Tag Archive: malta


Let’s start the ball rolling

It’s time to start. It’s time to move on. It’s time to pass into action. It’s time to show that we mean business. It’s time to be on the offensive.

Why are we writing so? One cannot continue to wait forever! There are people who are asking for more priests. We cannot simply turn our heads in another direction! Communities without priests tend to lose direction. They cannot grow spiritually! They need guidance. They need somebody to show them the way. This is the ultimate reason which pushes us into action. The doctor cannot leave a patient unattended. Jesus himself used the example of the doctor.

Obviously there would be some Catholics who would question our authority if we are doing this according to the canon law. Well, when there is an emergency, nobody would ask for papers. We give what we can to help the injured person. Christ himself broke the law when He spoke with public sinners, women and other persons who were ‘outside’ the community for religious reasons. He cured people on a Saturday etc…..He never broke the law to His advantage but to help others. He felt ok with his conscience! The law is there to serve humanity and not vice versa! Besides we are ordained priests forever. One cannot simple delete or postpone our priesthood. Our mass is valid as that of the Pope because we all received the same Holy Spirit in ordination!

Let’s unite behind our married priests in order to promote our cause. Let’s not waste our time in useless fighting! Let’s concentrate on what keeps us as one movement: married priesthood. Let’s not be so weak so as to leave this community just because of some odd comment. We need to be fighters because when we present our ideas, not all the Catholic community would agree with us. We have to face tough time as we have just recently seen with the present Pope. We lost the fight but not the battle! Time is in our favour as more and more people will join our cause and do their part to convince other Catholics of our mission.

In the meantime, if we can, how about attending mass of a married priest? Here is a link for priests in the US. In Europe one can find this list.

After a careful examination of events, with great responsibility, we announce that this year, Pope Francis will let married priests join the rest of priesthood. We will celebrate and be joyful for such event. It shows that notwithstanding the internal pressure of some particular priests and lay people, the Holy Spirit has succeeded in helping the church steer his ship in these troubled waters.

Besides the initial joy and celebrations. What will actually happen? In the Amazon, the people who are already a big asset in the church will continue to do so but now in a new responsibility: that of priesthood! One must note that these people are not coming to church just to be ordained as married priests but that their work is being recognised and given sacramental power.

Other people in other parts of the world will surely comment and feel the practical impact of such a brave and intelligent move by Pope Francis. Most probably they too would ask for married priests. This all depends in the coming days when the document written by Pope Francis will be published. Will it take into consideration other areas of the world? Will it allow freedom of thought in the church? Will it allow the ordination of married men in other parts of the world or will it be just for the Amazon? Truly, is it just the Amazon which needs married priests? What about the rich Western culture of the world besides other areas?

In today’s world we truly believe that the space for big, triumphant churches has no place. Hence the need for more priests to create small living communities. The small communities will need the presence of a priest which is vital for the church. These should not be simply for liturgical purposes but rather as a community, reflect on daily needs of their community in the light of the word of God. The best example is that of Latin American base-level communities. This will be the greatest change in the church!! In the western culture the priest has been tied too much to the liturgical movement. He rarely ventures in the other areas of priesthood. Hopefully, the fact that the priest is married will open his eyes to new realities!

In this sense we hope that married priests will bring about a new reflection in the church. A married priest will press for discussions about married life; about teens and their growing up in today’s world; about relationships; about doing 1001 jobs at the same time; about praying with lots of noises and distractions…

On the other hand, how will other priests react? Will they accept the married ones to work alongside? That we wouldn’t know.

What about the wives of priests? Do they need special instructions how to cope with their husband’s work? We think so. This in order to avoid useless waste of time and energy, or worse, unequal distribution of work. There should be a good timetable in order to balance the duties outside the family with those on the inside. This would be a good example for today’s families.

Let’s pray so that the changes taking place in the church will help the spiritual outcome for all!

We make several experiences, each and every day. An experience could be something ordinary such as a visit to a restaurant or something much deeper such as falling in love.

