passing from a very comfortable zone to a very threatening one. This might become the last test for their relationship.

The decision is not to be made in one single conversation. There might be a build up to it. The woman has to slowly show him his support and understanding and obviously no rush for the answer unless procrastination kicks in. This is the latest story we received. Enjoy reading it. Please be active readers by posting in your comments. Let’s pray for the couple.

I’m Georgette and my priest’s name is George. I am in a relationship with a priest. He and I are both in our mid 40s. I am divorcing, not because of him, however. I am in an abusive marriage and had made the decision to divorce, then sought counsel for coping with the emotions of a necessary but nevertheless painful divorce.

My priest entered the seminary at 14. He was a virgin, in fact he had never kissed a woman, when we met. We talked and enjoyed each other’s company. I quickly developed feelings for him, and told him as much. At first, he was very firm in explaining that he was tempted, too, but a relationship between us would not have a happy ending. I felt incredibly stupid. He said he was committed to a friendship, and he was, always, a good friend to me.

The fact that he continued to see me signalled to me an opening to greater involvement. When I found myself alone with him, I tried to kiss him. He resisted, but eventually gave in on that day, and we kissed. It was spectacular. We both resolved that it couldn’t happen again.

That didn’t work. We began a sexual relationship several months ago, and that continues. He says he loves me, and I love him, too. I am not naïve enough to think that he will leave the priesthood, but it would be my dream that he would. We have talked around the edges of what our relationship will become, and he frequently talks in a long term frame of mind. He also makes comments about what our relationship is “right now,” and is suggestive of change in the future.

My emotions range wildly from fear of hurt to hope. I consulted a different priest, and a friend of the priest I love, who told me that what I had experienced was not an evil woman tempting a man of God, but rather, a presentation of a different and equally beautiful sacrament (marriage, rather than holy orders) that my priest could choose without shame. The advising priest explained to me that the vow of celibacy and the choice of priesthood might have been right and genuine for my love, but now he is presented with another plan for his life. The advising priest made it clear to me that my relationship with the priest may and likely is as beautiful and filled with grace as my love’s role as priest. But the challenge is to BRING THE RELATIONSHIP TO LIGHT AND CHOOSE IT. In that regard, the advising priest told me to tell my love that I challenge him to position himself in such a way that we can love each other without guilt, shame or fear, or we say goodbye.
I am working up the nerve to have that conversation. I suspect that the priest I love will ultimately choose to remain a priest. It is all he has ever known of life. However, I plan to toss up what he thinks he knows about what is right for his life, and see where things land. I will be ok if he decides to remain a priest, but I certainly hope he will have the courage to confront his feelings before making his decision.

I don’t think he abused me in any way. I was certainly the one who pursued him, not the other way around. He did accept my love at a time when he knew I was very vulnerable emotionally, and that may have been unwise, but I do not believe he acted maliciously or with disregard for my feelings. I think we just fell in love.
I hope I can develop the strength to require from him what I deserve, or require him to make the choice to recommit himself to his priestly vows and live accordingly. At the end of the day, I do not want to love him outside the context of a sacramental marriage, so we will have to make choices. I believe that walking away from the relationship will be very, very painful for both of us.

Just my experience. I am not an expert.

Sometimes, some critics think that our idea of married priesthood is just an odd idea. Maybe they point out the possible teething problems that we might have. They always point out what might not work in married priesthood. Well, it’s not just married priesthood. We know that some people are really murderers of any new ideas. They resist change with all possible means. They always speak negatively about anything. The church, more than any other organisation tends to be more conservative as it strives to keep the old ideas alive.

We are not fanatics. We are not saying that married priesthood is going to solve all the problems. But surely when one puts all ideas on a weighing scale, there are many more advantages than disadvantages. One of them is surely the number of priests. We know for sure that there are many good people who would like to be a priest but owing to the celibacy challenge they shun priesthood. There are some priests who have left officially priesthood, but who would gladly return to the job of pastors. It would fulfill an emergency which is emerging in the world where lots of communities do not celebrate a Sunday Mass simply because there aren’t enough priests.

We obviously understand that for these people such a change would be too much for them, owing to the fact that they have been brainwashed for many years. But this week we want to tell our readers that no, this idea is not odd at all.

It has arrived at the Vatican’s doorstep. We know as well that this pope has had a friendly relationship with a particular woman (Clelia Luro), who was married to a bishop (top official in the church responsible for a geographical area). Needless to say that this bishop was shunned by nearly all the priests except the present pope. So there is no need to explain the goodness of a married priesthood to the present Pope Francis. The fact that he talked to her even when he was elected as Pope Francis, means a lot.

