Tag Archive: priest shows his penis

I struggled even writing this, never mind trying to summarise almost 16 years of my on and off friendship with this person. I wanted to share my story to let others know that they’re not alone (because for a while, I felt very alone and as if no one could understand). If I’m being honest, I’m looking for advice and a resolution too. My name is MA and my priest is J.

I met J through a family friend; they were both attending seminary at the time. I was attending a mass for vocations and after, I went down to the church hall for refreshments. It was then that J caught my eye across the room and right away, I wanted to know: “who is HE?” I cannot tell you how silly I felt when my friend introduced him as a fellow seminarian (he was not dressed in his collar). We talked for a while and I was struck by his smile, his dimples, and his pure excitement about becoming a priest, as well as his commitment to our faith and God. Frankly, I was blown away by the sheer chemistry and energy radiating off him and between us. For the record, it was the first (and last) time someone had ever caught my eye in that way. Regardless, I didn’t think we’d ever see each other again.

The following summer, he was placed at my Mom’s church as an intern. Right away, we clicked. We often joined other parishioners for coffee, attended masses for vocations around my state, and he even met a few of my closest friends and family. At this point, I wasn’t thinking of J as anything other than a mentor of sorts, someone who I could talk about my faith with. He also seemed proud of my work in the healthcare field and we discussed helping others a lot. He shared he had been engaged prior to entering the priesthood and had needed to take a break from seminary in order to discern whether he was on the right path. J admitted he struggled with celibacy and the thought of not being a father.

By the end of that summer, we were even closer & I felt sad that I was losing my friend as he headed back to the seminary. I was also a little shocked and confused as to why he hadn’t yet asked me for my email (no cells back then!). He waited literally until minutes before leaving and heading back to ask me for my contact info. I wish I had seen the confusion I felt then for what it was— a foreshadowing of feelings that would characterize and haunt our relationship.

We continued to email at least weekly during his school year and then he started calling me at work. It happened so often, that I actually got in trouble. Not to mention, every time he called, he would say it was “Father J,” making the poor receptionist have a heart attack, thinking that something bad had happened to someone in my family. I was there for his transitional deaconate ceremony and celebrated with him after. He introduced me to his family and I became friends with some of his family members, often emailing them on a regular basis.

His last year of seminary, J. treated me much like the previous year, except our contact greatly increased. A few months before his ordination, he confided that he “wasn’t so sure he wanted to do this and that his biggest fear was getting to his mid-40’s and realizing that he wanted to be a husband and a father.” At this point, I was starting to become physically attracted to J. and finding him working his way into my thoughts more and more. I struggled between the desires of my heart, being a good Catholic and friend, and giving him unbiased advice. I tried to give the best advice I could, encouraging him to take a good, hard look at his motivations. J. basically summed it up as: “My parents want me to be a priest. Besides, what else would I do? I didn’t go to college.” At the time, he neglected to tell me he was a trained healthcare professional himself.

In the end, he followed through with being ordained and it was one of the proudest, yet hardest, days of my life (it still is). I knew how he had struggled with the academic work, his emotions, but persevered because of his strong faith. As he lied prostrate, it felt like a knife to my heart. I love my faith and God, so I felt guilty and ashamed for feeling this way. It was that very day, probably the proudest day of his life, that I realized I was in love with him. The irony was not lost on me.

J ended up in his first placement as a parochial vicar not far from where I live. He invited me to his first mass and told me that my being there helped to decrease his nerves. He also asked me to continue to attend mass there and I found no problem with this, as I was dating a man from the area and often spent my weekends there. J was aware of this and made it obvious he didn’t approve. Despite the tension that my having a significant other created, our friendship continued to strengthen and we started to create special moments together. One snowy Xmas Eve J. begged me not to leave, as he was “lonely” and estranged from some of his family at that time. I helped to advocate for a family member of his when insurance would no longer cover her chemotherapy and filled out numerous amounts of paperwork to get her additional resources. Meanwhile, my faith was growing stronger than ever, but so were my feelings for J. Looking back on it now, I find it odd how I never dreamed that he could possibly reciprocate those feelings; I was brainwashed and saw him as a priest, not a human being. A person not only who is capable of love, but might even be desiring it. It was only until J started acting funny that I questioned his intentions, but immediately dismissed them. He insisted I have a confession with him when I thought it was a conflict of interest and fought with me about not attending a pilgrimage to Italy with his church (I couldn’t afford it at the time, he offered to pay for me). After mass on a beautiful spring day, he offered to walk me to my car after we spent hours chatting and laughing after mass. A red flag went up; I found it strange because we were in a suburban, safe neighborhood, with my car tucked safely in the church parking lot, in broad daylight. However, I was used to his being courteous, and he always walked me to my car but it was always in the presence of fellow priests. I started to feel funny as I loaded my things into my car, only to turn and find him leaning against my door, in close proximity to me. I started to feel that awkwardness when a first date is ending and you don’t know if the guy is going to kiss you or not. I didn’t know if he was going to do or say something, but I knew whatever was coming would change things for both of us forever, so I literally pushed him away, said goodbye, and drove off. I remember, still to this day, seeing his face in my rearview and cried the whole way home. It was the last time I would see him for a decade. There are no words to describe how I felt that day, other than I loved him so much, I wanted to protect him. I also didn’t want to hurt God. I thought of J over the years and wondered if my gut intuition was right regarding his feelings for me and what he was going to do that day or if I totally misread the whole thing.

To make an already long story longer (kudos if you read this far), I ended up lapsing and not going to church for 6 years. I would be lying if I said my love for J wasn’t part of it. However, my faith and spirituality never faltered. It is my main coping mechanism despite chronic health issues and frankly, it’s what keeps me going. About a year ago, I started to get serious about returning to church and yearned for a place where I wouldn’t be judged, feel comfortable, and not be forced by the pastor to get involved behind the scenes in various roles (this has been an issue for me in almost every church I’ve attended). I looked up J to see where he was and found he was assigned to a parish in the same city I work. I attempted to contact him via parish email to break the ice and make it less awkward for us both if I decided to show up. Naively, I figured that so many years had passed; there would be no harm in seeing him again. I assumed he’s now an experienced pastor, that I have grown leaps and bounds and am pretty good at detecting red flags (that’s what happens folks when you’ve been dating since 15!), and that my feelings for him had leveled out because of lack of contact. I even prayed continuously and agonized over my decision. I prepared myself for seeing someone who might have changed in ways I would not appreciate, expected him to be different, even prepared myself that he might have a significant other (yes, we all know the reality). Nothing could’ve prepared me for what I’ve dealt with since my return.