When we discuss love issues we tend to forget the most important organ of them all – the brain. Once the brain is effected, then the whole personality changes.

It’s very easy to label a woman falling in love with a priest as a psycho (besides other wonderful nicknames!). In our pastoral experience we did encounter women who make up (invent) the story of falling in love with a priest! This doesn’t imply that all women are in the same boat!

On the other hand, once a woman is imagining the love affair, it doesn’t mean that it’s not real (from her point of view).

From a practical point of view we still take the same pastoral approach: we need to lead this person to Christ. We cannot judge or worse look down on people who are passing through such experience. In fact one of the most challenging issues facing young people is that of mental health (visibly shown in eating disorders, drug taking or violent actions).

Obviously, in such a case, we emphasise the need of not talking or communicating with the innocent part – in this case – the priest. The traditional approach is outlined by the phrase: if one is not ok, how can one truly love another person?

This calls for a professional person in order to give an exact picture of the mental situation for the person. As married priests, we are aware that leading a family it clearly outlines our limitations and it calls for a professional approach. We cannot as priests pretend to solve any kind of problem! We have our own kids. We do love them yet they need somebody who is a professional who could lead them in the right way.

The rest of the women who are not psycho are still effected in their mental health. Every love experience drains a lot of energy from a person, especially if the end result is not positive. Most probably most of the women have received bad treatment from their priest. They do need a special treatment in order to regain mental stability.

One of the challenges that mental health is facing is that while a physical wound is easily visible, a psychological one is not visible at all! Yet the effects might linger on for a much longer period of time.

This might make us aware that in such experience we need to make ourselves stronger. Besides, speaking about mental health, should not be a taboo! In this case it is understandable why some women prefer to ‘love’ an impossible choice rather than none at all or others who are still too weak to share their stories!

May God Bless You All, especially those who feel mentally sick.

The present battle regarding married priests is facing a normal challenge throughout the world. In what sense is it normal? Let’s dig deeper to see what it entails.

First and foremost it’s a battle of media. Who shouts louder? Who gets the most coverage? It is apparent that some newspapers are reporting it as though there is going to be a great change. Normally when such announcements are made there is an immediate response of resistance. Change? Why? In what sense? In fact many of the so called conservative media outlets are saying that the changes proposed by Pope Francis are going to damage the church. It’s going to disconnect from its roots!!

Unfortunately some of the media have short memory or loss of memory! Because married priest were present in the beginning of the church and they have been so for the first thousand years of the Catholic church! So is it truly a change? Or is it going back to the roots? It’s very important in ecclesial narrative that we are not actually inventing the wheel but it’s rather removing what’s clogging the wheel! All things and traditions which built up during the centuries which actually are harming the church! This is an important way to win back some of the so called conservatives members of the church.

Another move would be to cancel once and for all the idea that a married priest works less for the good of the church. How about mentioning the present married priests and how they can use time management wisely? There are so many examples to be picked up by the media! Can we help the media?

Another case is that of the many people who have left the Catholic Church but they truly believe that married priests are truly a magnificent asset for the church today. What are they saying about the advantages of having back married priests? Can we reach out to them to hear their honest thinking and opinions?

Consequently this would lead to the greatest change: our view of sexuality. Sexuality might make them feel human and vulnerable. Is our church ready to make a complete change over when it comes to sex? It’s been the joke of the century that most celibate priests dictate what happens between the sheets of the greater percentage of married people in the church!! Shall we continue this living lie? This is one of the areas that is helping people decide to leave and walk on its own. Sexuality is the common link which we might use in order to have people back in the church, if we are truly human and spiritual at the same time!

