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Women haters

2018…new year and new expectations. Many people are already asking: is this the year in which Pope Francis will allow married priests?

We are used to times, dates and schedules. Well the Holy Spirit does not work in a time frame! Surprisingly He knows when it’s the best time to help the church grow in certain aspects. We are all in a journey. We grow through experiences, thoughts, questions, encounters, prayer, reflection etc…

We can’t promise anybody that this year we’re going to have married priests officially. But it doesn’t mean that if not, the process would have been stopped! In a flick of a second, what is considered impossible may become possible! Let’s remember that very hard experience of Moses. Who would face the pharoah (like a powerful king), to tell him to liberate the slaves? Facing the pharoah could have meant death…let alone proposing such an out of the box question!! It took him a long time to let the people of God out of Egypt, yet at one moment he seemed to have said yes…only to change his mind again after a few days!

Moses did face a lot of challenges in driving the people of God out of Egypt. They faced enormous tasks including that of feeding a large crowd in the desert. Yet in the end, after a very tough journey and a long time, they did reach destination.

That’s our hope today. One day or another, the Catholic Church cannot survive without priests. It cannot deny reality anymore if it wants to survive! Married priests will bring about a new reflection on the teaching of the church. They will be the necessary tool in order to bring about some necessary and urgent changes in the church.

On other hand, some of our readers, who are so impatient to see the changes in the church in a very short time, do not know the background of the Catholic Church. Believe it or not we are progressing. Let’s have a look to see at what stage we were just a few years ago. I’m sure some of you will feel very bad at reading some of the texts. As we’ve been writing for quite some time, the women haters in the church have been at the top position for too many years. We need to remove the old mentality first, before we see the benefit of a woman who accompanies her priest to make him more holy!

These are some of the texts below which show the dominant position of women haters who interpreted everything according to their own philosophical-theological understanding!

“Women were created essentially to satisfy the lust of men .” “I do not allow women to teach, nor to take authority in front of their husbands, but to be silent.” (Saint John Chrysostom)

” Women should not be illustrated or educated in any way, in fact, they should be segregated, as they are causes of insidious and involuntary erections (!) In male saints.” “The woman is an inferior being and is not created in the image and likeness of God.” It corresponds, then, to justice, as well as to the natural order of humanity, for women to serve men, just order only occurs when the man commands and the woman obeys “(Saint Augustine)

“If the woman does not submit to the man, who is her head, she becomes guilty of the same sin as a man who does not submit to Christ.” ” Nothing more impure than a woman in the period . impure “(San Jerónimo)

“The woman is inferior to the man in virtue and in dignity” . “In everything that refers to the individual is defective and badly born, because the active power of the male seed tends to produce a perfect resemblance in the male sex, while the production of a woman comes from a lack of active power ” (Saint Thomas of Aquino)

As usual we welcome readers to continue growing in their faith by sharing their thoughts.

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My Testimony

My name is Louise Ouellet and I am from Canada. I would like to tell you a little bit about my story and what I am trying to do about mandatory celibacy. It was during the fall of 1995 along with my twin children of three years old and my husband whose life has been shortened by the HIV virus, I was walking toward my new church in this huge metropolis where we started a new life.

As I entered this magnificent building with breathtaking frescoed architecture, I never would have thought that a man wearing the Roman collar, someone who is married to the Church, was going to upset my little imperfect but quiet world. As I was watching him walking back and forth to get things ready for mass, I got hit with a huge wave of what instantly submerged to my very soul into a pool of pure overwhelming love.

He walked at a brisk pace in the large corridor that ran along the rows of carved wooden benches. As he approached the row where I sat, our eyes met – it was love at first sight. I felt as if I had always known him, but at that point, I did not even know his name. The only details I had were his exceptional height, blue eyes and a smile that lit up his whole beautiful face.

Despite this new indescribable feeling that came over me, I felt much guilt as I thought about my husband. The service ended, and I returned home with my family, determined to forget this incident and dismiss this new feeling.

From one Sunday to the next this uncontrollable love got the better of my reason. I wanted to know more about this man that stirred my soul and my heart. So, I decided to let events flow to open the door to friendship. I wanted to discover, without it being obvious, whether what I felt was mutual.

During this time, my husband’s health deteriorated quickly, and I felt overwhelmed. Since he did not take the drugs needed to stabilize the disease, we found ourselves faced with evidence that he had only months to live – now he had contracted full-blown AIDS.

I asked the support of the man of my heart, in his position as a priest, to accompany us on this painful journey. He nodded reassuringly and gave us all the support we needed during the illness, death, and funeral of my husband.

Now a widow, the relationship became increasingly close between us. Not two days would go by before we would call or meet each other. As insignificant as it could be, any excuse was good enough to see each other. The desire to kiss and to say how much we were in love was evident but neither of us dared to confess it.

Months had passed without anything physical happening between us, I felt his prudence and especially his fear despite his desire. One day, after having hinted that he contemplated marriage, I began to see my dream coming true. He seemed ready to take the step. There was now no barrier between us – my happiness was at its peak.