We firmly believe that Holy Spirit is moving the church towards a change. He chooses the time and the occasion to introduce such a change. Our job is to prepare people for it. We need married priests, especially those who have left officially the church, in order to bridge the gap between the priests and the laity. We need priests who are in today’s trenches, dealing with a normal family life with all its challenges, hopes and frustrations. We need to see priests living a normal life in order to witness the gospel in a sincere way. People need witnesses more than teachers according to the late Pope Paul VI. It’s so true!! Let’s have married priests in order to have a big change in the church’s teaching about the family.

I’m Q, a female. I’m Roman Catholic and I’m suppressing and repressing my emotions for a priest whom we will call X.

First Meeting, almost a year ago: A few notes after the opening song, X and I locked gaze where I felt embarrassed that I looked away and shifted my gaze at the image of Mother Mary in front of the altar. As X delivered his homily, he would glance at me every now and then and noticing that I wasn’t comfortable with it, he delivered the remainder of his homily with his eyes either cast down or closed. At the end of the mass, parishioners lined up to shake X’s hand. When my turn came, he looked away, withdrew his hand and patted me on the forehead instead. It would be a few more months before I approach him again.

In the next meetings, X and I would do the eye courtship thing with no one daring to hold the gaze.

Four months after the first meeting, something probably got the better of us. X decided to hold his gaze and I gazed back. We were eye to eye for not shorter than five seconds. Then he stopped at the middle of his homily, looked away, groped for words before he could continue. This happened again on the same mass during consecration. At this point, the embarrassment transformed into guilty feelings on my part. But still, something in me refused to acknowledge that X was looking at me and I caused him to buckle.

In the succeeding couple of weeks, we practised custody of the eyes. Glances minimized. Everything under control.

A month after the first uh-oh moment, I went to mass and I could feel that X, like me, was having a hard time practising custody of the eyes. At The Great Amen, we locked eyes and X raised his eyebrows to acknowledge my presence. I was so shocked I felt it was painted all over my face. Seeing how shocked I was, X looked away immediately and acknowledged the presence of another parishioner. I sensed he was embarrassed and sad about my reaction that I decided to approach him after mass to shake his hand and greet him. When I did, his hand was ice cold and he shook my hand while he was looking down, as he slightly shook his head.

I didn’t see X again until a month or so after that. When I saw him again, he openly glanced at me and held eye contact. Needless to say, he would lose thread of the mass and either stop or say the wrong words. This happened almost every time I attended mass with him being the celebrant. I felt guilty, but no longer that embarrassed. I thought it was cute, but a little scary. I noticed that he was warm to everyone, too, that I decided to start approaching him after mass to shake his hand. He welcomed it and shook my hand, while suppressing a smile.

There’s this memory with X I cherish. I attended one First Friday Mass and X was the celebrant. As he was about to deliver the Good News, he was suppressing his smile that it seemed puzzling for most of the parishioners. When he delivered his homily, he would glance at me every now and then and he would smile. It felt good afterwards that I also smiled with my head bowed during the Apostle’s Creed. When I looked at X during Prayers of the Faithful, he was smiling, too. After mass, I approached X and shook his hand. He shook mine, too, and he boldly squeezed it, rubbed his thumb against the back of my hand, and held on to it for a couple of seconds. It was raining hard that night that most parishioners were at the church doorstep, waiting for the rain to let out. X went out of the church and eased his way among the crowd to stand beside me. I struck a conversation by offering him my umbrella but he said nothing. He just stood there silently, but I caught him taking a quick glimpse at me every now and then.

I wrote the above story a few months ago. When is no longer important.

A lot of things happened to me after writing that, but it’s good that I delayed the publishing. I would also like to thank Fr. Daniel for not forcing me to publish.
Where are we now, X and I, after all those months?

The first thing is, there is no “we”. And I am not bitter about it. I will never find out if it was a case of mutual attraction or not, and I don’t need to. Sure, there are now more memories to cherish and smile about – wonderful, teenage-crush memories with X as we got a little comfortable with each other a few months after I first wrote that, not to mention this wonderful feeling I have for him that I have come to accept over time.

So what am I writing for?

I just want to share that we can feel something and not be guilty about it by not doing anything about it. Just accept it for what it is and not think about whether it’s being reciprocated or not, or even without the certainty that the other party feels the same way, too. I’m sure most of us will say that he probably has feelings for me, and sometimes I can’t help but consider that somehow he likes me as a man desires a woman, but truth is, we will not really find out unless he tells me or I ask him. But that will not happen. It’s not for me to know and that’s okay. He will not tell me because, aside from the fact that he has no chance, I know and feel how committed he is to his vocation and ministry that even if he might be feeling something, he, too, would not do anything about it.
And isn’t this the most beautiful thing in this world? To know what you must do for God in response to His immeasurable love even if it entails getting used to a cycle of death and resurrection – dying a little by forgoing something your heart wants and being reborn every time you feel so happy that you are in love, and yet making the same choice as you did when you decided to keep your faith?