Deep deep down there is a hidden hatred against women! Although many centuries have passed since the incredible middle ages, yet the effects are still felt. The fact that the church has been dominated by male thoughts for this long, signals the writing on the wall. We allowed this to happen when practically in most families it’s the woman who is in charge for the spiritual well-being of the off-springs! Are the male ones afraid that if we’ll introduce married priests, indirectly, women will be governing the church? It has been proven that it’s more difficult for a celibate priest to say no to a higher authority then a married one…

Another hidden asset in the recent Amazon synod [meeting], was that the Pope gave the voice to the local people who without hesitation pointed out the many multinational companies who are offering some kind of service in exchange of their invaluable piece of land. Does this mean a new change in the Catholic church in how it deals with challenges and how to formulate new teachings? Did the media measure such effects on the world today? Or is some media using the conservatives’ ideas in order to try to break down Pope Francis from protecting the poor and the people without a voice? All in all, all media, what is their hidden agenda? In other words, when we are hearing the media, who pays the journalist who is in front of camera, or teh journalist who is inside a newspaper’s building? The same goes for the blogger or the commentator who floods the internet with his/her comments.

The difficult art of dialogue.

Many people have different ideas about a relationship. They might read books, ask other people, attend seminars etc…but the real test starts when one enters a true and deep relationship with another person. At the beginning of a relationship everything is smooth sailing, until the first storm takes place. Then the true colours of some people come out, vigorously!

The same happened with our married priest argument. At the beginning many people were all united until different opinions have emerged. The situation, like in any other subject, has shown the need for people to become true dialogue practitioners!

Let me say clearly: this is not the end of it! It’s a common crisis where with the help of the Holy Spirit we will come out of it, more mature and more filled with faith! Obviously, everybody has to do his/her part.

First of all we have to admit that not all our readers like to express themselves in writing! So unfortunately, we are never going to read the opinion of all followers. Many others are still afraid to write, as if we’re going to tell their parish who is writing. To tell the truth I don’t know if one is writing from USA, South Africa, Chile, Canada, Europe or the Philippines! Let alone give away their secrets!! We’ll deal with them on a one-to-one basis. It takes a long time and it does not lead to success automatically!

A very small section are comfortable with writing. These are the ones who ‘make a lot of noise’ as we say in jargon. Yet this section does not reflect the opinion of all of our readers!

If we need to convince the rest of the population about married priesthood, we have to start practising dialogue skills between ourselves!

One enters a dialogue with the right mentality: ie I don’t have all the ideas or answers. I’m here to learn and maybe change my opinion. I do use a kind of prayer which helps me see the others not as an adversary but rather as the one who might make me see the hidden side of the argument. It’s not a question of who is right or wrong but rather seeing both sides of the same coin! It’s a question of seeing it from all sides, angles and possible consequences.

I do remember at the University where a lecturer used to listen to our opinion and used to put us in the opposite group (one which was totally opposite to our honest and personal choices!!). In this way we saw our ‘adversaries’ in a completely new light and she made sure that we would truly listen and understand their opinion!! In common English we would use the expression to walk in somebody’s shoes.

In the course of life’s experiences, one meets people who use the dialogue tactics simply to feel the power to manipulate people. Either by one’s nice way, or by other more brutal ones!! One common assumption used by the Catholic Church throughout the centuries was that of fear: either you accept or you’ll be condemned! We cannot use these tactics in the 21st century! Even if the others don’t accept our ideas, it doesn’t mean that they are going to be condemned! It doesn’t mean that we are better than others! In this light, we unfortunately admit that a church document published around 1965 is still largely unknown by many Christians (Gaudium et Spes – The Church in the world today).

In faith, we express differences in a slightly different way. It’s like starting a journey. One starts today, others have already started their journey and others are still at home, not thinking about starting a journey at all! The stage of the journey [beginning, halfway, end], puts us all in different positions but it doesn’t translate into who is better or worse!

Before deciding to embark on a dialogue on some hot potatoes, I would rather enquire about one’s journey of faith, because it makes all the difference before we start our dialogue! One is not expected to forgive one’s enemies if one has never experienced the love-without-conditions of God! This what we mean by a ‘journey in faith’!

We have to over emphasize once again: married priesthood is not going to solve all the problems in the church! It’s not suitable for all priests! It doesn’t mean that we throw away Celibacy.

We are simply indicating another way that it could be another important asset in the church today, taking into consideration what many people think and wish for!