One day, his superiors realized that something was wrong. They saw that the morale of my beloved priest had been low in the recent months. He had confided to his spiritual director, revealing that he suffered from loneliness. With the help of a pretentious friend of ours, they quickly found the culprit for an inconvenient truth, for them, and could see that we were in love. They decided to separate us by imposing on him severe restrictions, of which I had no right to know the details. As for me, I was pushed aside without explanation nor support. I could quickly see that no one cared about the excruciating pain I felt.

The only thing I knew is that he was forbidden to talk to me or to my children and he was obligated to give them all my personal letters and emails, after which they would read; violating my privacy. One of them took me to his office and tried to intimidate me and mocked me about my letters. I felt so humiliated.

To keep me away from the man I loved, they began to destroy my reputation, to intimidate me and to spread rumors of ‘scandal’ among some parishioners, who were quick to judge and harass me. Meanwhile, my priest wept as much as I did, which added to my pain. I tried to fix things, but the more I tried, the worse the situation became embittered.

After twelve years of harassment and suffering, my health deteriorated due to stress and traumas that I was enduring for so long. I couldn’t beat the depression, so I decided to move far away, leaving behind the man of my life for whom I could do nothing. We never had the chance to kiss or to hold hands. We never made love.

After much therapy, I managed to go through mourning. I could forgive his superiors and some parishioners and make peace with the situation. It’s been 19 years since he was forced into silence, but the love is still in our hearts and the hope is still alive for the Church to exchange mandatory celibacy for the freedom of choice-optional celibacy. Even if this change was to come too late for my beloved priest and myself, at least it will be for the benefit of future generations.

Even if I terribly miss my beloved, I am presently in a good place in my life. I have learned with time to love myself enough to let go and appreciate life as it is. The love that I feel has grown to be an unconditional love; I believe that God, the Great I Am, is love… therefore, there is no barriers, no laws, no distance and time to stop us from loving each other. The day that I was awakened and embraced this fact, I was free from the pain. Now, I take time for myself and I share the wisdom that I salvaged from this traumatic experience in a comforting form of support for others.

One of my ways to give my support was by writing a book to share my story and bring awareness about the consequences of mandatory celibacy. It was released this summer and it is called Forbidden to Love-Pure Hearts Crushed Under the Law of Celibacy.

Also, 3 years ago, I created a website (http://forbidden-to-love.com) to give my support to the others who are going through the same thing as I did. There is so many of us, women, children and priests with heart-wrenching stories… My heart is broken for every single story that I read. It gives me the courage to keep on trying to make a difference even if sometimes it is only a word of encouragement.

In this present moment, I launched a petition to request the abolition of mandatory celibacy and to have the right to vote during the Synod. If you wish to sign and share it in your social media and in your community, you can follow this link:
https://www.change.org/p/pope-francis-vatican-help-us-abolish-the-mandatory-celibacy-law-in-the-catholic-church
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

Besides, Louise has published all her story in an ebook form. For more details visit her website. Thanks Louise for publishing your story. You have already helped so many people. Let’s talk, let’s write. Let us not put this challenge under the carpet. The Catholic church has suffered a lot because of celibacy. Let’s make it optional. Let us not divide Christ present in the sacrament of matrimony and the sacrament of the Holy Orders! Both of them are sacraments! Both of them nourish the soul.

The hidden challenges ahead

In the Catholic church we have witnessed centuries of blind obedience. We were practically trained in order to follow rules. We were always presented with a long list of what to do and what not to do. Everything was very clear….there was the truth, and there was the lie. If one tried to go against the tide, one would have sunk immediately. There was the middle age image that if one goes against the rule of the church, one would be penniless because people would make a boycott against all his professional activity.

How could one change all this? This is the beauty of the Catholic Church. When there is no hope, something new is born. A frail, sick and very old pope was elected. Everybody was commenting that the church was in a very bad position. He was practically elected to govern for a few more years until the two main parties found a consensus on a real pope! The dying pope was a pope in transition! He was Pope Saint John XXIII.

Well, the dying pope called for an ecumenical council (1962-65). As he lived in other countries where the Catholic religion was a minority, he met many good people. It started his own spiritual adventure: how could a good person, alas not baptised, not go to heaven? In a few words he started to put odd questions. He started to question the status quo of the Catholic Church.

These few paragraphs are very brief in explaining to most of our readers the culture of the Catholic Church. Practically most of our readers were born after the Second Vatican Council. I’m assuming that most of them did not receive a proper education where they were invited to come up with questions!! It’s like the old class where students where invited to listen and to jot down notes!

Nowadays even if one enters a classroom, one has to encounter students who have to ask many questions…one can’t simply bring the ready-made material for the class and to expect them simply to jot down the notes….the mentality has changed. Now, can adults do the same? Can we prepare a new spiritual ‘army’ with questions outside the box?

This is what the married priesthood entails. I’ve just met a religion teacher who was profoundly effected by the fact that one of the lecturers in the theology department was married…and he was a priest too! It’s a very old mentality where priesthood and marriage are not compatible. As if Jesus in one sacrament was against Jesus in the other sacrament!!!!!