While most of women here write sad stories about getting into relationships with priests and then having their heart broken, I hope you have a room for my story.

In this relationship, did you ever have some private space to talk and show your emotions for each other?

No private space to show emotions except after masses where I approach him to shake his hand. Often, he would squeeze my hand or hold on to it, especially when no one else was in line. Sometimes I squeeze back and when he holds on to my hand, I never let go. But that’s it.

We were given chances to talk but I just kept things business-like and left after the purpose was served.

We all know that eyes do ‘talk’, but how can you be sure about his real feelings?

As I’ve mentioned, I will never know if it was a case of mutual attraction and I don’t exactly know what you meant by being sure about his real feelings. Maybe eyes do talk, but how can I be so assuming when I haven’t even observed how he looks at other ladies in the other masses he celebrates. Rule #1. Until he says anything otherwise, those gestures were done out of compassion.

We invite all readers to give their written feedback!

We are always looking for different opinions. We always encourage our readers to take an active part by writing their opinion. Our blog tried to give freedom of speech to everyone especially those passing through such experience. Nobody is going to judge you! We just share our experiences. Than it’s up to the person to decide what to do. Let’s listen to today’s story. The story is told by G Pramod Kumar.

Barely two years after it was slammed by “An Autobiography of a Nun” that catalogued the lurid details of bullying, sexual abuse and homosexuality,”the Catholic Church in Kerala is set for another attack by a former nun.

Sixty-eight-year-old Sister Mary, who left her Catholic congregation in Kerala 13 years ago in disgust after 40 years of nunhood, is ready with her exposé. In a biographical sketch titled Nanma Niranjavare Swasthi, she heaps more ignominy on the Church.

Sister Mary talks in vivid detail about the extreme pain she had to endure during her tenure with the congregation: physical and psychological oppression, the sexual permissiveness and abuse prevalent among some of the nuns and priests,  and the harassment she faced for sticking to her values and commitment to service.
She also talks about the miserable sense of abandonment, rather than sacrifice or service, that some of the nuns feel. For the Catholic church in Kerala which is already under attack with a wide range of allegations ranging from oppression of its nuns, abuse, suicides and inappropriate sexual behaviour, the new book will certainly be further bad publicity.

Two biographical accounts; one by Jesme Raphael who gave up the nun’s robes after 26 years of service (2009) and another by a male priest, KP Shibu Kalaparambil who left after 24 years in white (2010); had in the recent past, dented the reputation and order of the Catholic Church. Both of them had explosive revelations including sexual exploitation of women and men.

In her memoirs Sister Mary, born in the Palai area of eastern Kerala, describes how she wanted to be a nun at the age of 13 and ran away from home to a Catholic congregation. Although she “found her path of service at the altar of the god”, what awaited her was four decades of hardship, betrayal and absolute disappointment.
Unable to take it anymore, she abandoned her robes in 1999 but continued her service to humanity by establishing a modest orphanage at Wayanad in north Kerala. According to Jose Pazhukaran, the writer who helped Mary put together the memoir, she literally begs door-to-door to raise the resources for her orphanage. “She is now doing what she couldn’t accomplish as a nun – to serve humanity and be a mother to abandoned children,” says Pazhukaran.

“There was a lot of unbearable pain and humiliation. Some ran away, some committed suicide. I endured all the pain because of the priest’s words at my first communion as a nun – you should be ready to follow the path of Jesus Christ. These words are still throbbing in my heart and that is why I am a mother of orphans,” says Sister Mary.

Translations of one chapter of the book is given below:

Raping fathers
Those who didn’t oblige the priests were always in trouble. They get pained in some way or the other. Some think that the oath of discipline that you take while accepting the nun’s robe is to be subservient to such men.
Such an incident happened to me as well. As somebody who had thought of Jesus Christ as the only saviour since the age of six, this experience pained me immensely.
This incident, in which a priest tried to molest me and I hit him with a wooden stool in self defence, became a big issue at the congregation. Although I was the one outraged, in their eyes, I was the culprit. The unwritten rule was: whatever the priests did, nobody could question them.
I was only twenty then.

