Tag Archive: Maltese Passports


The ‘Amazon’ Synod

We are so enthusiastic about the synod being conducted in Rome. We saw several women together with indigenous people from the enchanting and unique area of the amazon. It is another attempt to re-live the second experience of the Second Vatican Council which was celebrated some years ago [1963-1965].

We all know that the Council of around fifty five years ago has been relegated to just a past document. Surprisingly even Popes passed legislations which went against the spirit of the council!! But this is the church after all. One can imagine how difficult it is today when discussing something in the family especially with teenagers! Now it consists of just a few people who all live under the same roof. Now imagine discussing hot issues with millions of people coming from all parts of the world. We saw it on this blog too that when some people do not agree. It’s not a bed of roses!

All in all we are more optimistic today because contrary to the times of the council where the majority of the people were still brainwashed, now the majority had the guts to think differently from the people in authority in the church! The Catholic Church has lost so many people. It cannot afford to let go more people!

The fact that the church is going to let married priests [hopefully] celebrate mass, will bring about the much needed oxygen in the church. Married priests, should start their participation by reflecting on their daily experience. Especially in the amazon area where it will bring a shift in the mind of the church. We shall discuss environment issues as they concern not only the local people but all the people of the world where the amazon is defined as the lungs of the world!

Environment issues should become central teaching of the church. It should investigate the modern ways workers [modern slaves] are treated especially when multinational companies enter into so called poor countries and dominate the lifestyle and the economical well being of so many people!

It’s an open secret that we need married priests in the Western World too. How about the difficulties being faced by young people today? Mental illnesses, relationships, finding the right job or no jobs at all, difficulties of buying a house/flat etc…As already stated in the council, one starts with the normal and daily experience of the people in order to create the necessary trust which might lead to God. A married priest can give a first hand account of such difficulties and hopefully will be reflected in more up-to-date documents issued by the Vatican!

Contrary to the Council of some years ago, the married priests will remain a living testimony to the present synod and there is no danger that it will be put under the carpet in order not to create ‘waves’ in the church!

We are hopeful too that those contrary to married priests, by time will realise the great step forward which will benefit the whole church. Any change in the church should be done not to become a modernised church but to put people nearer to God. Now living amongst the majority of the people, will be a special occasion to show them the way to the Lord!

Churchgoers and the unchurched!

Young people struggle to find their place on earth. They have to get to know themselves really well in order to find what are they going to do with their own lives. Consequently they’ll find the right job and then hopefully, the right partner!

I see something similar in the church. We all know that life has changed drastically. We see things differently for various reasons. What about the church? Well many people have left. Others have stayed. Yet, on what level do they participate? Most of them simply follow the same timetable and principles for ages. Others are contrary to any change. Surveys have shown that most people who are still attending church, are in their majority ‘conservative’ people. It means that they oppose great changes for whatever reason! Some of these people would like to remove Pope Francis just because they think he is taking away the old teaching of the church. Well, they are truly ignorant of the gospel because most of the apostles were married!! See https://www.thedailybeast.com/vatican-may-approve-married-priests-but-conservative-catholics-arent-celebrating

So can one expect great changes? I don’t think so because the most people who are the right agents for change have long left. So who can make changes after all? Sincerely we don’t have an answer!

This is in part the society of today: we wish to make changes yet no one would like to be in the midst of the struggle! When we were young they used to tell us the story of the mice and the big, ferocious cat. The mice had their meeting in order to put a bell around the neck of the cat. After hours of discussion, one old mouse, in a soft voice just asked: Who is going to put the bell around the cat’s neck? Silence fell. It’s useless that we would like changes to take place if we abandon the church!

I know from experience that going for church’s meetings it’s not the most interesting job of the world. Sometimes one has to meet lots of old people (with all due respect to the old ones whom we cherish a lot). Most of them seem to be stuck in the 1900s! We see the usual faces. Very rare to see new ones! Besides, the young ones are not easy to make them attend besides the 1001 appointments that they have to attend to!

