Tag Archive: priest loves a woman

Going alongside the big wave

One of the things which effects our society is that without knowing it we are living as if in separate compartments! How many times we notice people eating at a restaurant, yet they talk very little, all glued to their mobile phones? Others on a train, bus etc… all searching on their mobile phone. What’s happening to our society? In this change of humanity it’s going to be extra difficult to explain to people about any subject. We do remember nostalgically the times when we used to have arguments on a bus or any other public place. Yet, most of us are silent, reading on our mobile phones. Most probably we are just updating ourselves about the latest gossip or non-significant news!

As always, more than crying or reminiscing about the past, we have to live today. How can we turn the internet in our favour? In this sense, we are not without hope. This blog has started being unnoticed for the first few years. Where are we now? We have hundreds of followers without spending one dime in publicity! It’s the quest for information which has brought so many followers. Every women falling in love or meeting the priest who shows more than just some interest, are going to start thinking and looking for other people having similar experience/s. Although the internet was promoted for free views, there are very few spaces on the internet which openly discuss love with a priest!

Our aim is not simply to attract women having relationships with priests, but rather the general public. First of all we need the help of all our readers! Everybody nowadays has at least one social account! If one shares our thoughts on social media, we would be making our presence felt. Today we can do publicity without asking big companies to do this job. Personally we don’t like big companies not only because we have to fork out a hefty sum of money but rather because we don’t like large crowds. We need the right people instead. In other words, we need people who are not brainwashed. Experience have taught us that it’s useless to spend time arguing with some people especially in the Catholic Church.

One big asset is the big link people feel about married priests. He is married too. He has kids. He faces the same challenges! The people already feel that this change should be made possible in the church. So what are we afraid of?

Besides another great asset is the consequence of married priests. Just looking at past history in theology we see that most of the time we have discussed issues which were so important for non-married priests, yet they had little relevance in the life of the married people which always formed the biggest group in the church! The married priest does not need any conference or wake up call to investigate the family today. He is facing such challenges on a daily basis!

As we would be conducting dialogue on the internet, we expect the repetition of old ideas. Can the priest have a family and minister to the people? Well it has become a joke lately. If one just looks at churches in the Western part of the world, one cannot ignore the fact that most churches are empty. So why are we continuing this lie of a priest who has a lot of work to do??!! It’s an open secret that the sacrament of reconciliation has practically disappeared for most people! Mass has lost its attraction to so many people. In fact it’s not uncommon to hear people saying that they skip mass regularly. There are many other experiences which prove that the so called traditional work in the church is getting less and less.

The married priest movement has the power to present the teaching of the church [including some significant changes] from the point of view of a married person who is trying to teach his own sons and/or daughters who are growing up and challenging every sign of law, obedience and tradition!

In any case we are firmly convinced that nobody can stop the big wave. We can postpone it for some time, but one day it will take over. Married priesthood is a must for the Catholic Church today.

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 would like the opinion of honest and ordinary people who think about the church and its priests.  Today we are publishing the opinion of somebody who left the Catholic Church and he is just thinking about the life of a married priest in the church today. The married priesthood movement is the one which should make the church more significant where consequently it builds bridges with today’s world.

It’s interesting that at the beginning of the married life, most priests don’t think of working as a married priest. Yet, deep down, most of the priests don’t leave because they want to leave faith but rather because they find themselves at odds with some or most of the teaching of the church. In fact as soon as they meet people, especially those living in the periphery of the church, they find once again their vocation to preach to those who are left behind! They realise that they are now working and doing the real pastoral work as they are meeting people who feel that they cannot participate in the Catholic Church for one reason or another.  It’s the Jesus of the gospel who speaks and mingles with the outcasts……whilst the priests of that time shunned these very people.

The second part of the story, which is the most interesting, is about being prophets: we might not see the fruit of our labour. This should be the vocation of every married priest and his significant other. Don’t expect all the church to be happy with your decision but keep moving and working. One day the other part of the Catholic Church would embrace your vocation. The prophets see the future because they follow the signs of the times. Happy reading!

Among the teaching nuns at St. Matthew’s Catholic School, Sister Mary Robert was my favorite. She was young, not yet 30, with a gentle face framed by the starched white wimple. She tamed a classroom of hormone-dizzy eighth-graders by making us want to please her. We offered up our compositions and our ventures in iambic pentameter, and were rewarded with encouragement that, at least in my case, never wore off.

Not many years after I left St. Matthew’s, I left the church. Leaving your church is not so much like quitting a club as emigrating from the country where you grew up. You forfeit citizenship and no longer consider yourself subject to its laws, but you follow the news from the Old Country and wish its people well, because they are still in some sense your people. And if you write for a living you may sometimes write about that world, from a distance.

Last year, 50 years after eighth-grade graduation, Sister Mary Robert saw something I wrote on this subject and sent me a letter. Only she was no longer Sister Mary Robert. She had met a priest, Father John Hydar. They fell in love and, after extricating themselves from their respective religious vows, they married. At the time of her letter the marriage of Roberta (her reclaimed birth name) and John Hydar was in its 41st year, and it seemed to be a happy one.