For this reason, it shows that we can’t let others speak for us! We have to take the initiative to explain things to people. Many people still don’t know that Anglican priests are coming over with their wives whilst Catholic priests cannot marry!!! We can’t take anything for granted. We need to meet many more people. Many people following Catholic Media still don’t know about the Pope’s intention for Brasil!

We can’t wait for the pie to fall from the sky. We have to take action. We have to show the people how many priestless parishes there are going to be. We have to explain that a church without the Eucharistic celebration is nothing. The Catholic church can’t survive without celebrating the Eucharist at least once a week. On the other hand, a parish is simply not a sacrament station where one goes to fill up once a week. There has to be a community building. A community building needs some responsible people to be in the parish all the time. It’s not just going to celebrate a mass on a Sunday, and then going away soon after. Who is going to look for the lost sheep? Who is going to explain a lot of things of our faith? Who is going to comfort and give his shoulders to many people who feel all alone? There are many more duties which could make the Catholic Church come out alive but how could all this happen if there is no one to take on all these duties?

We need married priests, because they are prone to stay for a long time in a parish. They give a stable view of the parish, besides, they are already involved with the school system, teens parties etc….Their own children have to meet and mix with the rest of the parish! It’s a good way to keep the parish priest up-to-date with the parish current situation.

The role of patience

The young ones are famous for bringing about a lot of changes in a very short time. This happens in a school, business company, local council, politics and in any other sphere where human beings interact. We all know the result. Most probably most people reject change and may turn the table onto the younger ones. ‘Too soon’ and ‘too drastic’ are some of the famous sayings heard in everyday life.

Patience is not something which could be taught like in a school. It has be mastered slowly and by inner reflection. The person has to continue struggling to bring about changes, yet it has to pick up the right wave in order to bring about small changes. In other words: “Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing”; it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.” Fulton J. Sheen

We all look for results. We all want positive changes. Yet, most of the people are happy as they are. This is like the saying: everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!!

How do we achieve our dreams of married priesthood? Well there are no magical formulas. There are no instant results. We have to study how to bring about the best result. But we all need to work hard for it!

Well the Pope, true to his word, made an invitation to Brazil. It’s the country with one of the lowest percentage of priests in comparison with the faithful there. He is very shrewd. Refusing in such a big country (some call it a continent with its big dimensions), would be equal to a suicide. But the Pope started from the country which cannot refuse such a call if it wants to survive and still have Catholics in its own land. The hemorrhage is incredible in such big country. People are leaving the church in large numbers. This is the effect of not having at least a mass once a week.

Now it all depends on our response to such change. Are we going to apply pressure to the Vatican, to the local church? Are we ready to start discussing with the rest of the church? Our big guns are several but we wish to focus on two of them: one is the lack of priests where many parishes are struggling just to offer a mass per week! The other one is the common point with most non-church goers: sexuality. Most people have left because in the Catholic Church we can’t update our sexuality chapter anymore. It has to be re-written from scratch. The married priests are in a comfortable position to tell what’s most important and what could be discarded having children of their own.

We have noticed as well that some Catholic agencies didn’t publish the news that the Pope has invited Brazilian bishops to discuss priesthood for some married people (referring to male ones). This already speaks volumes. Not all the people will agree. But this should not discourage us. Living in a democratic country we should not get discouraged because of different opinions. Yet the good of the church tells us to do something before it’s too late. This should be the base on which to discuss the issue. It’s life or death situation.

Watching a TV program discussing ghosts, dead people, afterlife etc….shows how little do the people know of what the church truly teaches!! There is a lot of confusion, everybody coming out with a new version of what happens after death…….we need more priests, we need more catechists to tell them what the church teaches!

Rev Father has a baby!

Hello! This is Aj from the Philippines which has a large number of Roman Catholics. I’ve been looking for this site because I want to share my feelings and story too. I need some advice so I can move on and know what to do. I’m a Director in my company and a nurse by profession so currently I’m a health advocate and sharing true health to all people. One day a friend of mine referred me to a Major Seminarian School, so maybe I could offer them my products. At first I was very shy because it was my first time to go there, meeting seminarians and Priests. But it was all good.

Then one Day they invited me to visit again the seminary school for there was a birthday party, probably a luncheon together with the seminarians and all priests who resided in that school. On that day we were about to start the birthday party when a Guy about 5’7 in height came out from the office downstairs and with a smile, of course I smiled back. In my mind ” Hmm He’s cute and Handsome” All I knew he was just one of the ordinary people destined to meet that day but to my surprise, He was the Birthday Boy and what hurt me was he was a Priest. Well, nothing is special, I just let the idea go by the wind. So, I greeted him with a Happy B’day Father!