He claims he never got my email message and within minutes of sitting down at my first mass there, I realized my instincts and gut feelings so many years ago were spot on. He turned pale, then beet red, stumbling over his words, hands shaking when he gave me communion, fidgeting when sitting on the altar. I have seen him drop the Eucharist once or twice and it was always the person before me in line. I cannot tell you how awful I felt, as if I was causing him to feel uncomfortable on his own turf and screw up his at his job.

I have never had a more awkward conversation, as I attempted to explain my presence to him. He couldn’t even look me in the eye and reprimanded me for disappearing all those years ago and not telling him why. I think he sees my leaving years ago as rejection, not the protection I intended. However, he never contacted me to see if everything was ok either. I was struck how emotionally immature he seemed, able to interact with parishioners quite easily, but not with me. For some reason with me it seems different; it’s hurtful and painful. J insists he “likes having me there and it’s not awkward for him,” but I don’t feel he’s being honest. There are days he’s friendly and like old J I knew, we laugh and talk with no issues. Then there are others where he ignores me and I don’t know how to act myself. I have always felt comfortable talking to a wide range of people, especially males; I am a tomboy and have mostly male friends. I talk and listen to people for a living, so to be struggling like this is a foreign concept for me. People always tell me that I am easy to talk to, that they feel like they’ve known me for years, and can trust me with anything. It says something that I don’t know how to act when I’m around J.

Over the summer, I started taking J’s unwillingness to open up personally. I also noticed his friendliness and closeness to another female parishioner our age, who is married and whose husband holds a highly respected job. She is actively involved in the parish in a variety of roles and donates a substantial amount of money to the church. I have seen him engage in a way that I think is inappropriate for a pastor to engage with a parishioner but then I think: “am I just biased? Is it purely the fact that she gives money?” I am aware the church is a business. I don’t find that a comfort though—it makes me think less of him and get angry. If money is what he bases his friendships on, I find it sad and hypocritical. I can’t afford to give thousands to my church, but it doesn’t mean I love God any less. I also don’t want to think of the alternative, that she’s special to him in a way she shouldn’t be.

I struggle to understand why he has no issue interacting with this woman but gets nervous and discombobulated around me. I feel jealous and frustrated, as if I’m on an emotional roller coaster. I’m beginning to think we weren’t as close as I thought.

As soon as I pull away emotionally and get to a good place, it seems as if J can almost sense it, and he’ll do something to pull me back in. One day, it was telling how he was struggling. I didn’t want to talk personal issues in front of other parishioners, so I told him to text or call, whatever he felt comfortable with if he needed someone to talk to. It’s something I would do for any friend in need. He’s never once texted, emailed, or called. It’s disconcerting when we used to talk every single week, almost daily. I began thinking if it weren’t for Mary and the Eucharist, I’d consider becoming Protestant. I struggled over the summer to see how my faith could continue to grow in this church, but I didn’t feel like leaving either. I like the people, feel comfortable for the most part, and was doing fine when I got to a peaceful place about J. Finally, I got to a good place emotionally and it lasted for a few months. I was proud of myself.

That all changed. After recently experiencing a serious trauma, suddenly nothing mattered—not J, not this other woman—nothing was as important and crucial to my well-being as God and my faith. I am so thankful and grateful not only to be alive, but to have come to see it as a learning experience that readjusted my priorities. J was involved in my healing process and was honest; he admitted it scared him to see me that way. He told me that “out of all people, you don’t deserve this.”

Since then, I have noticed J. attempting to connect with me, but his immaturity and arrested development often get in the way and act as an obstacle in growing our friendship. He does small things, often within homilies or during prayers that I know are geared towards me. At first, I found myself thinking: “am I narcissistic? Egocentric? I think that was meant for me!” But then a smile or direct eye contact will reassure me, yes, I’m not crazy. I still find my mind drifting off to him, like a school girl with a crush. I feel sad, confused, angry, worried, and alone; it’s not exactly as if I can talk to just anyone about this. There are times, though, when I’m talking to him or praying with him, that I feel such joy and love, love for not only J, but an overwhelming love and closeness to God. One of J’s smiles can send me floating for days.

That being said for me, knowledge is power. I have actually sought out support groups online and in the process, read research and many books about this issue. Yes, women love priests. Some because it’s a challenge, some because they “lack self-esteem,” others because they love the priest not for his role, but because of the amazing man beneath the collar. I fall in this last category; I love J. for who he is, not WHAT he is. Yes, I’ve said it; I’m in love with a priest. It feels freeing to finally say those words. And I am no longer naïve to the fact that priests often love a woman back. I have rationalized my awareness that this man may indeed love me back for way too long. The key is he’ll never love me back in the way I deserve or need. I’ve come to understand that there is no happy ending in this situation. Will I ever tell J how I feel? Probably not, although if he directly calls me out on it, I wouldn’t lie. I don’t plan on leaving his church any time soon either, but don’t have plans to pursue more than a friendship. Believe me, if J ever tells me he’s leaving the priesthood, I’d be the first one (in a long line of women I’m sure) ready and eager to pursue a relationship, one that we both deserve and would be on equal footing.

Meanwhile, I plan on devoting some of my energy to advocating for the married priest movement. Why shouldn’t priests be able to marry? I find it ironic, as they speak about love and counsel married couples. Should a man who has chosen to spread the word of God be “punished” by an inability to experience God’s greatest gift—love? There is no way that anything that involves love can be a sin because it is of God. Period.

In ending, thank you for reading my story. It is because of the courage of the many folks who contribute to this blog that I was finally able to tell my story. I know many of you will relate to me and support me, but I’m also aware that others may think my feelings are wrong and am prepared for possible criticism. If you’re in the latter group, I only ask you to think of how it felt when you first experienced love: the excitement, the joy, and the confusion at times. Be kind to one another and may God continue to bless us all on our individual journeys.

Merry Christmas to All! Readers, let’s be charitable by finding the right phrase or writing, to help this lady.