To add insult to injury, in the world, in a generic sense, there is a lot of prejudice or ignorance of what the true religion says! So many valid persons who have lots of talents, won’t come to church owing to prejudice, ignorance or outright hate of all that pertains to the religious world! This is one of the most challenging visions of the church. How can we bring back the lost majority? What kind of teaching do we present? What are people looking for?

Again we present the married priest as a one who is living in the world today! He has the right mixture to be an ambassador to many young, adults or non-believers. The fact that they see him struggling with everyday normal timetables, would be a great asset. As Pope Paul the sixth once wrote: the world doesn’t need preachers but rather people who testify with their own lives!

We either grow or die!

Children are easily noticed when they get taller. All of us do notice the rate of growth of the young ones. We, as adults, we are growing up very day! It seems so obvious that most of us don’t notice at all! What’s natural and happening everyday seems to get sandwiched between our 1001 jobs we have to do daily.

How do we grow up? Obviously not getting taller! But we are making experiences and reflections in our daily journey. As spiritual beings we tend to look beyond the experience. We are humans who ask many questions.

It has become obvious that as a spiritual community all of us have different ideas, characters, upbringing etc…But lately the going is getting a little bit more challenging. There are some who are not open to change [like in many other sections of the population]. Others who would like to take a commanding role [either you do as I’m telling you or I’m quitting]. Some others go on a rampage by labelling others [including myself]. A few have chosen their role: to be judges!

Can we move forward in this way? Well, in the moments when I feel it’s getting dark, I would grasp the bible in my hands and look for inspiration. Yes, Jesus Christ could have started and set everything ready made in His church. Yet He didn’t do it! He wished to have 12 frail men to command it. Where they the best people on earth at that time? Definitely not. It’s not me who is leading his church. It’s the Holy Spirit who is continually cleaning and sanctifying His church. Do we truly believe this?

This is the biggest change in teaching. We are bombarded by negative news. It’s so easy to fall in the prey of today’s so called journalists. It seems that there is negativity all around! How can I believe in the ‘nuclear’ news of the gospel? From this aspect, we are seeing what we DO NOT AGREE IN. In this way we are undermining our community. We have to believe that as a community we are obliged to take care of each other.

This is like friends. When we are young we tend to think that our best friends seem to be our photocopies. As we grow older, we notice many areas were we disagree completely! We are best friends not because we agree on all subjects, but rather for other reasons! The same goes for our community. We are trying to give a message to the world: married priesthood will be a blessing to our wider Catholic community. Now if we remain separated or everybody in the comfort of his house but disregarding the calls of his brothers/sisters, then we fall down. All of us. The entire community.

I did my doctoral thesis on the role of the community. I lived in a community 24/7. For some time, I lived in an international community of nearly 200 people. I know what it takes to live in a community. I know all the pros and cons. I do distinguish though, the online community from other communities. In fact some people play the bully role simply for the fact that they are behind a screen and they think nobody can get their true identity!

I never told anybody to leave. I hope I will never do that. But some people seem to abandon the community because the community is growing. Growing means taking a different path in our journey. Now I know that most human beings are so diffident with change. Yet, looking out of the window and seeing the wind blowing, I realise that it’s not the most ‘strong’ tree that will resist the wind but the most flexible one. The flexible ones seem to be so frail as they are going in all directions when the wind blows heavily. Surprisingly those who seem to be so strong are the most likely ones to be uprooted! Technically because they try to stop the wind, which of course is unstoppable, like change!

One final note: I have been there many times when there was discord amongst a community. I do feel that God is telling us to move forward, with or without these members. It’s up to them to either get on the bus again or risk of being left behind!

Pluralism of thought

Walking along a main street in any city today, gives one the impression of today’s civilisation: everybody seems to be walking all alone as most people are not looking sideways, forward or backwards but are busy reading their tiny screen held in their hands!

Are we becoming islands? Generally speaking, in most writings on our blog, it seems that some people think that they are living on an uninhabited island! This is because like horses, they only see one view. Obviously the one that counts is their view!! Like the person looking onto their mobile phone who is blind to other happenings, one cannot see other views because one is cut off from reality.