I ate lunch with the seminarians and all the residence priest together. And I just left the place for almost a year… then it was one month of Sept.2016 when I went back to that place to sell our products because it was already my deadline to pay bills and credit cards so I went there. This B’day Boy, ” The Priest” that I once met was there again. I asked him to buy my products…. he he that was so embarrassing coz I’m selling it by force! And He offered me to lend me his money. I promised to return it back in due time. I ate my pride and took it! He was leaving for 2 weeks for his retreat in Baguio so we’ll see each other after that. We texted and having video call after his activity and before he was going back to bed till he came back after the retreat and planned to see each other. Finally he returned back after 2 weeks. To give thanks and for welcoming him again and secretly send him a bunch of flowers and balloons in the seminary school as a form of thank you and post b’day gift. He was really surprised that day because that was his first time to receive such a gift like that. And he knew it came from me. Ha ha it was my first time to do that too. Ah well I’m in a long distance relationship for 3 years now to my Fililippino bf who’s in America, had never had the chance to see each other personally just in skype, fb and social media.

To cut it short, I’m single for almost 8 years after my first boyfriend and next was this LDR for 3 years. So, for me that “killing factor in tagalog” or goosebumps and attraction every time I saw this Priest is really breathtaking for I used to be alone every time. Back to that roses I gave him, He thanked me a lot and he even cried for he never received one ever since” Well, you’re a Priest that’s why! He he.. We agreed that “to fall in love with each other is a BIG NO NO! For us because we are just friends and it’s a wrongful act If it ever does happen then we need to move away from each other. The communication continues… then one day he invited me to attend his mass in cabugao, so i decided to go. He invites me to eat at the parish in order for me to introduce my products to the other priests but i refused. I told him that I’ll just meet him outside. After his dinner he gave me a lift at 711 and decided to stay together to have some catch ups! I was really nervous and excited that time because the feeling was really good and it was so overwhelming. We don’t know what happened next till we just discovered that we are already in a certain place, private place, private room, to be exact like normal couple and Yes! We kissed, We hugged and We made Love. We stayed together till morning! Things happened so fast. I couldn’t explain my feelings. We bid goodbye after that 1st time that we made love. The communication continues… and it gets deeper and deeper especially from the moment when he said “I LOVE YOU”, and of course just to be honest to myself I said “I LOVE YOU Too”.

After the first time we continued seeing each other every Sunday or anytime as long as we wanted to meet. The feelings gets deeper and deeper like normal couples who used to made love and share happy moments together. For almost one year of having together we had a Baby Julian and he thanked me a lot for giving him the opportunity to give him a child. We love each other so much that one time he told me to leave his ministry for us, his family. I told him to decide well because it will be a BIG decision. He cried every time he’ll see our picture with our baby. He wanted to be with us normally but just can’t.

A few months from now he’ll be leaving to Australia, he promised me that he’ll be with us very soon. My mom knew already that he’s the Father of my Baby and accepted it. Now we don’t know what to do. He’s 6 years in service to God. He pursued his Priesthood because he bargained to God that if his mom survived the brain tumour then He would serve him forever…but now, I was already on the scene and our Baby. Do you have any advice about us? Please help, we love each other so much.

I remind everybody that comments which judge or try to bully this woman will simply not be tolerated. But besides that. This case has a new revelation. The priest now is a biological father of a baby. This changes everything. He has the legal and moral duty to take care of his own baby. Now excuse can be used in order not to take care of the baby. He can’t simply hide and go away. Let’s continue following this case. Let’s all be one in our online community by helping Aj to have a proper care for her baby.

Another hot and cold priest

I’m Wendy. My priest’s name is Craig. Forgive the long story, but I don’t know how to understand my priest. His behaviour is odd, and it’s ripping me up inside.

Let me start by saying that this has been a horrible year for me! In the same month, I had a tumour on my neck, my mother went into kidney failure, and my 67 year old boss was constantly harassing me, and threatening to fire me, so she could afford to keep her 35 year old boyfriend in the company. He just got out of rehab, and hasn’t been employed a year. He went to rehab after working at my company just one week, when he showed up at work drunk. My boss sent him to rehab for three months, then brought him back to the company, where he took my promised promotion. We were in a deficit, and could not afford him, so now all of a sudden, she was finding all kinds of flaws in my work, while he is paid literally just to sit around, and be her boyfriend. On July 4th, she finally got rid of me. My point of all this, is that this year has been misery, and my priest was like a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

He came to my parish as a parochial vicar in 2014. To be honest, I did not like him. I had a private meeting with him to ask a question about a dilemma I was facing. He was rude, and sarcastic. I thanked him for his time, and left.

After that, he’d say hi to me in church. I’d nod politely. I’m the shy type, so I’m not good with eye contact. In 2015, my mother was hospitalised in ICU. (We live together, because of her many health problems. She rarely goes to church.) Father came to visit her. It was their first time meeting. She told him that I went to his church. When she said my name, he said, “Oh yes. She’s the pretty dark-haired girl who sits in the front row.”

After that, he approached me CONSTANTLY in church. He’d ask me how my mother was. When it was time to give the sign of peace, he’d step off the altar, and shake my hand. During the procession when mass was ending, he’d stop, and ask me how she was. He even knelt beside me during Adoration, and asked. That shocked me, because Adoration is done in silence. He started calling the house a lot, and coming over to the house. He wanted to give my mother Communion. I remember thinking that I misjudged him. He was a nice guy after all.