One final condition: many church goers and other sections of society have only listened to one boring and repetitive answer to married priesthood: NO. They still need to hear our fresh and daring opinion: the married priest will find a practical and direct God in his relationship with his wife and children. As the document in the Church in the world today [mentioned earlier], it makes the church more near the people of today who live in the trenches of one’s life!

It seems that most of us are on a holiday mood as fewer readers are writing these last days. Well, enjoy your holidays! In the meantime let’s continue praying for our most important wish: to have married priests. We know that it’s going to be a true ‘battle’ for the Catholic Church to allow such an important move, but prayers move mountains. Let’s be men or women of faith. Yes, we can change the church through Jesus Christ. Let’s not be without faith. Let’s not talk like they do in talk shows, newspapers or the internet. We do profess our faith in Jesus Christ: the one who resurrected Himself.

In the meantime I wish to make a public call so that more women come forward and let me publish their story. Although we never force anyone to publish their story, yet we are short of stories. People need current relationships with priests in order to prove our point that you’re not alone in this world. Many others are leading a hidden relationship. If we all raise our hands, then all the world will hear us. In that case, the change will be easier. One story might inspire other women to come forward and spill the beans!

May God Bless you all!

Finally we have another true and interesting story between priests and a woman. Please read carefully. We have to remember that we are not gods. There is no room for judging. Hopefully it will enlighten other women to come forward with their story. Our blog’s main aim is to tell more people that what happened in secrecy to your private and personal life, is not just you. There are so many others who out of shame, they don’t trust to share their story. We are changing names in order to protect one’s identity. Please remember that our duty is to support our writer in various ways such as writing our response or to pray for her in our daily prayers.

I am Chloe. I want to present my story.

One New Year’s Eve, I prayed to God to bring the right man into my life. On, January 3, while in church, on the Feast of the Epiphany, I experienced a spiritual anomaly. As the priest shook my hand a white stream of light pierced my soul, and the priest had a white light around his eyes. Bewildered, I complained to God, explaining to him, that we have rules down here, and surely he was wrong. This non-relationship lasted for over a two year period and was exclusively a spiritual connection. I had planned to relocate and I did. When I went back to visit, I was aware that parishioners treated me differently. Eventually, he quit the priesthood and I waited, and waited. Eventually, I protected myself from the spiritual connect. The next thing I knew he was parked on the street outside my house. Days and days, until neighbors noticed. I was uncomfortable with this behavior. Why didn’t he knock on my door? If he had courage, I would probably be with him today. However, it is a perfect example of the immaturity of a priest. He left and went back home. I expected that he would get married, but he never did. That was priest #1.

Priest #2. I was in church, and when our eyes met, I knew that he had a crush on me. A spiritual revelation. Within a week, he took a vacation and was transferred in a month. But not before telling “who knows who” because I started getting “the look”. There was no spiritual connection and that is the end of the story.

Before I get to priest #3, let me say that I have been living my life, going to work, going to church and no one is interested in dating me. Not one non-clerical man has asked me on a date. Nor, was there a man that I saw, priest or not, that “turned my head.” I have not pursued any dating sites, nor have I been unhappy about it. I felt that love was in my past.

Priest #3: New priest to the parish. I ran into him in a store, I introduced myself, and we exchanged pleasantries, and went our individual ways. A couple of aisles later, my impulse was to go back to him. I shook my head, amazed at my desire. It was in the spirit. I dismissed it. Years went by, and we would chat, and from time to time he would act odd. He would often appear in my path. A quick exchange. One Christmas we hugged, a bear hug, and I could feel his spirit jumping and mine as well. He held me a couple of beats too long, but it was nice. Perplexing.

Years later, I had a reading of hearts and I knew that he had love for me. I ran. But this man grabbed my soul and has not let go. This exchange has been all-encompassing. The feelings of love are mutual. He too told and I got “the look”. He confronted Priest #2 and only I saw his fury.