The incident happened at the Chevayaoor convent. There was this practice of serving breakfast to the priests after the morning communion. Sometimes, it was sent to the church. The nuns needed to take turns to cook for them and serve them.
I used to get nervous whenever my turn came because I wasn’t good with cooking and would certainly be criticised for that. Nobody used to help me or advise me. Instead, they seemed to get some vicarious pleasure by pointing out the mistakes. I used to find it very painful.
Okay, let’s get into the incident. Once, I was assigned to cook and serve a priest who finished the communion (I don’t want to name him though). I went to the dining hall with egg curry and ‘appam’. He came in, washed his hands and bolted the door before taking his seat.
He asked me to serve; but sensing some mischief, I stayed away. When he persisted, I started shivering with fear. At that moment, I deeply hated the rule that one should obey whatever the priests orders.

The priest got up, came to me and grabbed my hands. Don’t you know all this, Sister Mary? he asked.

When I cried, he tried to pull me close to his chest. I relieved myself and ran, but he chased me around the table. I really got wild as I used to do when I was a child on such situations. I got hold of a wooden stool in front of me and hit him hard.

It fell on his head and he started bleeding profusely. I got both sad and scared although I did it in self-defence – he was a priest. I screamed in fear and rushed out of the room and told everyone what happened. But most of them appeared indifferent and started scolding me.

“What did you do, are you out to shame the congregation?”

When they went into the room , the priest was on his chair, speechless and drenched in blood. He was taken to the Kozhikode medical college hospital where it was reported that he fell in the bathroom.

I was the target of tremendous ire after that incident. When everybody walked away from me as if I was a proclaimed offender I prayed hard. But when I realised that it was the way things worked, I really got scared that I was trapped in serious danger. Since then, I was marked; a thorn in the flesh for the congregation.
Opposing wrongdoing was my character and that was the reason for all the conflicts that I faced in life as a nun. I wasn’t ready to blindly accept the priests and the church without looking at their deeds.

Sensing the situation I was in, Father Peter called for me one day. I told him every thing. I cried a lot in front of him. He consoled me and advised me to handle the Church and people with restraint.

But, the other nuns by then had branded me as a rogue. Nobody pointed out what was the ground for my disobedience. Since then, I was a nuisance for them. Sister Betty was the only consolation.

Since I was termed disobedient right from my stay at the novitiate, my nunhood had to wait for six months. The priests believe that they had the complete control of the nuns. They believe that they are the ultimate owners of the Church, its properties and the believers.
When people get sexually exploited, their belief gets affected; that is what is happening now. Some people commit suicide when they are unable to cope with this reality.

The priest who was hit by me is a good friend now and calls me often to enquire about my well-being. He also tells me that my response has reformed him. If you want to buy the book, you can write to this email address.

Nanma Niranjavare Swasthi
Malayalam
106 pages
Rs. 85
Kairali Books Kannur, Kerala
(akammasika@gmail.com)

The pitfalls of silence

Today we speak of transparency, human rights, customer rights etc. We have slowly built a way in our civilisation in order to avoid mistakes, especially some particular mistakes. We have several examples of in-house or outside the house checking of standards. We have several steps, for litigation to take place correctly, in case the customer is not satisfied 100%. This is all done in order to ensure the best satisfaction between sellers and buyers.

Now in the church, we have a rather large area which is commonly called the grey area. There are several instances where the parishioners ask for a personal appointment with the pastor (or parish priest). This is all cloaked in secrecy. How can one be transparent when all is done in great secrecy? It’s like a secret agent accusing his employer of something. It is common understanding that what passes on between the priest and the parishioner remains so forever. How can one accuse the priest of something?

That’s why the silence which is commonly understood between the priest and the parishioner, could be used in the wrong way by the priest or the hierarchy (top people) of the church.

Most of the time, the people who have suffered an emotional abuse, feel themselves still bound by the secrecy act. In our experience, it has been very hard to instil confidence in people who have been abused in order to come forward. Secrecy seems to be a word which is written in the heart of Christians.

Some are still of the opinion that they might damage the church so it’s better to remain silent. Now, if one looks at the big picture, the day after might become more damaging to the church. If some insist on washing dirty linen inside, what is the way forward if everything is in great secrecy and no visible change is noticed? If no action is taken, then there would be no other alternative but to speak to ‘outsiders’ in order to do justice in the church.

Others are afraid of coming forward because that they are partly to blame for the budding love story between themselves and the priest. Speaking about relationships it is rather sticky as it involves lots of emotions, physical characteristics, thinking, growth, empathy etc.…It’s not so easy to pardon oneself and move forward elsewhere. On the other hand, people tend to get stuck with an abusive relationship, rather than having no relationship at all!

Most probably the guilt feeling would add more misery to the person involved as it keeps the person from speaking out. I feel guilty too so I have no right to speak of…..Well the time will come when they will realise that most probably the priest has abused his place and role and used the person for his own egoistic needs. The priest is the one who holds authority and law in his work. He is the one who should know all the boundaries. He is a role figure to many Christians. People would obey him owing to the fact that he is the priest or God (in their minds). This notwithstanding the fact, that falling in love with the priest creates a spiritual nightmare. Yet obedience blinds the person to any other practical consequences. In some cases, the woman, due to the obedience factor, took off her clothes.