The signs of the times are calling for married priests in the Roman Catholic church. It’s not far fetched but we do feel that the wind is blowing in that direction. On the other hand, we are standing on the ground and not flying too high. It’s not going to be an easy change. This is because for various reasons. One of them is, that many people want progress but nobody wants to change.

If the church really wants married priests, how are they going to call for vocations with the present circumstances? The church calls itself the expert in humanity. Yet, do workers in the church have the best conditions of work? Is the church ready to preach by example? How many married men are going to join the church with the present conditions? What type of hindrance keeps married men from joining priesthood? Can we alter something in order to attract the best possible candidates? The financial package is not to be forgotten, plus spiritual, humanistic and intellectual formation.

On the part of the laity, are they prepared to study theology and other studies to give a professional service to their parish? Studying means many years of studies. On the other hand one can’t have a course similar to the one provided for non-married priests where they can afford 6 to 7 years without gaining money. How can they receive married ones while maintaining the responsibility of the family?

What about the general reflection about the family? Are the married ones expected just to obey? Are we prepared to re-write the whole ‘relationship’ chapter in the theological studies from the point of view of married priests? Are these married priests to be given their right to give a unique feedback to the general church?

One of interesting debates is when married priests have teens themselves. Even when they preach to the congregation their own teens will be there! That means somebody who is trying to live the gospel. This week I met some families who are complaining that there teens are abandoning the Sunday Mass!! That would already be a tough challenge for married ones. Yet, the challenge itself could prove to be a witness to many other families!

Speaking about the teens, what about the women. Is the wife of the pastor going to be a silent spectator? Or is she going to get a significant role in the running of the parish? After all, like many other women she is the silent supporter of her husband’s work! She is the one to help him going on. She could be the voice of many other women who are still living in the periphery of the parish!

With all this in mind, it makes sense to call back all those priests who have left. Why? Because they have something which new candidates don’t have: experience! Once they were at the centre of activity in the parish. In these last years, they have lived their most difficult time of their lives. They know how one feels when one is discarded in society. That makes them better candidates to look at those in society who feel not welcomed anymore. Those discarded have always been an important part of the church. It’s the new generation which will form up the new church. It’s not a surprise that most married priests welcome all kinds of people who are in different phases of faith!

Priests today have a dark cloud above their heads owing to the sexual abuse crisis. Yet married priests could prove vital to thwart that conception of priesthood. This is another hidden asset of married priesthood which could link the church with the outside world once again.

Hope is part and parcel of our humanity. If we take away hope, than our faith shall be relegated to none at all. We all are aware of how the Catholic Church works, it takes a very long time to bring a about changes, yet changes are happening all the time. It’s not only with the election of Pope Francis but with the community at large. Many church going people are changing too. God works silently and unobtrusively everyday! The final work could be seen after a long time.

Let’s be positive about it. The sexual abuse scandal has brought about a lot of positive change in the people of God. They feel that the time has come for more transparency in the running of the church. It has emerged too that priests do not know it all and that they need the help of professional people. Theology is not the only science to which future priests should be subjected to. Other sciences are shedding light on the lonely life of a priest.

Relationships is what makes humans on a higher level. If the priest neglects relationships, he would be destroying his own humanity and consequently any chances of spirituality. It is in this area where the church needs to work more and more. Relationships do change the way a priest deals with his parishioners. He cannot simply barge into a parish and starts working on his own according to his wish and will! In a parish one is dealing with human beings. It’s really imperative that the pastor takes relationships seriously.

Many people do welcome the married priest and they see it as an asset nowadays. Only a few people still grumble that the priest won’t make it with a wife and a family. Instead of looking at a family as a hindrance, the Catholic Church should see it as a big help in the spirituality of the priest which makes him see and feel God everywhere. Many women have had a very important role in the teaching of young ones in the Catholic Faith. They can do the same professional job alongside the priest as wife: meaning as a friend; counsellor; parishioner; team partner etc…

In the coming year, together with the CCRI (Catholic Church Reform International), let us continue to work together toward those changes that will bring our Church into one that truly reflects what Jesus envisioned:

that divorced and remarried men and women will be welcomed to the Eucharistic table;
that women begin to be treated with dignity and given equal access to service roles in the Church;
that men who have left the priesthood to marry are no longer made to feel that they failed just because they wanted a partner and a family of their own;
that all who have suffered from sexual abuse in their youth find peace within themselves and justice from their perpetrators;
that members of the LGBT community are welcomed into the Church and no longer judged for whom they love;
that Church fathers recognize that the Spirit also speaks through the People of God and we are given the opportunity to have an influential voice in the governance of our church and in the election of our bishops.

We wish all this for the coming year to the Catholic Church. A happy New Year to all our readers and may they continue spreading the good news of married priests throughout the world.

The idea of a whistle blower has always caused a great discussion for governments. But having the same concept in the Catholic Church is much more difficult as most church attending people are still brainwashed that the church is a saintly one, and all those who challenge its authority must be nuts; desperately looking for money; or some other odd idea!

Obviously, the priest who sees all this imagines and feels how difficult it is to expose everything. As in other spheres of life, the one who talks, would bring about public attention and most probably he would lose his high esteem. He would be under suspicion. In this light we understand that most priests, especially those who have fallen in love, would prefer to keep everything under the carpet and remain silent as they would feel terrorised if their love story would be published! Now let’s go to East Africa.

Throngs of Roman Catholics greeted Pope Francis when he visited East Africa this week. But the Rev. Anthony Musaala wasn’t part of the official welcoming delegation.

Two years ago, Ugandan Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga suspended Musaala indefinitely – barring him from administering the sacraments- when Musaala wrote an open letter that challenged his priestly vows of celibacy, condemned sexual abusers among the clergy and criticized priests who father children and abandon them.

In practical terms it’s the same treatment received by a government who prefers to silence one whistle blower than facing reality and doing something about it. If what Musaala is saying is true, than what will happen to the church? It’s the same mistake which happened with sexual abuses where the general approach was that of putting everything under a nice carpet!!

The obvious question would be: is it right to shut up and let things as they are? Is silence ok in the conscience of a priest or an active Catholic in a parish? This is the right question to be asked to most of the clergymen who are ready to condemn divorced, gay etc… but not the criminal acts done by themselves! On what grounds did we allow a paedophile priest to celebrate and receive the Holy Communion but not a divorced person?