This behaviour continued until summer of 2016, when I came to church 10 minutes late. He gave me a dirty look, and kept his eyes closed during most of the service. When it came time to give the sign of peace, he never came over, like he usually did. Was he really that mad about me being late for church? The next week, I was on time. He was still cold. He would be all laughter, and smiles towards everyone else, then his face would change when he saw me. He looked at me like he hated me, or would just close his eyes. This went on for a month. Mom told me that it was my imagination. That following Sunday, there were two priests. The pastoral vicar proceeded out the front door, I left out the side door, like I always do. To my surprise, there was Father holding the door open as the parishioners exited. There were just three parishioners in front of me, and no one was behind me. I saw him smile, and shake the parishioners hands. He would joke with them, and ask them questions. This for me, was the moment of truth. How he reacted when I walked out that door, would tell me whether or not I was imagining things. Sure enough, the second he saw me, his face changed. He looked straight ahead as if he didn’t see me. I said goodbye to him, and he didn’t even acknowledge me. Just looked straight ahead.

Months went by, and my church attendance dwindled. It wasn’t really because of him. Things regrettably, got in the way. And yes, my faith was (and still is) on the decline. Last November, a gland that was swollen on my neck since the summer, got bigger, and was throbbing. It turned out to be a tumour. During that period, to my shock there was a knock at the door, and it was Father. I hadn’t seen him in months. Unfortunately, Mom and I were both sick, and improperly dressed so we did not answer the door. It surprised me though.

This January, besides my tumour, my mother went into kidney failure, and my boss started harassing me. I went to another church in town because they were having confession that day. I wanted to return to God. To my surprise, I heard Father’s voice in the confessional. It turns out that during the period when I was missing church, the older priests either retired, or transferred, so Father became the parochial vicar of 5 parishes! During confession, he was so compassionate, and understanding. He visited my mother when she was in the ICU. I decided to ask him for an anointing on my tumour. When I came to the rectory, he was very caring. The only thing I thought was odd was that he was ogling my legs. His eyes went from my feet to my legs, to my thighs, and once there, they widened, and remained transfixed. I was wearing ordinary pants. In fact, I don’t even think that I have nice legs, so that surprised me.

When he saw me in church that following Saturday, it was like old times. He was friendly, and went out of his way to say hi to me. Ten days after the anointing, I called him to tell him that a miracle happened. Out of nowhere, water started pouring out of my neck, and the tumour went down to the size of a mosquito bite. He didn’t call back. A few days later, on Ash Wednesday, I went to church. Before the service began, he came out to talk to me. I showed him the tumour, and he was surprised. He shook my hand, and went to start the service. Because I had just come home from work, I ate on the drive to the church, so I did not receive Communion. When the service ended, I lagged behind, and knelt in prayer.

After the miracle occurred, my faith reignited, so I stared at the Tabernacle, gave thanks, and asked God to heal my mother, and to help me at my job. Father then approached me from behind, and asked me if I had wanted Communion. I explained to him why I didn’t take it. He told me that an hour had gone by, and it was okay for me to take it. He went to the sacristy behind the altar, and gave me some. It was at that moment that I started to get feelings for him. I thought about him constantly, but I didn’t act on it. He’s 14 years older than I am, but he seemed to be the perfect man. That weekend I was out of town, so I didn’t go to Mass. Monday, when I went to work, my boss brought me into her office, and ordered me to go into therapy, or she would fire me. Her boyfriend said that I was creating a hostile work environment by interrupting his recording sessions by tapping on my watch (I don’t even wear a watch.), and by asking if I could go in there. I told her that I’d hardly call that hostile, and it was in fact him who was doing that to me, and I showed her the email proving it. It was from another coworker telling him not to interrupt me during recording sessions. My boss remained unmoved, and forced me to go into therapy. I was furious! During Lent, the church had Adoration. After work, I went straight to Church, and I cried to the Eucharist. All of a sudden, Father came in. He gave me the warmest smile. Suddenly my pain seemed bearable. That following Tuesday, the church also had evening Mass during Lent. I went. When Mass ended, Father left behind the altar. I stayed, and knelt down begging God to help me with my problems. There was the parochial vicar, and some other people still in church. Suddenly from behind the altar, Father comes out, and says, “Has it been an hour yet?” It was only a 30 minute Mass, and I ate on the car ride over, so I told him no. He laughed. I was sitting in the front pew, and there was a barrier in front of it. He knelt against it, and said that he would give me a blessing, instead. He touched my head. He asked me how my tumor was. He also said that he wanted to see it. I moved my hair from my neck, and showed him. He also asked me when I’d know the results of my MRI. I answered him.

His voice then took on a more seductive tone. He was whispering. “It was wonderful seeing you the other night in Adoration. It’s a great place to meditate, and receive peace.” He started looking at my hands which were folded in prayer. He stared into my eyes, and smiled. He had a dreamy expression on his face. We kept staring at each other smiling. This may seem weird, but it felt like an electrical current had passed from him into me. I had a feeling something was about to happen; like he was going to kiss me, or something. It scared me, so I rapidly turned my head away from him. Still dreamy-eyed, he whispered, “Bless you!” He told me that he had to go. He gave me the most seductive smile,waved goodbye, and went back behind the altar. I went home in a daze. I knew at that moment, that it wasn’t just my imagination, or wishful thinking. Father wanted me. I told Mom about it when I got home. She warned me to be careful.