The technological part has been abused too. Today it’s so easy to get to know people just by sending an sms, email etc. Again, it’s all done in the name of secrecy. In some cases, the woman was in bed with her husband (albeit sleeping!), whilst texting sexual messages to her priest. It seems to be not real for the common reader or totally foolish or disgusting. For those who have fallen in love, see things differently. They are being pushed around by their priest and it is all being done in great secrecy!

One final surprising reason is that the woman involved most probably truly loved her priest. In no way she is going to jeopardise the priest’s role in society! Love drives people to do the most incredible actions! This is one of them. “I know the priest abused me emotionally….but I still love him!” “Don’t ask me to start criminal proceedings against him. I won’t accuse him of anything!”

Lastly but surely not the least reason, there is still a great area which is not being given its due importance. How can we regulate the priest-parishioner in order to avoid silly mistakes especially when secrecy is so deeply embedded? This is not just the creation of courts, lawyers etc.… but rather a holistic education to all. The more we speak about it, the more we should learn from such experience. Our aim in this blog is to talk about what goes on between the parishioner and the priest in order to clarify many situations and avoid a lot of hurt, especially an emotional one.

We are happy that our blog has been in the forefront in order to help people speak about this kind of secrecy where most people suffer in silence. We thank all those who have published their story because in doing so, they have helped so many others. Some people could not give a name to their ‘silent story’. Now thanks to some stories they have become more aware of so many aspects of their past relationship with a priest. Hopefully they move forward in a healthy way. So let’s uncover all the secrets whispered in an inappropriate way!

We all wish to influence our parish or our spiritual home in a positive way. The multi million dollar question is: How?

Well basing ourselves on the gospel, Jesus was very successful when performing great miracles. But when he was crucified, he was not so successful, at least by common standards. The apostles relied too much on his charisma and unique personality, so much so that they went into hiding and they didn’t want to venture out of the closed but comfortable room.

So speaking about married priest is not a question of how. It’s more a question of feeling empowered to do so. Most still form part of the seated audience who are waiting for the priest to do everything. The church is a community where everyone has to do his part. We can’t expect anybody to do the change, if we don’t start by making our first bold step.

The fact of the sexual scandals is still having effect on the Catholic church. It shows that while the priests speak to others how to behave sexually, in their personal lives they are living a total lie. Now it has been proved scientifically that forced celibacy does lead to sexual frustrations. Our grandmothers, who may have never attended theological classes nor psychological lessons, have told us several times that those who cannot enter through the door, they will do so through the window (referring to basic sexual needs).

The number of priests has dwindled in the western culture. This leads to more pressure of work. Now it’s easier for the unmarried priest to get a burn out by becoming literally a workaholic. With no emotional, psychological, moral and friendly support, it might lead to more sexual frustrations which in turn will put him into a more complicated situation. The situation is not like some years ago where priests used to meet in large numbers and find comfort in each other. Now priests are overburdened with meetings etc.….People in the parish used to stay for a very long time. Nowadays, people are used to change city, town etc…for various reasons. The priests themselves are being transferred more often from one parish to another. This leads to a ‘soul burning’ where the priest cannot have long, lasting friendships. In other words, the priest like everybody else, needs a significant other in order to speak about his life, his desires, his difficulties, his dreams…….he cannot just be a priest all the time by helping others and not helping himself. After all priests too were created by God as human beings and like all human beings they need to talk to somebody. They need encouragement, people who listen without judging etc.….

Another big asset is our present Pope Francis who has already mentioned that married priesthood is on his agenda. At the same time he has shown the way forward. He wants the local bishops to ask for them. Now the local bishops won’t ask for married priests if the laity or the people in his town won’t ask explicitly for married priesthood! So readers please find ways and means to communicate with your local bishop to insist on married priesthood. You can borrow material from this blog to include in your communication.

Now married priesthood has a big advantage in the sense that most people (whether or not they are practising Catholics), are in favour of it! The signs of the times are all pointing into one direction. Don’t feel like a pariah when you speak about married priesthood. All people with some common sense will surely agree. The witness of the married priests, who together with their wives continue their witnessing to the gospel by living a normal life, will continue to attract more supporters. There is no better argument than seeing evidence where the married priest feels more calm, peaceful, mature, understanding and very close to the situation of the people.

Another good asset is the fact that most of the apostles were married. No one can dampen your spirit if you mention this fact. Facts are facts. There is no way of hiding them. If we wish to follow the bible we cannot let this fact go by.