Since then, Musaala, a popular gospel singer and LGBT activist, has become a champion of efforts in Uganda to overturn church celibacy rules and oppose anti-gay laws.

“We will ensure the pope hears our voices on the issues of celibacy,” said Musaala before the Pope’s visit.

The petition drive advocating marriage for priests comes as the Ugandan Catholic Church has been cracking down on Musaala and his fellow activists. Last month, Lwanga suspended several other priests for suggesting that Catholic priests should marry.

Again: is suspension the right answer for people nowadays? Does it silence once for all the call for married priests?

By denying priests permission to marry, the church is rejecting thousands of young men who otherwise would heed the call to holy orders in Africa, home of the world’s fastest-growing Catholic population, Musaala is convinced. Meanwhile, he added, numerous Ugandan priests now live openly with wives and families anyway. Again, by turning a blind eye to these events, will it remain a secret or known to just a few?

At the shrine in Namugongo, where Francis addressed around 1,000 lay Catholics on his visit to Uganda, Vincent Ogalo elicited cheers as he spoke before a crowd of petition supporters.

“I prefer priests to marry to avoid cases of adultery in our churches,” he said. “My wife was snatched by one of the local priests after having stayed together in marriage for five years.”

Religious women are especially targeted by sexually frustrated priests, Ogalo continued. He believed the solution was properly satisfying the priests’ desires.

“We have always trusted them with our wives and daughters, who usually help them with various work in churches,” added Ogalo. “They’re not good people if allowed to stay without marrying. They are a threat to us.” He is the first one who puts forward this expression: that they are a threat to the rest of the parish!!!

Catholics in Africa hold on to traditional societal values that are at odds with some church doctrines, said Zacharia Wanakacha Samita, of the department of philosophy and religious studies at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.

“People who choose not to marry, whether for religious reasons, as celibacy in the Catholic Church, or other practical reasons, do not easily find social acceptability in African society, largely because marriage and having children remains a core value,” he said. Now is it just Africa who sees the church in this light? What about European and world wide experience?

Are the women who have love/d a priest aware of their special role in the church by walking alongside a whistle blower?

Well let’s make it very clear: we can never force anybody to get married. We are just giving out our general suggestions. It’s the priest himself who has to think it over, decide and then stick to his decision. Please remind yourself that this is no easy decision to take.

The decision depends on the development of the relationship. One cannot force such commitment if they have simply slept together one night. Secondly, sex should not the driving force to say yes, but rather the beauty of the two who feel and act like a couple.

On the part of the priest, he must feel that it’s not a threatening yes i.e. he is being forced to but rather an invitation to live a loving relationship to the full. Consequently he has to be shown that the woman next to him is there to help him. She will stand by him in all the circumstances no matter what.

The priest has to talk to his spiritual advisor (in this case below, to the priest who is his friend), in order to have any theological, spiritual or personal questions answered. This is not to be taken lightly. The priest was bombarded, preached and lived according to a certain set of values. Now passing on to become a husband he has to find a credible answer for his conscience.

If they are so committed, they have to look for a possible job training scheme. Please remember that the priest is passing from a very comfortable zone to a very threatening one. This might become the last test for their relationship.

The decision is not to be made in one single conversation. There might be a build up to it. The woman has to slowly show him his support and understanding and obviously no rush for the answer unless procrastination kicks in. This is the latest story we received. Enjoy reading it. Please be active readers by posting in your comments. Let’s pray for the couple.

I’m Georgette and my priest’s name is George. I am in a relationship with a priest. He and I are both in our mid 40s. I am divorcing, not because of him, however. I am in an abusive marriage and had made the decision to divorce, then sought counsel for coping with the emotions of a necessary but nevertheless painful divorce.

My priest entered the seminary at 14. He was a virgin, in fact he had never kissed a woman, when we met. We talked and enjoyed each other’s company. I quickly developed feelings for him, and told him as much. At first, he was very firm in explaining that he was tempted, too, but a relationship between us would not have a happy ending. I felt incredibly stupid. He said he was committed to a friendship, and he was, always, a good friend to me.

The fact that he continued to see me signalled to me an opening to greater involvement. When I found myself alone with him, I tried to kiss him. He resisted, but eventually gave in on that day, and we kissed. It was spectacular. We both resolved that it couldn’t happen again.

That didn’t work. We began a sexual relationship several months ago, and that continues. He says he loves me, and I love him, too. I am not naïve enough to think that he will leave the priesthood, but it would be my dream that he would. We have talked around the edges of what our relationship will become, and he frequently talks in a long term frame of mind. He also makes comments about what our relationship is “right now,” and is suggestive of change in the future.

My emotions range wildly from fear of hurt to hope. I consulted a different priest, and a friend of the priest I love, who told me that what I had experienced was not an evil woman tempting a man of God, but rather, a presentation of a different and equally beautiful sacrament (marriage, rather than holy orders) that my priest could choose without shame. The advising priest explained to me that the vow of celibacy and the choice of priesthood might have been right and genuine for my love, but now he is presented with another plan for his life. The advising priest made it clear to me that my relationship with the priest may and likely is as beautiful and filled with grace as my love’s role as priest. But the challenge is to BRING THE RELATIONSHIP TO LIGHT AND CHOOSE IT. In that regard, the advising priest told me to tell my love that I challenge him to position himself in such a way that we can love each other without guilt, shame or fear, or we say goodbye.
I am working up the nerve to have that conversation. I suspect that the priest I love will ultimately choose to remain a priest. It is all he has ever known of life. However, I plan to toss up what he thinks he knows about what is right for his life, and see where things land. I will be ok if he decides to remain a priest, but I certainly hope he will have the courage to confront his feelings before making his decision.

I don’t think he abused me in any way. I was certainly the one who pursued him, not the other way around. He did accept my love at a time when he knew I was very vulnerable emotionally, and that may have been unwise, but I do not believe he acted maliciously or with disregard for my feelings. I think we just fell in love.
I hope I can develop the strength to require from him what I deserve, or require him to make the choice to recommit himself to his priestly vows and live accordingly. At the end of the day, I do not want to love him outside the context of a sacramental marriage, so we will have to make choices. I believe that walking away from the relationship will be very, very painful for both of us.

Just my experience. I am not an expert.