That Friday, when I went to work, the boss gave me another written warning threatening to fire me, if I did not stop “creating a hostile work environment”. I had been recording notes into my cellphone, and her boyfriend said that it was making him uncomfortable, because he didn’t know why I was doing it. It was notes about recording the news, sports, and weather. She said that if she had to write me up one more time, I’d be fired.

That Sunday evening, I called a coworker while he was at work, to ask him a question. He answered, then told me, “Crazy stuff is going on here at work. There are men sitting downstairs with guns. They said that the boss told them to come. They’ve been here the past three nights!” I worked on an Indian Reservation, and they have their own government agencies, and some of them do carry guns.

This was too much! I hadn’t told the priest about my problems at work, but I called him up, and left a voice mail, asking if I could use the church after hours to just sit, and pray. I told him about what was going on at work. The doors lock automatically, so locking up wouldn’t be an issue. There was no return call, so I decided to pray in the Church parking lot. I just wanted to be as close as I could to the Eucharist. Well, when I got to the parking lot, I saw that the Church was all lit up, and there were cars, everywhere. I felt that God had answered my prayers. Thinking it was a Mass, I rushed inside, and took a seat. It turned out to be a confirmation class. I was embarrassed, but I just continued to kneel, and pray. When class was over, and he greeted everyone as they left the church, I heard him ask the parochial vicar if everyone in the church was gone.

I took that as a sign that he didn’t want me there, so I started to leave, when he stopped me. I told him what was going on at work. To my horror, he was rude, and condescending. He told me I could stay after if I wanted, but I was so embarrassed, I just left. After that, he was mean to me. He’d look at me, and roll his eyes. He’d get angry if I stayed after Mass to pray. He even yelled at me. I would just ignore him, and continue praying. Lots of people come to church when it’s empty to pray. Why did he care so much what I did? He could just sit in the rectory, and ignore me.

So Father wouldn’t feel uncomfortable around me, I asked a male coworker to come to church with me. Maybe then Father would feel relief, and stop being so awkward around me. Of course, my coworker saw this as an opportunity to take advantage of the situation. He kept touching me, hugging me, and putting his arm around me. I politely asked him to stop. To my surprise, Father was jealous! He said the Mass with tears in his eyes. He actually sat on the altar, and buried his head in his hands. He was stumbling, and losing his place while he read. When Mass ended, he nodded to my coworker, then hung his head as he left the church. He did not greet anyone. I felt terrible.
He treated me worse after that. Finally, on Good Friday, when the church was empty, I told Father that I wanted the other Priest to perform a blessing on me for the results on my tumor were not as optimistic as I had hoped. They were inconclusive (still are), but the doctor didn’t like the looks of my MRI. He told me that the other priest was at the rectory. I hesitated, then said, “I’d ask you to do it, but you hate me.”

He gave me a look of shock, then said, “I don’t hate you. Why do you think that?”
I then proceeded to tell him everything. He denied doing it. He then changed the subject by saying, “This is the most eye contact I ever made with you! Usually when I talk to you, you look at the floor. I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.” Still looking him in the eye, I shook my head to tell him no. He smiled, and said, “This is nice.” He then gave me a blessing, and I left. I thought everything was good, but the eye rolls continued. A few months ago, one of his employees asked me to volunteer at the church. I told her that I get on Father’s nerves, so I’d rather not. Well, I didn’t know that he’d come walking by right after I said that. She pulled him aside. They both looked at me, and started talking. They talked for quite a while. He then gave me the dirtiest look, and left. It was the other priest’s turn to do Mass that day.

A week later, as I was leaving Mass, he pulled me aside, and told me how it bothered him that I thought he didn’t like me. He said that he felt no ill-will towards me, he liked having me there, and he was sorry. I just stood there, and listened. I was going to argue with him. He then put his hand out for me. I thought he wanted to shake it, but he just held it for a good 30 seconds. He let go, and started to walk away. I stopped him, and told him that on Monday, my mother was going to be tested to see if she qualified to get a kidney transplant, and I wanted to donate one to her. He offered to come over and anoint her. He came over for the first time in a while, and anointed her, and yes, he ogled my legs again. And no I was not dressed seductively.

After coming home from the days of numerous tests which we still don’t have an answer for, I went back to work to discover that I was fired. I didn’t bother to tell my priest. I still don’t know how to take him. In church, he’ll say hi, but part of me wonders if it’s just to save face, because his employee talked to him about what I said about getting on his nerves. He still closes his eyes when he sees me in church. He treats no one else this way, because I look. Everyone thinks he’s nice, warm, and charismatic. I used to think so, too. I’m uncomfortable going to church now. Yesterday, was a holy day, and I almost didn’t go to Mass out of fear of what the priest would think. I then realized that I was putting the priest before God, so I went to church in spite of him. He saw me, rolled his eyes, then kept them closed for the rest of the service. It’s hurtful. He’s the pastor of five churches, so I can’t really get away from him. I believe that love is the most Christian act of all, and if mandatory celibacy is causing you to neglect, and even be mean to your female parishioners, and make them feel too uncomfortable to even go to Mass, then it’s not creating a holy service to God. I fell in love with him, but never acted on it. Never even told him about it. I rarely even look at him. I just leave church every week with a hole in my heart.