The disadvantage is that because it involves a secret relationships people are very reluctant to speak about it! We have experience with our blog. Some people are still not prepared to share their story online, notwithstanding the fact that we change names and whereabouts! Others won’t speak about private and personal experience (i.e. involving falling in love with priests), no matter what! We are here dealing with something which is personal and private! We cannot expect all the people passing through such experience to be parading in our main capital cities and telling everybody what they have experienced.

One final thought. No one is going to promote married priesthood except us! So let’s make our first step by speaking with our friends, neighbours and/or families! Don’t forget to speak to your bishop because it is he who has to communicate with the Pope to tell him about married priesthood!

Persa has written in her own beautiful style. She poses a lot of interesting questions. Shall we start discussing? This is your blog. I expect and encourage readers to have their say. Believe me, it’s not easy to have such space in the Catholic Church. Let’s participate on our blog. We don’t want to publish articles and stop there. We would like to have your feedback.

I am Persa. Those of us who are reading this blog are truly blessed that Fr. Daniel made it available to us. Technology can be an aspect of modern life that we need to be constantly on guard against, but as usual, this is not a simple good v. evil, black v. white. The internet allowed many of us to find a place where we were able to see that we are not alone. Without it, because of the insularity of clerical culture, many of us would have been further hurt, but worse, thought ourselves crazy
with no one to show us otherwise!

I was in a relationship with a priest that had many of the elements of others we have read about
on this blog. The details are unique, but the outline is the same – repeated approach and
unexpected retreat, love expressed and then fearfully withdrawn. But, once again, this entire
issue is not black and white, but very gray, very nuanced. I am reading about how non-dualistic
thinking is the hallmark of a more complex, evolved spirituality. I have become so aware of this
in general, but especially in this case. While I was hurt and sometimes diminished by this
priest and unkindly categorized, gossiped about by the parishioners and laity (who are just as
caught up in and responsible for perpetuating clerical culture) – at the same time, I have had two
of the most profound and loving (platonic) relationships in my life with two priests and known
several others who can only be said to be incredibly beautiful human beings. How can this
be? The very system that is causing the problem also sowed the seeds of something
miraculous. Non-dualistic thinking. Both/and. I think it applies well to questioning why either/
or, instead, seems to be the paradigm when a man has a vocation to the priesthood.

Often we women are told or made to feel that we are the problem for being drawn to a priest.
Really!! What is wrong with us?? I’m sure we are endlessly psychoanalyzed. Why are we
wasting our time with an unavailable man? We clearly have no self-esteem! Well, maybe. But
that could be said of many people in relationship. Non-dualistic thinking. Many possible angles,
no? Personally, I find a man , who at some point, turned his back on what (especially western)
society defines as “success” to serve people very attractive. I find a man whose life at least
partly entails trying to be kind, trying to really listen, trying to BE with another human being of
any gender, very attractive. I find a man who spends time – a little or a lot – trying to follow our
Lord very attractive. Priest or not. But this is how it starts. If a priest, understandably, desires
more intimacy (of which sexual expression is only one part) than a celibate life allows and he
communicates this, women respond as they do with any man – not out of pathology, but from a
sense of attraction. This is normal human experience initially on both sides. But the
unreasonable expectation of enforced celibacy eventually twists it into pain for both people, not
transformative love.

We must move past our own particular sadness. We – and the entire church – must look at the
larger question of whether a celibate, clerical culture is relevant any longer. Our stories are only
one indication of the existence of a problem. Did celibacy ever have anything to do with being
closer to God and doing his work? I doubt it. And if it did at one time, no excuse can be made
in this day and age. The argument that the priest is free to love ALL people because he is not
committed to one in particular is insulting to rabbis, imams, orthodox priests, ministers of all
persuasions. Are these religious people inferior to celibate Catholic priests?? Of course not.
One could argue that loving everyone and loving someone teach very different things and
provide very different challenges and joys. I can’t imagine that someone who resists one or the
other is superior in any way, nor can I imagine that Jesus meant that loving in only one way is
following “the greatest commandment”. OK. We all struggle with this. But the particular
craziness of the Catholic church is that it elevates those who are consciously avoiding one facet
of love. James Martin, in his defensive NYTimes op ed piece as a counterpoint to a beautiful
and thoughtful editorial by Bill Keller, said self-righteously that celibacy allows for loving
differently. Uh, yes. Exactly. Differently and incompletely – and simultaneously being much
admired for it! Isn’t that convenient?!