We are always looking for different opinions. We always encourage our readers to take an active part by writing their opinion. Our blog tried to give freedom of speech to everyone especially those passing through such experience. Nobody is going to judge you! We just share our experiences. Than it’s up to the person to decide what to do. Let’s listen to today’s story. The story is told by G Pramod Kumar.

Barely two years after it was slammed by “An Autobiography of a Nun” that catalogued the lurid details of bullying, sexual abuse and homosexuality,”the Catholic Church in Kerala is set for another attack by a former nun.

Sixty-eight-year-old Sister Mary, who left her Catholic congregation in Kerala 13 years ago in disgust after 40 years of nunhood, is ready with her exposé. In a biographical sketch titled Nanma Niranjavare Swasthi, she heaps more ignominy on the Church.

Sister Mary talks in vivid detail about the extreme pain she had to endure during her tenure with the congregation: physical and psychological oppression, the sexual permissiveness and abuse prevalent among some of the nuns and priests,  and the harassment she faced for sticking to her values and commitment to service.
She also talks about the miserable sense of abandonment, rather than sacrifice or service, that some of the nuns feel. For the Catholic church in Kerala which is already under attack with a wide range of allegations ranging from oppression of its nuns, abuse, suicides and inappropriate sexual behaviour, the new book will certainly be further bad publicity.

Two biographical accounts; one by Jesme Raphael who gave up the nun’s robes after 26 years of service (2009) and another by a male priest, KP Shibu Kalaparambil who left after 24 years in white (2010); had in the recent past, dented the reputation and order of the Catholic Church. Both of them had explosive revelations including sexual exploitation of women and men.

In her memoirs Sister Mary, born in the Palai area of eastern Kerala, describes how she wanted to be a nun at the age of 13 and ran away from home to a Catholic congregation. Although she “found her path of service at the altar of the god”, what awaited her was four decades of hardship, betrayal and absolute disappointment.
Unable to take it anymore, she abandoned her robes in 1999 but continued her service to humanity by establishing a modest orphanage at Wayanad in north Kerala. According to Jose Pazhukaran, the writer who helped Mary put together the memoir, she literally begs door-to-door to raise the resources for her orphanage. “She is now doing what she couldn’t accomplish as a nun – to serve humanity and be a mother to abandoned children,” says Pazhukaran.

“There was a lot of unbearable pain and humiliation. Some ran away, some committed suicide. I endured all the pain because of the priest’s words at my first communion as a nun – you should be ready to follow the path of Jesus Christ. These words are still throbbing in my heart and that is why I am a mother of orphans,” says Sister Mary.

Translations of one chapter of the book is given below:

Raping fathers
Those who didn’t oblige the priests were always in trouble. They get pained in some way or the other. Some think that the oath of discipline that you take while accepting the nun’s robe is to be subservient to such men.
Such an incident happened to me as well. As somebody who had thought of Jesus Christ as the only saviour since the age of six, this experience pained me immensely.
This incident, in which a priest tried to molest me and I hit him with a wooden stool in self defence, became a big issue at the congregation. Although I was the one outraged, in their eyes, I was the culprit. The unwritten rule was: whatever the priests did, nobody could question them.
I was only twenty then.

The incident happened at the Chevayaoor convent. There was this practice of serving breakfast to the priests after the morning communion. Sometimes, it was sent to the church. The nuns needed to take turns to cook for them and serve them.
I used to get nervous whenever my turn came because I wasn’t good with cooking and would certainly be criticised for that. Nobody used to help me or advise me. Instead, they seemed to get some vicarious pleasure by pointing out the mistakes. I used to find it very painful.
Okay, let’s get into the incident. Once, I was assigned to cook and serve a priest who finished the communion (I don’t want to name him though). I went to the dining hall with egg curry and ‘appam’. He came in, washed his hands and bolted the door before taking his seat.
He asked me to serve; but sensing some mischief, I stayed away. When he persisted, I started shivering with fear. At that moment, I deeply hated the rule that one should obey whatever the priests orders.

The priest got up, came to me and grabbed my hands. Don’t you know all this, Sister Mary? he asked.

When I cried, he tried to pull me close to his chest. I relieved myself and ran, but he chased me around the table. I really got wild as I used to do when I was a child on such situations. I got hold of a wooden stool in front of me and hit him hard.

It fell on his head and he started bleeding profusely. I got both sad and scared although I did it in self-defence – he was a priest. I screamed in fear and rushed out of the room and told everyone what happened. But most of them appeared indifferent and started scolding me.

“What did you do, are you out to shame the congregation?”

When they went into the room , the priest was on his chair, speechless and drenched in blood. He was taken to the Kozhikode medical college hospital where it was reported that he fell in the bathroom.

I was the target of tremendous ire after that incident. When everybody walked away from me as if I was a proclaimed offender I prayed hard. But when I realised that it was the way things worked, I really got scared that I was trapped in serious danger. Since then, I was marked; a thorn in the flesh for the congregation.
Opposing wrongdoing was my character and that was the reason for all the conflicts that I faced in life as a nun. I wasn’t ready to blindly accept the priests and the church without looking at their deeds.

Sensing the situation I was in, Father Peter called for me one day. I told him every thing. I cried a lot in front of him. He consoled me and advised me to handle the Church and people with restraint.

But, the other nuns by then had branded me as a rogue. Nobody pointed out what was the ground for my disobedience. Since then, I was a nuisance for them. Sister Betty was the only consolation.

Since I was termed disobedient right from my stay at the novitiate, my nunhood had to wait for six months. The priests believe that they had the complete control of the nuns. They believe that they are the ultimate owners of the Church, its properties and the believers.
When people get sexually exploited, their belief gets affected; that is what is happening now. Some people commit suicide when they are unable to cope with this reality.

The priest who was hit by me is a good friend now and calls me often to enquire about my well-being. He also tells me that my response has reformed him. If you want to buy the book, you can write to this email address.

Nanma Niranjavare Swasthi
106 pages
Rs. 85
Kairali Books Kannur, Kerala

We all wish to influence our parish or our spiritual home in a positive way. The multi million dollar question is: How?

Well basing ourselves on the gospel, Jesus was very successful when performing great miracles. But when he was crucified, he was not so successful, at least by common standards. The apostles relied too much on his charisma and unique personality, so much so that they went into hiding and they didn’t want to venture out of the closed but comfortable room.