Readers: Wendy is asking for guidance. She’s asking other woman what they did in such situation. Please give your feedback as it might help a lot. Thanks.

The Surprises of the Holy Spirit

It’s summer, it’s hot. Our spiritual lives most of the time reflect our hot season. This summer has been too hot. We feel dryness on our inside too, in our spiritual lives. We would like to see the apostolic church to take over our church. In our Western Culture we are used to see changes, if not we do change our government. We are used to voting on a paper, if not, we do vote with our feet.

In the church and in our spiritual lives things tend to be different. The changes sometimes are too subtle to notice. Most of the time they take ages to see. Besides that, for many years it seems that nothing has been happening at all! We tend to lose faith. We tend to find comfort in other matters as we resign ourselves to the status quo in the church. We are a little bit impatient!

The life of prayer tends to make us familiar with how God sees things. It changes us to God’s image. In the real prayer we let God melt us to a unique image. God is not in a hurry. He gives enough time to all. This time could be our learning curve. We take time to realise who is a good friend to us. We take time to understand how God works in our lives. We take time to grow in our relationships. We take time to see how our children are growing and changing.

These days, sort of an insignificant event took place. In a parish, a nun was authorised to conduct a wedding. It was a glimpse of how things could change. The pope himself knows that the age of the priests is already a time bomb. If most of them are of a certain age, then a future pope won’t have the luxury to mull over a decision. He has to take action immediately if he wants the survival of the faith communities!

Reading some comments of our readers, it seems that some of them have given up all hope that the Catholic Church will ever change! We wish to bolster the faith of all. Yes the Catholic Church changes according to God’s wishes. But we are confident that married priests will be included some time in the future. The church will become more beautiful with married priests although there will always be unmarried priests. The church is a community where different people, with different attitudes can live side by side, next to each other in a peaceful way.

Let’s hope that our blog besides showing the face of the future church, will also inspire many christians not to wait but to start the change themselves by supporting married priests. Let’s hope that the faith of our readers will increase and not decrease when faced with centuries of still, malodorous water!

Recently, in what is considered a large parish, I asked about which activities were being organised for young people. Surprisingly the answer was practically none. Now in this parish, the population growth is incredible. Its truly increasing by leaps and bounds. The number of young people is immense…yet there were no activities in the parish, targeting such tender age. If one were to attend mass in this parish, unsurprisingly there are only people with silver hair!! Obviously the young people do go out and have fun…but there is no one to guide them. They do not come to church. Consequently there is no such uniting factor such as the church, in today’s society.

As a parent I know about the headaches of summer….the young people do not know how to spend their free time. There is the temptation of online games for boys and the watching of films or TV series for girls..not just for a few hours but for endless days. In some countries, there are summer camps which are a blessing. Yet there is no direct reference to their spiritual growth.

Besides, just walking with some young people and listening to their conversations, their kind of language..one sees that most of them, although they still yearn for a good quality life, the discourse of God and their personal spiritual growth is far away or maybe none at all.

Some years ago, we had the introduction of divorce and the resultant discussion. Practically in all countries (including Catholic Malta!!) it has been introduced with large majorities. Now, in some countries, the issue of gay marriage has surfaced and people have shown that they do care about such people and they do not want any discrimination. Again they have voted with large majorities. The issue of the contraceptives is considered to be buried once for all as the people are using them left, right and centre, although surprisingly there has been no change from Pope Francis. This brings a fundamental question: what about the church? Does it question it’s own teachings? Are ‘we right’ and them ‘wrong?’ The pope Francis himself said: Who am I to judge a gay person?

The friars in this parish are all cosy in their rooms happy of performing the miracle of mass everyday. Yet, do they realise that in most western countries, the people need to be evangelised about the basic things of religion? Just ask some basic questions (which we were supposed to learn by heart in our age), and you’ll be surprised with the quality of answers received! Do they believe that if we don’t care about our young people, there will be no church in the future?

This brings me to one fundamental choice: let married people become priests and they will change the church as they already have experience with most the daily conflicts, trials, debates and faith issues they face in their family. They already have the knack of approaching and directing young people. Let’s make use of them so that the church can benefit from such expertise.

All readers are welcome to continue the debate.

One question which baffles most women is that of a double life. How can a priest: who is so near God; breathes God; thinks about God; prays to God; speaks about God etc…can lead a double life? He tells others what to do and how to avoid sin, yet he breaks his promise (or vow) and makes love to a woman and feels ok!!! To make matters worse, in some cases, he has more than one woman! That’s why some people call priests womanizers.

One has to remember that a priest is a public person. It’s so difficult for normal men to have a hidden lover let alone a priest. Yet some of them are most successful in having a hidden lover.

Let’s try to understand the mindset of a priest. Before we proceed let’s make it clear that we are in no way condoning such behaviour. We do not agree with such attitude and bad use of a woman friend.