When it comes to emotions, it’s already so difficult for a person to understand what’s going on, let alone somebody else from a different country with a different background, upbringing etc…

In a way, as Christians, we remember that only God sees in the darkest areas of our lives or other unspoken realities of which we may be totally blind! He is the true Judge who sees what others cannot see or imagine!

Falling in love is the most complicated form of action taking place in our bodies. We are first speaking from a chemical point of view. Same wise for emotions and human growth. What happens in our lives is not that easy to explain. We might put it into words, but words alone are not enough to experience what other people are experiencing. Our blog is becoming more popular because we are discussing something which is not allowed in most other Christian blogs!

But allowing people to air their views, emotions, experiences etc… does not automatically make mature readers! It’s easy to fall into temptation in condemning or labelling one’s opinion! In this area, we do feel that we need to grow. We can only present our experience and let the person decide, even if it’s against what everybody thinks or wish for. When we hear people, in some cases we are directing them to a particular conclusion. In other words we would be telling what to do. This is a very old idea of counselling which however surfaces every now and then.

We insist again, letting priests becoming biological fathers will help them too in this area. It’s not easy to tell your own sons/daughter what to do. In today’s world they need a real dialogue. Dialogue does not mean converting your own son to your own ideas, but to explore more ideas together. Finally, our sons and/or daughters are becoming adults with the right to go for a different choice then the one we discussed about!

On the other hand, those who are brave enough to share their loving experience with a priest, should not be blind and deaf to what others have written about. Experience is something which one cannot achieve in a short time. Time has to pass by in order to gain some experience. There is no fast forward button! In this sense, a dialogue has to be practised on both sides. They too need to truly listen to others although they have the right for a different solution.

Another important principle: if I have a particular experience about women-priests relationship, it doesn’t mean that all experiences are going to pass through the same path! Every person is different. Every priest is different. Every country is different. Time is changing too. What was taboo for some parts of the world, now it now longer holds water. They are in fact opening up to new ideas. This is our greatest asset that most Catholics do understand that a married priest is in a good position today to evangelise other people. It’s a missing link which might add to a multicoloured church with various experiences, traditions and people!

Hello! My name is Laura. I want to share with you my relationship with my priest.

I’m a separated woman. I had to leave my husband of 5 years. He had betrayed me and now has another family, though we are still not divorced officially.

First of all let me be very clear: The priest is the one who started the relationship. I knew him for over 6 years at that time. Because of our mutual friendship, we got closer. Once after dinner, we went for a walk. Suddenly he held me and kissed me. He did admit of having feelings for me. At that time I was still struggling, but he told me that he wasn’t going to force me to have a loving relationship. He just wanted to stay close. After around 2 months he showed that he cared for me a lot. At that time I had some feelings too towards him. He told me I could trust him. He showed many signs that he really loved me. Time passed by and we became closer and knowing each other more. I fell in love deeply. He introduced me to his mother and to his family

Then sex happened. It has been going on for these last 2 years, till a few months ago. I got pregnant. As soon as I gave him the wonderful news, he astonished me by saying that we couldn’t keep this baby. I was so depressed hearing him say such a thing. I plainly told him that I couldn’t accept. At last he changed his mind. He considered to keep the baby. However I had a miscarriage. Could we keep our relationship I pondered silently…?? We had some serious arguments.

He suddenly said that maybe it was God’s sign to stop having sex outside marriage! We needed to stop having sex and keep our friendship platonic. He told me that he had confessed already, and that he loved me so much. His wish was to stop having sex. Consequently we couldn’t sin any more.

We could keep our love relationship but just without sex…. I asked point blank: Why not leave priesthood and get married? It’s so weird…He emphasized that he loved me so much, but that he couldn’t leave priesthood.

Since last January, something happened. We keep arguing about something trivial. We argue about some family affairs about his sister..?? He has now turned to be an emotionless person, with less hugs, kisses and less dating with me. I try to talk to him, but he says that everything is fine. He gives the excuse of too much work and that he feels tired. He continues to say that he still loves me. He just brushes me aside with the expression that he loves me so much. He urges me not to worry.