So speaking about married priest is not a question of how. It’s more a question of feeling empowered to do so. Most still form part of the seated audience who are waiting for the priest to do everything. The church is a community where everyone has to do his part. We can’t expect anybody to do the change, if we don’t start by making our first bold step.

The fact of the sexual scandals is still having effect on the Catholic church. It shows that while the priests speak to others how to behave sexually, in their personal lives they are living a total lie. Now it has been proved scientifically that forced celibacy does lead to sexual frustrations. Our grandmothers, who may have never attended theological classes nor psychological lessons, have told us several times that those who cannot enter through the door, they will do so through the window (referring to basic sexual needs).

The number of priests has dwindled in the western culture. This leads to more pressure of work. Now it’s easier for the unmarried priest to get a burn out by becoming literally a workaholic. With no emotional, psychological, moral and friendly support, it might lead to more sexual frustrations which in turn will put him into a more complicated situation. The situation is not like some years ago where priests used to meet in large numbers and find comfort in each other. Now priests are overburdened with meetings etc.….People in the parish used to stay for a very long time. Nowadays, people are used to change city, town etc…for various reasons. The priests themselves are being transferred more often from one parish to another. This leads to a ‘soul burning’ where the priest cannot have long, lasting friendships. In other words, the priest like everybody else, needs a significant other in order to speak about his life, his desires, his difficulties, his dreams…….he cannot just be a priest all the time by helping others and not helping himself. After all priests too were created by God as human beings and like all human beings they need to talk to somebody. They need encouragement, people who listen without judging etc.….

Another big asset is our present Pope Francis who has already mentioned that married priesthood is on his agenda. At the same time he has shown the way forward. He wants the local bishops to ask for them. Now the local bishops won’t ask for married priests if the laity or the people in his town won’t ask explicitly for married priesthood! So readers please find ways and means to communicate with your local bishop to insist on married priesthood. You can borrow material from this blog to include in your communication.

Now married priesthood has a big advantage in the sense that most people (whether or not they are practising Catholics), are in favour of it! The signs of the times are all pointing into one direction. Don’t feel like a pariah when you speak about married priesthood. All people with some common sense will surely agree. The witness of the married priests, who together with their wives continue their witnessing to the gospel by living a normal life, will continue to attract more supporters. There is no better argument than seeing evidence where the married priest feels more calm, peaceful, mature, understanding and very close to the situation of the people.

Another good asset is the fact that most of the apostles were married. No one can dampen your spirit if you mention this fact. Facts are facts. There is no way of hiding them. If we wish to follow the bible we cannot let this fact go by.

The disadvantage is that because it involves a secret relationships people are very reluctant to speak about it! We have experience with our blog. Some people are still not prepared to share their story online, notwithstanding the fact that we change names and whereabouts! Others won’t speak about private and personal experience (i.e. involving falling in love with priests), no matter what! We are here dealing with something which is personal and private! We cannot expect all the people passing through such experience to be parading in our main capital cities and telling everybody what they have experienced.

One final thought. No one is going to promote married priesthood except us! So let’s make our first step by speaking with our friends, neighbours and/or families! Don’t forget to speak to your bishop because it is he who has to communicate with the Pope to tell him about married priesthood!

When a priest looks at a woman

This is our latest email we received some days ago. It tells the story of how a priest looks for something else rather than friendship…than all of a sudden he stops immediately his friendship to leave the woman hanging on. There is a lack of clear and understandable communication from the part of the priest. Is it on purpose? Is it because of lack of communicative skills? Is it because they are afraid of admitting the truth? Is it because they feel vulnerable?

Let’s encourage more women to come forward and write their story. Writing could be part of the healing process. Writing will give extra strength to other women out there who are suffering in silence. Readers please be active! Comment and write what you think. 

How do you know when a priest loves or hates a woman at the same time? Ok let me tell you my story. I am Lily. It has been a year since a priest (Rev Leno), at my church has been looking at me.

Have you ever spoken to each other? Have you ever embraced, kissed (etc….) him? Why do you think he started to look at you?

The priest began by being friendly to me in public, cracking jokes. For example, one day I was sitting in the back of the church joining a prayer group when he looked at me and said, “I don’t look too bad, you can come and sit closer.” Some people showed that they were not too pleased with that joke, based on their facial expressions. You can tell when people are uncomfortable with things. And since that day I can feel some tension each time I go to that prayer group. I can also tell by the look that those people give to me. They never gave me that look before and I’ve been going to that group for years. One week later after he had made the joke, I went to a morning service where there’s only a hand full of people. He looked at me and stopped while he was doing the service.

For his protection and for my own reputation, I would rather keep a distance. I have had men looking at me the way, exactly as he does, and those men always tell me that they have feelings for me. I know when a man has feelings for me. A girl can tell those things.

That is is all he does, he looks at me in particular way. To be honest I really like the way he looks at me. That is one of the reasons why I started developing feelings for him. But the people who serve at the church have been furious since that day. It is like they have a really big problem with the way he looks at me. They treat me as if I did something wrong. I had to leave my prayer group because someone from the group said in public that a priest cannot give you what you want.

Why did you take it personally? Maybe that person was referring to something else…I mean are you assuming things or did somebody speak to you in a very clear way?

The man looked right at me and said that a priest has everything and doesn’t need anything else. And that a priest cannot give you what you want. So why can’t you give another man that favour? Ok everybody could see how the priest was looking at me during the service that morning. And the unusual look for the people started right after that day. Yes people are talking behind my back but I don’t know what they are saying because I chose not to pay attention to.

Why can’t you give another guy a favour. He was speaking freely, but I know he was talking to me. Since then I have been avoiding making eye contact with the priest. He has been preaching in a way that shows that he is trying to express his feelings. Is that wrong for him to do? Yes people at my church are big on sharing feelings in public. Sometime I wish that he would stop expressing his feelings in public. The past week I posted a message to another priest on Facebook.

What’s his name? So let’s assume that this priest has a soft spot for you…why did you communicate with another priest?

The other priest’s name is Ben. I only sent a message that said, “Were are you now? Do you still go to the same church?” He came back started looking at me across the church and as I was leaving the church he wanted to come and talk to me. I walked fast, just to avoid him.

I was just trying to be kind to the other priest because the other priest has left the church. He was only there because he was done with school and was at the church for training. Since that time he completely avoided making eye contact with me, pretended like I wasn’t there.