I want to share this and I am hoping that someone else has had an experience similar to mine. I have so many questions. Why #1, #2, and #3? I hold things in my heart, private things, similar to how Mary held things in her heart. I don’t have an agenda, only to walk in God’s will. I get frightened. I am uncomfortable in church. I worry that I am being deceived. Am I sane? But, then faith comes back and I know that Jesus loves me. Never the less, the back and forth between doubt and faith is exhausting. Plus, it is just bazaar and secretive. No one with whom I can share. Many, many negatives. Only the love is the constant, but it can’t be dismissed either.

A very common expression used in these last years is that we have the whole world at our fingertips. It refers to the internet where one can use various electronic gadgets to keep updated about friends, news, articles and lots of other items.

Is it truly the whole world? Does somebody who stays inside all the time, enjoy life to the full? We know that the young of today are truly addicted to the internet. As they are connected 24/7, they wish to comment and read all the time. It’s not the first time in a restaurant to see a whole family busy texting on their mobile phone whilst not talking to each other!

Those working with the young people of today, know really well, that the virtual world, although it certainly has many advantages, it can never substitute 100% face to face relationships!

Why are we focusing on the digital world? There are some common points with our main issue: married priesthood. Like in the digital world, priests cannot discard relationships! The priest has been seen as a person who provides a service to the others. OK. But how about his need for an interactive relationship with another adult, who is not their ‘client’ to ask for his services but to be a companion in his journey of faith?

We have always insisted that when a woman falls in love with a priest, there is no carbon copy of how the story starts and unveils. Yet some common lines are found in all stories. Practically, if there is something missing in the formation of future priests is the attention given to the priest for his basic human need. Everybody needs : attention; love; personal interest; someone with whom they can interact.

God created us in this way. It’s not something to be ashamed of! We need others to be healthy from a human point of view. In other words, we are NOT islands!

Now obviously some people might explain the important use of celibacy in priesthood. Without neglecting its importance, one can theologically define that priesthood cannot be tied to celibacy. This has been written in the teaching of the church. In practical words, not every single priest has the necessary charisma to live it in his daily life! Now because celibacy has been practically imposed on all priests we tend to witness abuses of all types and sorts! This has been proved scientifically too! It’s no use to write that abuses happen in marriages too. Yes they do happen in marriages too but some priests have abused because they have never been prepared for celibacy. We can’t deny this. They have been stripped of a basic human need without their full knowledge.

Why do we insist on relationship building? Because it’s the concrete structure which builds the local parish. What makes a parish different from a large organisation if relationships disappear? If the priest lives a real relationship in a family, it is a big advantage to all the parishioners. This not only regards understanding human problems in everyday running, but as well the need to live a life to the full. A spiritually and humanly ‘charged’ priest will be in a better position to manage a parish.

A relationship is not a bed of roses! But this side of the married experience too will help the priest to face all challenges in the parish. It will help him understand a lot of aspects in a relationship where they would be otherwise left undiscovered!

We make an appeal so that new readers would publish their stories about falling in love with a priest. We promise to change name details and other aspect in order to hide one’s true identity.

The Pope surprises everybody

The Pope has surprised everybody by announcing new measures to combat sexual child abuse. We are very happy because finally the church has started to project itself differently. The pope has proved that he does listen to his critics. He did something tangible to create a new image of the church which is fundamental after the tragedy of sexual child abuse. The effects will surely put the church in a good light in the long run.

Is it enough? Well, some people are still not 100% happy because any law which does not state what kind of punishment could be given, is still not a good law. We don’t know who is going to supervise all the dioceses of the church to see if it’s being put into practice or not. It is quite demanding to have an eagle eye on such a gigantic organisation!

Our point is still: why force celibacy unto priests? It is not enough to cure people after an accident. How about avoiding it in the first place? We are not against celibacy. We are only stating the obvious: make it optional. The enormous number of priests would immediately suggest that not all of them will observe celibacy whether it’s with a young child, woman, man or whatever!

The priests are practically NOT trained to live a celibate life. They are not trained how to accept and direct their emotions. They live with other boys or men especially in the initial years. They don’t have a family to take care of; they don’t have to face violent, critical or drugged teens in their house. They just go out and preach! All this will have an effect on their work in a parish.

