We’ve had a record number of responses from our readers to our latest article. We’ve been waiting for a long time to read the message of a priest who is deciding whether to leave the parish and join his woman, or abandon her, and continue with the work in the parish. We wish to say a big thank you to all our readers.
Well some of the readers did not agree with the latest posting. I did leave their message online in order to have a blog which is nearer the truth rather than have one which is all positive and everything is fine. Well the priest who leaves the parish in order to marry, makes a bold statement whether he is conscious of it or not. Now some parishioners are not prepared to handle the truth.
We remember ourselves passing through some of the streets of our town (we live on a very small island!!). Some people just looked the other way. I was shocked at first but with some counselling I realised that they couldn’t handle our new situation. Some of them were embarrassed because they had come to confession and they had ‘emptied their sack’ (as an old saying goes), full of shocking secrets. It happened to our Lord Jesus Christ when he was resurrected. He was the same person, yet nobody was prepared to handle his new situation. In fact, at first, they didn’t recognize Him!
Some of our regular readers were shocked at first by the response of a few of them. Well not all people are going to be happy that Patrick and Michelle are going to get married. Indirectly they are saying: if a priest leaves, I feel at a loss because I’m used to certainties, dogma, truths. Now everything is upside down and I can’t control the situation anymore! So I panick and protest and put all my anger on to such a lovely couple!!
On the other hand, many more people will be happy for both of them. There will be many people who will come forward and understand their challenges and help them. It’s a test time to see who the real friends are…..!!!! Patrick and Michelle, you’re going to be surprised for sure!
One of the most incredible surprises was my late mum who was a priest lover (in the right sense). When I told her some of the true stories about what happens on the inside of the human church she surprised me with a unique response: If I knew about what you were experiencing, I would have come for you, prepared your bags, and took you home! A devout or traditional mum obeys the church…..yet she has a heart which understands what other human beings do not understand!
Other couples were happy because they knew that as a married couple, we were in a better position to understand and minister to them. And this was another surprise for us. We never thought of working again in the church (I would scare people away, one parish priest told me!!), yet the new community was forming in a lovely and surprising manner. One is this huge following on the internet. The other are the true friends who ask me for the sacraments plus spiritual help because they truly believe that once a priest always a priest. At the beginning I was at the point of refusing. But one of them, who knows well the laws of the church, quoted one law which says that a priest cannot refuse a person who is asking for spiritual help (sacramental or not)!
To cut a long story short, I thought that once I leave the parish, I would pack my priestly things and I would have never used them again….yet God has some surprises along the way. Obviously we are not forcing anyone to follow this path. Most married priests refuse to do any work connected with the church. We do respect their decision. We are not here to judge anybody. We do pray for them and for their well being so they’ll live happily ever after.
Incredibly now we are meeting with the real people (most of the church goers, because of various reasons, do not represent the rest of the population). They speak to us honestly. We do not speak from high above (the pulpit [raised stand for preachers in a church]). We speak from our honest experience too. Now we realise that the church is alienated from the real world. We see that we need to help more people. In this phase we can help more because they see us as a normal couple who is facing normal challenges. Surprisingly, they find that the married priest is more available then the so called unmarried priest!!!
May God bless you all!