When he looks at me at a distance, he looks at me as if I’m hurting him. He hasn’t been smiling, has a depressed look, preaches about humiliation and when a woman leaves a man for someone else, because she wants to explore something else. He also preaches about friends betraying other friends. He spoke as if he was really depressed. I sent him a message and wrote some things that could make him feel good about himself and he has not answered. I think I have created another problem. The other priest…started coming back to the church and is now looking at me. I do not want to hurt people. The priest I have feelings for really draws me to him but I really want that to stop. I cannot believe that I am attracting two unavailable men. I am an introvert person, calm and sits at the back of the church. How am I able to attract two unavailable men? I really have feelings for the first priest. He is such an amazing priest. He has a really attractive personality. But I just want to enjoy his services and enjoy him as my priest for I know nothing can ever happen romantically between us. I only want him to be my priest.

My name is Alana. I fell in love with Jonathan – a Roman Catholic Priest. We met online on a popular social media website. We asked Alana some questions. The questions are for our readers too. Please do reflect on some of the answers. You are invited to write and comment.

How did you meet? I mean there are millions of people online, why did you pick up this guy?
I met him on a social network. He started communicating with me. I had the impression he was lonely. He actually chased me, pretty forward about his attraction towards me. I thought,”He is just a harmless flirt.”

Did he show that he was a priest or maybe he was camouflaged? If the latter is the answer, when did he tell you that he was a priest?

His social network name and handle clearly indicated that he was a priest, with his parishes’ website linked up. I did some research and found he was indeed legitimate.

What made you click together? (was it his language, listening.…) Please explain fully.

He figured out my real name based on my handle name. He was trained in Rome and was fluent in Italian and correctly guessed my real name. What made us click is that we have similar work issues, political games/problems at work, issues with favouritism etc. He told me his pastor thought he was lazy. In hindsight I believe he was an arrogant academic, but I mistook that for being intelligent and very well spoken as I’m a sucker for intelligent men. He asked me to pray for him a lot due to work struggles and I did. I would pray rosaries for him at night and he would always tell me my prayers helped him. Everyday he asked for prayers. I sympathized with him. Oh, and he even said that he had dreams about me, about us together doing things. He lives in another state about two time zones away. We first messaged each other and the conversation seemed good.

In general, what was the content of the messages?

In general we talked about life, work, family problems. We had a lot in common as far as addictive issues that run in our families. Travel and vacations, not with each other, but places, etc. It always flowed. He is very intelligent but much younger than myself, about 12 years younger, so I didn’t think anything of it. I thought myself too old for him even though I don’t look my age and I am very attractive. He then asked me for my phone number. I didn’t have an issue with this because it seemed harmless. It seemed as if we were friends.

Please allow me to ask you this question: Before you give your cellphone number…do you have any safety rules..ie in case he is psychopath, what would you do? Or maybe did you take it for granted that priests don’t do the bad things other guys do?

I simply thought that since he is a priest that there would be no harm. I didn’t even give it a second thought. See, he follows my sister on a social network too, and my sister noticed when he started following me and she said that he was a nice guy that seemed to work a lot and asked for prayers. I firmly believe my sister would be honest with me, but now I don’t know if he did the same to her! He mentioned that he followed her too and that she was very religious, which she is, more so than myself. I started hearing from him daily via text messaging. I heard from him morning and night. He would always call before bed and tell me that he missed me. It was so exciting to hear from him. I was starting to like him!! He always text messaged me and called me saying he was thinking of me.

Would it cross your mind that at this stage he is crossing from a simple and natural friendship to something else?

Yes, it did. It crossed my mind a lot. Every time I heard from him I thought about it. I thought about it after hours, before bed, during day. Thinking,”I think this guy is into me.” I kept thinking,”This can’t be! A priest? May God forgive me/us.”

In our earlier conversations he said that he could never marry. He also said he wanted something from me that was more along the lines of between a man a woman than priest and woman. I tried to slow things down when I started developing feelings. I never chased him, but he kept up with text messages and loving phone calls. He was acting totally opposite of what he was saying, so I followed my heart. I allowed him to get closer to me and I fell in love even though we never met. We would use the webcam and then things became sexual in nature. We saw each other naked; he never saw me fully naked but I did see him and was a bit surprised at how easy it was for him. There were times when would be on online chatting via web-cam I would hear his phone text messaging going off repeatedly! What little time we had to talk would be distracted by his phone. I thought only another woman would text him repeatedly in this manner.

Again, please allow me to ask you the question in the name of our readers: are are there any safety measures before revealing yourself to somebody online? I don’t know your level of understanding of today’s technology but a web-cam could be easily used for recording. Without sending you into a panic attack, did you consider this possibility?

I never thought about that. He had gained my trust almost 99.9%. I thought,”This guy is a priest. He has much more to lose than myself.” I even thought, “I must be the exception to the rule.” Silly me! With your question I now am very concerned and I will press charges should anything ever be published without my consent. Actually, it was done on Facetime via Iphone. I’m pretty new to Facetime and I don’t know if there is a record feature there, but still I am VERY worried. I TRUSTED him and I am little panicked but trying to keep my composure. This is not what I typically do. I’m being honest here. I’m usually very much reserved.
We also had an agreement that I would never call him Father, just by his name. I was okay with that and so was he as he said since he was not my parish priest. He even advised me what to say in confession, to say ‘a priest’. He said he didn’t mention me or his involvement in his confessions, but used a different word, like to skirt it.

Don’t you think that he is indirectly admitting that he is using your relationship for his own motivations?

Yes, I did. This is why I ended whatever we had about a week later. This conversation stuck in my head like no other conversations. I analyse everything and I couldn’t let this subject go. It was like my soul telling me,”Listen! Pay attention. Run! Now!” He couldn’t even say my name in confession! What a slap in the face!

He kept thanking me for my ‘friendship’. He said he was grateful for me and he was so thankful that he had me that he could talk to regularly about anything and everything. We were growing close and this scared me as he said he could never marry me.

Being concerned about my feelings deepening and wasting my time I confronted him. I asked, ‘What if I fell in love with you?” He panicked and said, “I told you early on I could never marry you.”The fact is that I was already in love with him but didn’t tell him. I kept that to myself. On his part it amply proves that most priests don’t want a full relationship which involves responsibilities. They just want the ‘easy’ or the ‘attractive’ parts of a relationship!!