On the other hand he thinks that the fighting is God’s sign to show him that he is wrong, but he does feel his love for me. The priest thinks that he needs to follow his vow of celibacy, because he did promise to God that he will be faithful to his promise. But celibacy is not a divine law, it’s a human law after all!

I don’t understand…I feel so confused. What can I do? I really love him and I cannot live without him. What should I do? What should I tell him???

I would like to write about a whole book about this story but I prefer to let the readers air their views. Please let’s not blame the person who was/is in a frail situation. Let’s walk in her shoes.

There are various studies about the role of the priest. There has been several contributions in this field. It adds to our golden treasure in the Catholic Church. We should be aware of the contributions of several people at the Universities who in silence and great patience try to discover what’s in the Bible and beyond. They bring about a silent revolution. Unfortunately, their works remain hidden in libraries and very few people will get to know about their sterling work. Here we are providing just two links: the priest in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

On the other hand, a book cannot tell people what to do in various particular situations. In other words, although we need to know our past, yet the present and the future call for a new solution. Why is this? It’s for one simple reason: the role of the priest revolved around the temple or of offering a sacrifice to the Highest One. Now we all know that most churches are becoming simply museums. They have a glorious past, but there aren’t any more people!

In this case, shall we continue to focus on the temple [church], when people aren’t coming? In old medieval cities, all life evolved around the temple. Nowadays, the temple is just a building. There are a lot of people who are not aware of having a church in their neighbourhood. This is because the importance of a church in their lives has greatly diminished!

In this sense our call for married priesthood is a link to the outside world. The priest, having children, has to follow his sons and/or daughters in their lives. Consequently as a parent he has to face all the challenges facing young people today. It’s a way to invite the priest to leave the comfort zone of the temple and go out and meet today’s world where the criteria are completely different!

Meeting other parents, the priest may recognise the need of family visiting where he meets people in their own comfort zone. From personal experience, I know that people talking in their house are completely different than people who speak in a church! On thing leads to another. So the image of the priest cannot be that of one who leads the congregation in a church but more of somebody who would like to give a personal invitation for a reflection about life and offering a different choice.

We are not implying that liturgy [public worship] is not important. But we cannot administer the sacraments if the people don’t know anything about them. It’s time to reinforce the catechumenate where people spend some time preparing themselves before being admitted into the Catholic Church. Statistics prove that the people attending church are becoming a diminishing minority. Shall we focus on this small part of the cake and leave the majority like abandoned sheep? Jesus Christ was prepared to leave the 99 to go for the missing one. Are our parishes looking for the missing oneS [plural on purpose].

One surprising reflection on the New Testament is that Jesus Christ celebrated mass only once in his entire life on earth although there is a written record of attending the synagogue. He spent most of his time teaching people. Are our parishes giving so much energy in teaching and helping the faith of all the parishioners?

One stumbling block is that priests in a parish are calculated according to how many masses are celebrated during the weekend. This leads to a total disaster because the priest is not simply a celebrant or administrator of the sacraments. This is just a small slot in his busy timetable. We would be discarding an important part of his mission. On the positive side, this could be the reason by which married priests might be introduced in the Catholic Church.

All in all, it points to one direction: we need to reflect on the bible about the priest’s role to be more faithful to our Catholic tradition, yet we need to adapt to today’s changes where the priest is practically an unknown person in the modern cosmopolitan city.

I met M in the summer of 2010 on an online dating site. Of course, he didn’t tell me (or anyone) that he was an ordained Roman Catholic Priest at that time. We struck up a conversation and within 2 weeks decided to meet for coffee.

I knew I liked him immediately and he seemed to be drawn to me as well. On our second date, after pressing for a little more information about him, other than what he’d told me (he was currently in graduate school), he finally revealed his “profession.” I was definitely shocked, but it didn’t bother me.

I was raised Jewish and live a very open-minded type of life. I think people deserve to be happy and I believe that God would want us to be. I don’t think I had ever met a priest before and I knew nothing about Catholicism other than whatever I had garnered from news and popular culture. Anyway, M’s profession didn’t stop me from wanting to get to know him more, although he warned me that he was a year away from finishing school and wouldn’t be able to maintain a relationship after that. 