In many seminaries (training grounds for priests), priests are simply used to the liturgy and how to observe in a meticulous manner, the laws which command public worship. Yet outside the mass hours, are they trained to do a truly pastoral work? Do they know how to plan work in a parish? Do they know how to deal with adults? Are they trained for Adults’ Catechesis? Are they ready to leave the ‘home’ advantage of working in the temple/church and visit people in other environments? What about working alongside the so called ‘laity’?

Although there are many answers to the questions we have just raised, yet the married priesthood could be another asset for the church today. Although there are many baptised people who a see a value [rightly so] in celibacy, there is a large number of people who are actually put away with this undemocratic enforcement of celibacy. Are we going to send the latter away? Are we going to insist that we are right and they are wrong? Where is the spirit of the Church in the modern world where it listens and looks for the hidden writing of the Holy Spirit?

We firmly believe that if we want our priests to be involved in our daily lives, then a married priest would already be with both feet ‘in’. It could be a catapult to help him work better and offer a better service to the parish!

Why is Pope Francis hesitating?

Most commentators speak or write about the Catholic Church as outsiders or as people who don’t know what’s going on. It’s like when you hear that a couple has just separated! For all those who do not form part of their inner circle, it’s a big shock! Surprisingly, the couple itself may have been thinking of separation for many weeks or perhaps years!

Why is Pope Francis so hesitant? Well after so many centuries of biased teaching against women how can he reconcile the idea of priests living 24/7 with a woman? We have witnessed for many years that intelligent women were classified as if having a special connection with the devil! There couldn’t be an intelligent woman, if yes, then there was witchcraft somewhere, somehow!

Priests on their own will be more easy to control. Having a woman alongside might present problems as she might speak truthfully and directly contrary to many priests who still value obedience above justice or retribution! And what about divorce? What if the relationship gets sour? What will happen? Will the priest divorce? Will he live with another woman? That will be too much to accept!

Priests, although they speak about marriage, makes them the most vulnerable people in marriage because they have no experience of a true, deep relationship. Nowadays they used to being transferred after some years. From our point of view, married priests, if helped to meet the right partner and grow up in emotional maturity, might bring a new reflection to divorce and all that pertains to marriage!!

Priests

[like politicians]

occupy a central position in society. They are surrounded by people who practically adore them. They find most of the work done by others. They simply have to come in and finish it themselves whilst taking all the glory! Having a family will destroy his free time and his free roaming around at will. How can a priest submit himself to another human being [woman]? Or how can he take care of child 24/7? That will be too much!

Another reason which tops it all is that of priests who are married. They are still seen as lepers! They have left because they were not capable of living the priestly life. How can he let them back again? If they are allowed to come back, other priests might protest that they have remained ‘faithful’ to their call whilst they have to work with others who have simply betrayed their calling!

We know that these priests who have left have not betrayed anyone because they have been faithful to their conscience because they couldn’t hide their spiritual and emotional growth. They didn’t want to live a double life. On the contrary, other priests might have stayed because they were too afraid to make the big decision or because they found the normal life too threatening!

In the meantime, if the Pope doesn’t make this bold step forward, he might be condemning the church to just a few followers as many have chosen to vote with their feet. We had already many issues in the church (most popular at the time of the council was the ‘no’ against contraceptives), which made most of the flock to leave! Shall we have the situation where priest celebrates mass on his own or with very few people?

The Catholic Church is in no position to dictate what other people have to do especially after the Pell trial in Australia! Married priesthood would be the first step in the right direction to start building people’s faith in the church once again. Married priests will surely bring about other significant changes. At the same time we have to realise that a change never comes from those who are leading a happy life! It’s the people who are suffering who push for a change. Those areas without a priest should seek married ones. No priest can deny spiritual help to baptised people (that’s a law of the church!). Let’s start the change by knowing where married priests are and ask for their services! Just have a look at these websites: USA; Europe.