We wish to make it clear that every love story between a priest and a woman is unique. We cannot generalize about what happens. Today we are sort of thinking about so many women who although they love their priest from a truly holistic point of view, yet the priest never commits himself. It’s very difficult to tell the woman involved that she is being taken for a ride as she loves him thoroughly. Yet we wish to help these women to see reality and not their romantic point of view.

Some of our readers have been in a relationship (including sex) for an incredible number of years….yet they are still enjoying one per cent of their relationship as they cannot walk hands in hands in public. They cannot raise kids together, they cannot simply be together for a long time, without pressure or fear of someone seeing them. They cannot spend significant time together or just be together.  Some would ask: how could a woman tolerate such conditions in her love life? Well, we repeat, we are NOT judges. We understand (=does not mean we agree), because when one is in love, it’s not easy to see reality. On one hand it’s a blind process. On the other hand it makes it crystal clear that one needs to talk about such a relationship with another person in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now the problem is that this situation is already very delicate. Some of our readers are afraid of publishing their stories because other readers may become very harsh in their judgement and simply call for an end to this relationship. Maybe this tradition has been present in our church for many centuries where we were used to condemn all those who had a different opinion. We firmly believe that by stopping the relationship the challenge won’t go away, for both persons. Love is not simply a button/switch to turn it off or on at will. Those who speak about stopping a relationship there and then, surely need to go to the kindergarten’s school of love!

In some cases it could be just an adventure from the part of the priest to have a sexual one and experiment. Some might call it ‘the attraction of the prohibited’. Afterwards, he does not want to be committed in a relationship. Although it hurts, because nobody would like to be used in that way, yet it’s better to wake up to reality now, than later on!

On the part of the woman it could be that in her fantasy the man is Mr Right of whom she has been dreaming for many years. As we have written in earlier blogs, he fulfills all her needs. In many cases, although she might not be thinking about sex, yet she is preparing the way to have a unique and intimate relationship. Now if sex happens or not is not important as there is already a close and unique bond between the two. Sex, in many cases, would the last step in their building up of a relationship. Although we do not wish to put all the emphasis on sex, yet it could be the first wake up for the woman and the priest….wow what’s happening? Where do we go from here? What is our future?

The priest’s most common game would be to justify all that he does…but when it comes to sex, that would be a little bit difficult. In some cases, he would simply disappear never to come back again. Otherwise he would simply find any kind of excuse just to have sex. Some stories written in our email box included: it’s not me, it’s God who is loving you! I love you, there is no sin in loving a person; I can’t live without sex etc……Some priests, in order to escape the judgement of their conscience they might blame the woman! “You tempted me!” Well it takes two to tango.

What interests the woman is: when are we going to start living together as a couple? Well the priest has a lot of excuses such as: just let me think it over… I need to think…..I have to talk to my superiors/confessor/friend….I have to go for a retreat……I need to get to know myself first……….All in all they are good comments. Yet the time frame is the tool which classifies these statements as false or true. Why? Because life is short. We cannot keep procrastinating forever!! OK. Think it over till next year (for example). So please women, it’s better to give a time limit which you think is practical. After that stick to your guns and just leave. Otherwise your priest will become an expert on lies and keeps you hanging on forever. Is that the life you want to live ?

Another practical step would be to stop seeing him after an agreed time frame. A good statement would be: don’t call me or write to me unless you have decided to leave the parish. I don’t wish to waste my time in a useless relationship. We know from experience that this is a very hard decision to stick to as we some women prefer to listen to their heart rather than to their mind, yet not taking drastic action may actually give more power to the priest to keep her hanging on.

What surprises most women is that the priest keeps procrastinating on leaving active priesthood to live with the love of his life. Maybe because he is being served. He is having the cake and can eat it too. We, as married priests would never agree with priests having a clandestine relationship and abusing women. We are of the opinion to come clean and show everybody that the priest loves a woman and according to the bible he wishes to be a priest too. Although not everybody agrees with married priesthood, yet most of them admire us for the courage to take the plunge and to live sincerely without hiding anything. We are coherent with our teachings. We don’t hide anything. We wish to have the bible as our inspiration.

In a way that’s what we are campaigning for: married priesthood. It’s not just a woman that is ‘tempting the priest’ (sorry for borrowing such a horrible expression), but rather many of the priests are not living their celibate call as proved by scientific investigations. Hence we need to see the big picture: can we make celibacy optional? It’s not simply because we want to have sex but rather to witness to the people of God how to live in a normal family life and testify God’s world. Most of us work full time in a different job to earn our living. We work part-timers in the Church. When we work outside the church, we are not on a podium, but that could be the best way to witness our beliefs. Surely the world needs witnesses rather than teachers when it comes to preaching the word of God.