Then there is the argument that having a deep relationship with one person drains one’s
energies and focus on the wider group and wider accomplishments, a balancing act that is hard
to achieve. Well, women – who are often not valued by the church – have been doing this since
time began. A woman can have a calling to be an artist or dancer, ESL teacher or immigration
lawyer, AND to be a wife and mother. The constant struggle is to do both and not be defeated
when it all seems impossible, to integrate the two and understand that they each inform the
other and make life richer. This requires compromise and hard choices to be made! Even
today. Are the priests of the Catholic church so limited and delicate that they may be crushed
by these very human demands, that they need to be protected from having to experience this,
that they can only honor one vocation at a time? If so, then they are not to be admired. They
are to be pitied!

And the argument that not having significant others in one’s life allows one the freedom to go
anywhere at any time to do God’s work? From where I sit, no matter where one is today, one
can do God’s work! And if there is a special need, well, we now have such a thing as airlines,
as inconvenient as they have become. Were all the medical personnel with MSF who went to
West Africa celibate?? Did they need to take this vow to do their dangerous , but necessary
work? Of course not. And they are admired for their courage. Catholic priests , though, are
often first admired and respected and considered to be “special” for their celibate lives,
regardless of their other contributions, even if there are few . This is, as I written, as much the
responsibility of the laity for responding this way. The church, however, is built on this
ridiculousness!

There are probably more arguments for the necessity of celibacy that in most cases, are merely
clever justifications for the status quo. Any intelligent and sensitive person who is living in the
“real world” would, most likely, be able to address and refute them. Celibacy may never have
served a purpose beyond clerical self-preservation, but on an individual basis, the world has
seen how it has been destructive, for the Catholic priests and the people they try to love in the
way in which they have been forbidden. There will always be a need for priests. But it is
becoming more obvious that there is not, and never has been, a need for exclusively celibate
ones!

In our blog we wish to write what others are thinking deeply in their minds…can I have a friendship with a priest? We wish to let the readers express their opinions. Let’s hear what YOU have to say.

I’m Clarice. Well, as I searched almost the same thread, I also tag myself among you but quite different. I happened to be very close to many priests. Actually, I used to enjoy the fatherly love and affection. But, there is a priest with whom I’m very different. He is Rev Silas. We studied together and I was always like a shadow to the Reverend. Of course, I liked him and it’s been almost seven long years now. But, last year I started to doubt my love when I heard he might get a transfer to a foreign nation, until then I was happy and blissful the relationship I have with him.

Well, it’s not a romantic relationship. I was comfortable with him. Comfortable enough to hug him and kiss him as I used to be with my Dad. And I used to say how much I do love him, and he knows that. I never had a second thought or fantasy on it. I used to tell each and everything to him. One time, we shared the same bed with not even a single touch. There was nothing called romance or anything. We used to fight a lot and everyone knows how much we do care for each other. Twice in a year we met all these last six and half years. Even his fellow priests know. Until he left to another country, I didn’t realize that it was going to be that difficult for me to live without him.

Last year, I started to recognize that I loved him so much that I could forget my boy friend that I wanted to get married to.
I started to dig why do I love him so much, I found no reason. In fact, I started to love him when I met him for the first time in the university campus. And, it’s not just I liked, I loved him even from the first time that we met, I’m sure. I didn’t find anything special about him to like so much. But, I felt relived and happy whenever he smiled at me. And, the happiest days become crabby when he used silence as weapon. Everyone get pissed off with my stories about him.

Well, I used to keep a distance between us even though I’m a possessive type of person. But, he could easily break all those barriers. He is someone who can guess how far I can move without him. He never deleted not even one single message that I had sent to him.

I was really having a beautiful life, amidst of all tragedies I walked through, because I knew his smiles can make me the happiest. All my folks know how much I care for him. I don’t care if they tease me with his name. But after the fight we had last time, I didn’t talk to him for almost six months and then, I started to fall sick almost every week. Finally, I couldn’t try too hard to ignore him, I was sorry about the fight I had started… he too never tried to reconcile with me. Finally, before he left he came just to meet me… That was the day I realized how much I’m going to miss him and how much we love each other. I couldn’t keep my tears any longer, and he hugged me. Almost three four hours we were in hug. Even then, I didn’t realize it’s going to be something I have been feared. Well, it was not a romantic scene though. Our intentions were not impure. But, finally he said he is getting some other thoughts and it made me broken.

Now, when I think back to the past, I feel it is that ‘love’ which happened between us. I might not be matured enough to know this or I didn’t want it to be like this. Now, I’m really a mess. Because I know it’s very difficult for me to live without him and I know he loves me a lot. Even if we didn’t confess to each other. We both know this is what it is. I was someone who always prayed for his saintly priesthood. Now, I became someone who partly wish that he could have married me. My friends started to force me to confess this to him. But, I love him so much to realize I’ll be putting him in trouble. The scenario in my place is too different if a priest leaves his priesthood. Rumours, hatred, social struggles, family problems, and it will cause him to lose his comfortable life.