At first, I was alright with the idea of a short-term fling. I really liked him and was attracted to him. He obviously felt the same about me, but he did maintain some boundaries to the physical side of the relationship, at least at first. A few months in was when the problem really started. I was definitely falling in love with him and I knew he was doing the same, even though he kept insisting this relationship had a very definite end-date when he graduated. Nevertheless, we kept seeing one another. It was probably both the dumbest thing and the smartest thing I have ever done. While he was in school (thousands of miles from his hometown) getting further education in a specialized area for his future job, we maintained relative anonymity. My friends didn’t question what he “did” outside of being a grad student and no one in his world knew about me. 

After a year, we were definitely in too deep to stop but the time came for him to go back to his hometown. I couldn’t drop everything and follow him, so we maintained a long-distance relationship for 2 more years. We did try to end it at one point but neither of us wanted that. We would visit every few months but we wrote and talked on the phone daily. Throughout this time, he continued to insist that he could never leave the priesthood but I continued to love him despite that and couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. 

Around the 3-year mark, I decided I wanted a change of pace (and careers) and I moved out to be closer to him. We ended up buying a house about 20 minutes away from his home and parish, but over state lines so that I lived in a different diocese and he could come visit on the weekends, fairly anonymously. We lived this secret and double life quite well, even though it was hard on me both to see him so little – as you know, his job as a priest was very demanding – and to have to hide myself and our relationship from others who knew him. One of the hardest parts was not being able to spend holidays together. He had church and family obligations and I was alone, thousands of miles away from my family. Over time, I urged him to consider leaving active ministry, even to just take a break and figure things out, but it just wasn’t the right time and I felt in my heart that if I didn’t pressure him, he’d eventually come around. I had no doubt he loved me very much. The question was just always, did he love me “enough?” 

Another question was “how long can we keep this up?” We had a few close calls with being found out but we managed to keep our relationship a secret, even while living so close and spending so much time together. Until the Spring of 2016. That’s when everything changed. His Associate Pastor lived next door and had been noticing my car around regularly when I would come over for dinner or to visit M. Around April or May of 2016, almost 3 years after I had moved out there to live near M, and nearly 6 years into our relationship, this man decided to voice his concern to M’s church superiors. We don’t think he suspected the full truth of what was going on but he said he was concerned that M was becoming too close to a woman. 

In June of 2016, M was called to speak to his Vicar General, second in charge after the Bishop. The Vicar General relayed the concerns that had been brought to him by the Associate Pastor and M recalls having the realization that this was “it.” His moment of truth. He could easily have talked his way out of the situation and reassured his superior that nothing was happening, but he decided to come clean and reveal our long-time relationship and his choice to continue it. 

A few more conversations later, within about a week’s time, M was relieved of his duties and moved his few belongings into the house we owned across town. We lived together for a year before having our civil wedding and it took one more year for all of M’s paperwork to get fully completed to allow him to marry in the church. We had our Catholic wedding in the summer of 2018, almost exactly 8 years from our first date. 
Despite our happy ending, I don’t want to downplay how hard the entire thing was.

The relationship had very high highs and very low lows. There was nothing fun or exciting about being a secret. I often worried that M didn’t love me enough to make our relationship real, but I did have some deep faith or intuition that he did and I just had to be patient. I would never recommend this type of relationship to anyone else. I could have just as easily been heartbroken and shattered if M were not as good of a person as he is. If you are reading this and are in love with a priest, don’t ever be fooled into thinking that he will easily give up his vocation to be with you. I know the reality is that most never will. 

We are approaching our 2nd wedding anniversary and 9th anniversary of being together and I still love him as much as ever (possibly more). So I have no regrets, only gratitude that I get to tell a story that ends in our happiness. M is a braver and stronger person than he ever thought, and over the past couple of years we have made an amazing life for ourselves. I truly believe that God brought us together and I’m grateful to have found my soulmate, despite how difficult it was to get to this point.