If I’m an émigré from the country of Catholicism, the Hydars would be best described as dissidents who stayed. They ended up in one of the many small communities of disaffected Catholics where women are ordained, same-sex marriages are blessed, and members of the clergy are not required to endure the loneliness of celibacy.

Eventually John began ministering to these Catholics on the margins. As one of four married priests at St. Anthony’s Community in Santa Barbara, Calif., he baptized children and presided over weddings and funerals. Sometimes he was invited to fill in at short-handed mainstream Catholic parishes, with a wink from the archdiocese. In the view of the official church they were outliers, if not outcasts, but in their own view they were the real Catholics, waiting for Rome to wise up.

“My husband and I may not live to see the fruits of our labors,” Roberta wrote to me, “but in the meantime we find new ways to be Catholic, believing that the Spirit is on the move and there is no stopping Her by the institutional church.” That “Her” made me smile.

Enter the new pope, Francis, who has heartened many progressive Catholics and infuriated many Catholic conservatives by suggesting that Jesus did not intend to establish a legion of scolds. The pope’s efforts to promote a more tolerant tone and to reorient the church’s priorities from inquisition to compassion are mostly words.

I do not mean that as a slight. The kindness of his language, his empathy for the least among us, and the humility of his example are undeniably refreshing. Still, at some point Francis will, and should, be judged by the substance of his leadership. What should we look for?

Much of the social agenda that church reformers like the Hydars advocate — full ordination of women, full equality for gays, an end to the widely ignored prohibition on birth control — is so entangled in past papal proclamations and historical precedents that I doubt Francis will take them on. An apostolic exhortation the pope released last week was a heartfelt appeal for inclusiveness — but on the Vatican’s familiar terms.

There is one issue, however, where the internal politics, while difficult, are less difficult, where the case for reform is pressing, and where there are hints that Francis may be inclined to change. That is priestly celibacy.

The arguments for lifting the requirement that priests forswear sex and marriage are not new, but they have become more urgent. Mandatory celibacy has driven away many good priests and prospects at a time when parishes in Europe and the United States are closing for lack of clergy.

It deprives priests of experience that would make them more competent to counsel the families they minister. Celibacy — by breeding a culture of sexual exceptionalism and denial — surely played some role in the church’s shameful record of pedophilia and cover-up.

“Lots of people don’t see [celibacy] as some extraordinary act of witness,” said Thomas Groome, who heads the department of religious education and pastoral ministry at Boston College. “They see it as just a peculiar lifestyle, and one not to be trusted.”

Groome was a priest for 17 years but left to be a husband and father. “The loneliness of it, I think, can drive people crazy,” he told me. “I’ve known hundreds of priests in my life,” from student days in an Irish seminary through the priesthood and decades as a theologian. “I don’t know too many diocesan priests, maybe three or four, who have lived a rich, life-giving, celibate lifestyle.”

The requirement that priests be celibate is not a doctrine but a cultural and historical aberration. The first apostles had wives. Catholic clergy were free to marry for the first millennium, until a series of church councils in the 12th century changed the rules, motivated in part by financial disputes. (Priests were trying to pass on church property to their children; the crude remedy was to deny them children.)

There are, in fact, many married priests in the Catholic Church, priests who were ordained in the Eastern traditions of Catholicism as well as Anglicans and other married priests whose families were grandfathered in when they converted to the Church of Rome. In parts of Latin America and Africa, priests marry or have common-law wives and the church looks the other way.

Francis knows this well. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, the future pope befriended a radical and famously noncelibate bishop, Jeronimo Podesta, ministered to him on his deathbed, and remained close for years thereafter to Podesta’s widow, who recalls that they often discussed the issue of celibacy.

Francis’ intentions have been a subject of intense speculation in church circles since September, when Archbishop Pietro Parolin, a Francis confidant and second in command at the Vatican, told an interviewer that celibacy “is not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition.” Parolin qualified his remarks (“We cannot simply say that it is part of the past”), but his declaration that the subject “can be discussed” guaranteed that it would be.

One place it has been much discussed is among the married priests in the dissident parish where John and Roberta Hydar found sanctuary. John told me that if celibacy had been optional back in the ’60s, “most of us would have remained in active ministry” (although “most of us would also have gotten in hot water” over other disagreements with Vatican policy).

He admitted taking a little sinful pleasure in the discomfort Francis has caused among Catholic hard-liners: “Well, the shoe is on the other foot now.” And he said he can even imagine that Francis, given 10 or 15 years of good health, might change the church sufficiently — not to win back lost causes like me, but to make Catholics like my old teacher and her husband feel at home there again. John Hydar will be watching, with keen hope, but without his wife. Roberta Hydar died of cancer on Oct. 18 at the age of 79.

Bill Keller is a columnist for The New York Times.