The priest is feeling lonely. He feels the need to be loved. He needs somebody who knows him directly and in a personal way (remember he is always talking to crowds and when in confession he is dealing with problems of other people). Most of the parishes cannot afford two priests. Hence there is no comfort in sharing his daily experience of parishioners with another colleague. He is to be strong in front of other people especially his congregation. On the inside he feels that he is going to fall one day or another as he feels so weak.

As we have mentioned several times, it’s not easy to leave priesthood, for various reasons (maybe the most important one is the financial one plus housing). Besides, the gossip of the parishioners terrifies him. Hence the logical conclusion would be to open up to a person and to expose his real self. This might not be done immediately or on a conscious level, yet the deeper needs of a man win in the long run.

Priests, notwithstanding speaking badly about women (owing to the brainwashing experienced during the initial formative years), yet he feels the urge to experience a woman directly. He does see many woman and the many sacrifices they perform both in family and at work. Indirectly he does admire such people but he cannot admit it as it goes against all his previous teaching.

God works in mysterious ways. We do believe that everything that happens is not simply by chance. The encounter with his special person will bring about a new level of understanding and intimacy. It’s up to the priest and the woman, if they let such friendship grow and multiply. In most cases, it’s the priest who pushes forward such a relationship. Most women feel a lot of empathy for their hero priest. In most cases, the women will get to know the church and priesthood for the first time (in such a direct and personal way). They do suffer for their priests. They feel the need to provide an emotional shelter for their friend. They feel the urge to show empathy.

When sex takes place, obviously there is a unique intimacy between the two even though sex is viewed in a different way from both sexes. Most of the women are so happy that they’ll start to dream about the couple’s future. But disaster will soon strike as the female will realise that their priest does not want to leave his former wife (the church) even though he keeps procrastinating. In that case, it’s up to the female to either let go their relationship or else let herself being taking for a ride, as the priest will keep her hanging on for infinity!

One of the tactics employed by priests is that they force their woman to remain silent. The woman involved in such a clandestine relationship complies as she realises that she would be the victim if a word about their relationship comes out! Hence, unknowingly she would be the sacrificial lamb in the priest’s hands. In our experience it’s so hard to convince the woman to report the priest to authorities or at least to leave him, as the love link with the priest is so strong. Most of the women would still feel guilty even though their priest maybe disciplined by higher authorities for their own good.

Let’s make our blog alive by receiving the readers’ reaction. We are waiting for your response. May God Bless you all!

Understanding the Pope

One can find it difficult to understand himself/herself sometimes. It could become more complicated when one has to understand another person. But how about understanding a public person….such as the Pope? Well the journalists are all the time trying to decipher the Pope’s character and believes through public speaking and when he interrelates with people.

One knows that a public person is always very attentive in what one does and says. Indirectly one uses a camouflage so as to protect some of his/her thoughts from being divulged into the general public. The Pope carries a lot of moral weight, hence he is more cautious than a normal prime minister or president.

All Catholics, in one way or another they look up to the Pope to strengthen their faith. They look for consolation and hope. The Pope answers questions on a particular question. Now there is always the fear of being misinterpreted or given the wrong meaning (sometimes on purpose!!) by listeners. Well, all those trained in communication know really well that if there is a group of ten people, most probably there will be ten different interpretations for the same event. That is because we are not neutral to information especially when it comes from a Pope. The so called Catholics who belong to the ‘progressive’ or ‘conservative’ groups might give totally different interpretations to what they see and hear from the Pope’s mouth! Others let their emotions run wild as soon as they see the man in white clothes! There are some with a hidden political agenda, ready to kill their opponents by quoting the Pope’s message!!

The Pope himself might give different reactions to some issues which leaves readers more perplexed! With all these fears, we too try to give you the right picture although it’s not that easy. Obviously it regards married priesthood.

One one hand, the Pope is hinting for more participation from the laity (those who are not priests) as when it comes to selecting the bishop for a diocese. Yet when a priest needs to get married he does not propose to get married and stay as a priest!
In the selection of a bishop, we already have the parish councils. How is he thinking of consulting the laity? Is he going to make use of the parish councils or does he have in mind something completely different? Or plus the parish councils, is he going to include other people? Some people expert in politics would immediately point out some games people play in order to get elected. Yet in today’s world how can one appoint a new bishop without consulting the general public?

So how can one interpret this action vis-a-vis married priests? Is he in favour of married priests, yes or no? Or is he hinting that those who leave are ‘traitors’ (sorry for the harsh word) ? Does he prefer to select already married people (but not priests), in order to train them for priesthood? Which is the way to go? Why no bishop have asked for married priests publicly? Is it just the Pope who mentioned this idea? Or is it still too far away project? How is the church going to survive when we have so many parishes without a resident priest??!!

This is the reason why we as married priests, help other people. We cannot let the church be ruined just because of a man made law which is leaving many people without the Eucharist and any other ecclesial activity including reading of the bible etc…Deep in our conscience, we cannot say no to people who ask for our services. We are priests forever because once a priest is always a priest. This is true theology (the science which focuses on God). We cannot simply delete our priesthood!