When cornered he folded up like a lawn chair under pressure. He wanted the fun and games but no commitment. End of story. If any woman wants to know just ask, be bold, be upfront and get the answers you deserve! Don’t be scared! I firmly believe that people always tell you who they are without ever realizing it. Like when he mentioned about addictions in his family and food as his; I believe now he was addicted to food and sex. Addictions come in threes and who knows what the third one is! I went to a face to face confession and my parish priest believed that he was deviant and used his power. It’s been one of the toughest confessions I have ever been to and I don’t wish this on anyone. If I can help any woman or man for that matter, please listen to me,”Don’t do it.” Your soul will thank you. He asked if I thought I was used and I said,”Yes.” My parish priest used the words, “exploit” and “predatory” and “using his authority and power” and that he hoped he would see his errors soon. My priest asked me if this guy ever gave me absolution and if I am in contact with him in any form. I said no to both, which is the truth. My priest said any confessions given to him would be null and void and I would need to do any of those confessions over and seek penance.

Just a simple question for the benefit of our readers: how would you know that it’s true love and not infatuation, loneliness etc……?

I believe now it was loneliness that got me sucked in. I take care of sick family member a lot and most of my time is spent doing that and whatever time I have left is for myself on my studies, work, my dogs and at the gym. Most men don’t approach me because I am an attractive woman. Most men tell me that are intimidated, so I don’t have very many confident men around. Even women tell me, “You are beautiful, but I bet no one ever tells you that.” So yes, I am lonely and a total bookworm.

I then told him that he was more than happy to use me but not marry me and it would be best to cut off all contact. He panicked and wanted to be friends still in regular contact, that he needed me and my friendship, he said he needed the contact. I told him no, that he sent out too many mixed signals and I’m not going down that road of being used. He kept apologizing saying he was so sorry. He asked that I continue praying for him and I didn’t answer. I even explained to him that I saw him connecting with other younger girls on the social media website and this proves to me realistically that even if he left the priesthood he would pick the younger girls anyway for something for traditional. He was silent. He asked for a Hail Mary at the end of the conversation. I said,”No, I need to get back to work.” We hung up and never spoke again after that Christmas Eve.

Luckily, I only spent about two months of my time on this relationship, but it was something I had never intended; to fall in love with a priest. I felt an enormous amount of guilt for getting involved and I pray that God forgives me. I’ll always love him deep down, but I’ll never tell him that. I should have known to never get involved. I do still miss him.

Just a personal comment, not for Alana but for our readers: somebody once said that’s it better to be all alone that in an abusive relationship. In this context do we miss being in a relationship or do we miss a particular person?

Oh come all ye faithful!

One of the reasons people don’t visit the church nowadays is because of the rules made by the church. How can a gay, lesbian, divorced, or those in love with a priest come to church when they hear all the time that they are sinners?! Some people in the church make sure that the others feel bad about it because they (the church going ones) are observing the law! It’s the better than thou mentality which is still rife in the church.

Now who has the authority to say that one is in sin? The pope himself expressed the same way of thinking by saying ‘Who am I to judge gay people’? Yet some Catholics feel that they have been given a divine mandate in order to judge people and to say who is Catholic and who is not Catholic.

Now one of the most basic teachings of the church is, that the whole church is full of sinners and is in repentance, and journeying towards heaven!

Recently I have witnessed such double standards when hearing the story of a friend of mine. He is living with a woman and they are not married in church (Wow!). Now the truth is that his partner has been through a terrible marriage. She wasn’t granted the annulment (a Catholic declaration that her marriage was null and void), so in Catholic laws, she is still married to her husband. This new husband has taken care of her and of her children. He has been paying all bills and has been present through all times……yet he is a sinner (because he is living with a wife without being married in the church!!!). So he wasn’t granted his request to be a godfather/godmother (any woman/man who serves as a sponsor for a child at baptism or confirmation) to another friend’s son. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the young guy, my friend is a truly father especially in his case where his biological father ran away years ago. In fact he often goes to him for counsel, company and sharing other vital information.

Being present for the ceremony I could see other godfathers/godmothers…….I don’t want to judge people because that’s God work, but knowing people in town one cannot hide his feelings when he sees others who were truly sinful playing the part of the godfather/godmother. I’m not going to write about their sins but in town everybody knows such people and the trouble they caused in certain past events. The godfather/godmother has the job of being a model to the person receiving the sacrament and has to be ready to help the person grow in its faith. Publicly one could say that they should have never been given the permission of doing that job in church if their public image is tarnished. Yet they were there playing the role of the glorified Catholics walking up the aisle in the church! So who decides who can be a good Catholic or not?

Surprisingly one sees that in some prisons, murderers do assist to a Catholic Mass (rightly so). Yet for those living outside the sacrament of marriage there is no way out. So does a murder make one less guilty than one living outside the sacrament of marriage? The murderer might have left a family without a dad forever, yet he is free to receive the Holy Communion but the other non-married couple no, where the new dad has accepted the responsibility of taking care of the children!!

Another case is that of a priest who refuses to give absolution (the condition of being formally forgiven by a priest in the sacrament of penance), to somebody who is living with a non married man. Believe it or not this same priest has a secret lover!!! To add insult to injury, this priest condemns another priest who lives openly with a woman. The married priest takes care of the woman and her five sons. He is always present, 24/7.

Well we can mention so many cases where the traditional teachings of what is a good Catholic person is in crisis! Now some of the Catholics who feel abused by the same system, unfortunately pack up and leave. They never put their feet in a church any more. Well we are making a very special invitation this Christmas: please feel part of the church, celebrate Christmas. The catholic church is a church of sinners. Jesus as a doctor visits the sick people (not those who think too highly of themselves!!). We do need the Eucharist for our spiritual nourishment, so let’s celebrate together. It would be helpful if you find a church or a house gathering, where the Eucharist is celebrated by a married priest. If somebody challenges you because of your ‘sin’, well just tell them that if they are without a sin, then they should cast the first stone. We need a different kind of christians who can see beyond the traditional box or way of reasoning. In other words we can’t expect a change from the hierarchy (governing body) of the Catholic Church if many people leave the church.

A happy Christmas to all and hopefully I’ll hear that you have celebrated it in a Eucharistic celebration!