But, now, I have to act as I don’t realize what love we feel each other. And I should irritate him and fight with him as I used to be. Otherwise, he may lose his self-esteem thinking that I knew what his love was. He started to avoid communicating with me. I tried to move on ignoring him too. But, if I don’t send an ‘I love you’ message to him, I feel as if I don’t want to do anything at all in life. These last three days, I forgot to take care of myself as I tried not to communicate with him.
Please suggest to me how can I come out of this disordered love. It kills me day & night.
Clarice.

When a priest looks at a woman

This is our latest email we received some days ago. It tells the story of how a priest looks for something else rather than friendship…than all of a sudden he stops immediately his friendship to leave the woman hanging on. There is a lack of clear and understandable communication from the part of the priest. Is it on purpose? Is it because of lack of communicative skills? Is it because they are afraid of admitting the truth? Is it because they feel vulnerable?

Let’s encourage more women to come forward and write their story. Writing could be part of the healing process. Writing will give extra strength to other women out there who are suffering in silence. Readers please be active! Comment and write what you think. 

How do you know when a priest loves or hates a woman at the same time? Ok let me tell you my story. I am Lily. It has been a year since a priest (Rev Leno), at my church has been looking at me.

Have you ever spoken to each other? Have you ever embraced, kissed (etc….) him? Why do you think he started to look at you?

The priest began by being friendly to me in public, cracking jokes. For example, one day I was sitting in the back of the church joining a prayer group when he looked at me and said, “I don’t look too bad, you can come and sit closer.” Some people showed that they were not too pleased with that joke, based on their facial expressions. You can tell when people are uncomfortable with things. And since that day I can feel some tension each time I go to that prayer group. I can also tell by the look that those people give to me. They never gave me that look before and I’ve been going to that group for years. One week later after he had made the joke, I went to a morning service where there’s only a hand full of people. He looked at me and stopped while he was doing the service.

For his protection and for my own reputation, I would rather keep a distance. I have had men looking at me the way, exactly as he does, and those men always tell me that they have feelings for me. I know when a man has feelings for me. A girl can tell those things.

That is is all he does, he looks at me in particular way. To be honest I really like the way he looks at me. That is one of the reasons why I started developing feelings for him. But the people who serve at the church have been furious since that day. It is like they have a really big problem with the way he looks at me. They treat me as if I did something wrong. I had to leave my prayer group because someone from the group said in public that a priest cannot give you what you want.

Why did you take it personally? Maybe that person was referring to something else…I mean are you assuming things or did somebody speak to you in a very clear way?

The man looked right at me and said that a priest has everything and doesn’t need anything else. And that a priest cannot give you what you want. So why can’t you give another man that favour? Ok everybody could see how the priest was looking at me during the service that morning. And the unusual look for the people started right after that day. Yes people are talking behind my back but I don’t know what they are saying because I chose not to pay attention to.

Why can’t you give another guy a favour. He was speaking freely, but I know he was talking to me. Since then I have been avoiding making eye contact with the priest. He has been preaching in a way that shows that he is trying to express his feelings. Is that wrong for him to do? Yes people at my church are big on sharing feelings in public. Sometime I wish that he would stop expressing his feelings in public. The past week I posted a message to another priest on Facebook.

What’s his name? So let’s assume that this priest has a soft spot for you…why did you communicate with another priest?

The other priest’s name is Ben. I only sent a message that said, “Were are you now? Do you still go to the same church?” He came back started looking at me across the church and as I was leaving the church he wanted to come and talk to me. I walked fast, just to avoid him.

I was just trying to be kind to the other priest because the other priest has left the church. He was only there because he was done with school and was at the church for training. Since that time he completely avoided making eye contact with me, pretended like I wasn’t there.

When he looks at me at a distance, he looks at me as if I’m hurting him. He hasn’t been smiling, has a depressed look, preaches about humiliation and when a woman leaves a man for someone else, because she wants to explore something else. He also preaches about friends betraying other friends. He spoke as if he was really depressed. I sent him a message and wrote some things that could make him feel good about himself and he has not answered. I think I have created another problem. The other priest…started coming back to the church and is now looking at me. I do not want to hurt people. The priest I have feelings for really draws me to him but I really want that to stop. I cannot believe that I am attracting two unavailable men. I am an introvert person, calm and sits at the back of the church. How am I able to attract two unavailable men? I really have feelings for the first priest. He is such an amazing priest. He has a really attractive personality. But I just want to enjoy his services and enjoy him as my priest for I know nothing can ever happen romantically between us. I only want him to be my priest.

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