Tag Archive: silence

When we were young we were submitted to various teachings. Most of the time, we read books. We tried to assimilate as much as we could. Then years passed by and somehow we re-connected to what teachers/parents/guardians had told us. Most probably what we’ve been thought was good. Yet in real life it seems that it is a different kind of fish. It’s what we call the gap between the theory and real life!

We were thought to look up to priests for friendship, counselling, ideas etc…Obviously in theory everything is in order. Yet each every human being is formed not only through teaching, but through personal experience, chemicals present in his genes etc…All this will make it highly improbable to foretell his future life as each person has a different outcome, which is based on millions of variables.

The first step is when one is asking for help. It brings the baptised person close to a priest. This is the work of the priest after all! But what happens when most of the priests feel all alone, neglected, alienated, disappointed and put aside? A normal kind of friendship (obviously there is nothing wrong), could be a tempting one for the priest. Instead of listening and comforting the person, the priest fulfils his needs for friendship, attention, love etc…within the counselling sessions. A counsellor has to listen to the client and not vice-versa, at least he can’t talk for a long period of time. The fact that the priest starts talking about his life means automatically that the sessions are taking a different path!

On the part of the person who is seeking the priest’s help, things start moving differently when they view the priest not as a counsellor but as the one who is fulfilling their dream of the ideal man! Obviously when one meets another person for a few hours weekly, it’s very easy to idolise that person! Remember that most people as viewed at work, might seem to be the ideal person. It’s when one lives with the person that one sees the complete picture! Yet, when one is hungry for love, recognition, attention and self affirmation, all other things will occupy a less important place in their lives! They just want to cling to somebody no matter what! It could be that we’re living in anonymous cities (Western part of the world), hence we desperately need friends!

We’ve been saying for quite some time now that priests who explain the word of God every Sunday (plus maybe other public meetings), are practically revealing their inner self to the general public. He is the one who speaks about a lot of values where no one speaks anymore (or at least not that often!). Speaking about such values will put more fire on a woman’s heart who is burning with desire to have a loving partner.

The priest in most cases, has all the time of the world to meet, listen and talk with parishioners. He is the one who makes his own timetable hence, he is easily available! The priest has no one to report to for his day to day running. Hence he can postpone last minute meetings without giving any real reason or hiding behind superficial reasons!

We don’t wish to give the message that it’s impossible, yet in the present circumstances, it’s getting more difficult to be a good friend to a priest. When a person is not complete (in many senses), it could lead to trouble, whether he is a priest, bishop, Pope, woman etc…In mathematics they used to teach us that a minus ( – ) with a minus ( – ), make a plus!

Our wish to have married priests will help the church to have a better system where priests are living in a relationship which will help them understand better the need for attention, love, affirmation etc…We’re not saying that it’s foolproof. There is nothing perfect. Yet on the human side of the argument, it will help them to be better prepared to work in today’s church.

Browsing the internet one finds an infinite number of discussions, opinions etc….but when touching the Catholic Church, notwithstanding the thirst for the truth and the new social phenomena such as Facebook or blogs, one still encounters a big silence. People may have many prejudices when it comes to the church. In part this is the fault of the church as it still does not feel at home with journalists and adult questions. It’s very rare that the church answers some of the most popular questions in a practical way. The church has a long tradition of teaching children. Now children, even the most intelligent and outspoken ones, cannot ask adult questions or read between the lines. So facing adults with awkward questions is still something new in the church.

I feel this when explaining to Catholics the benefits of a married priesthood. Shall I tell them how many priests are sexually active gays? Shall I tell them how many priests abuse their role in the parish and lead an active sexual life after 18 years living in the monastery? I don’t feel at home speaking badly about priests….yet somebody has to tell the truth as otherwise people would think otherwise! The general public is mostly unaware of what happens behind the monastery walls….

This is why the Catholic church has been using silence in its favour by avoiding talking at all. The good point is that avoiding a problem is possible, but deleting the problem is NOT possible, simply by ignoring that it exists!! One day or another, with the inquisitive and social media of today, priests having sexual relationships, will be uncovered. Then we will hear the same answer…they are anti-catholic journalists, atheists etc……but the truth is that the vow of silence would have been broken. We are not inventing the facts but these have been happening for a very long time and nobody dared to report them to the general public.

A good manager sees the problem before it is uncovered. Hence he prepares on how to deal with it. We’ve been insisting that priests are human beings. They face a lot of lonely moments and difficult decisions. They are never prepared, on a human level, to face life all alone. Now during these fragile moments, sexual abuse becomes very attractive. If priests are let to speak freely we would be at least acknowledging the problem! Yet whoever starts the discussion is quietly urged to solve it on his own in private! And we know what that means…go and find a woman but not in your parish!

On the other hand, marrying a woman is not just for sexual hunger but rather for facing life challenges together. We always acknowledge that women have been very important in the history of the church, so in a way, married priesthood is acknowledging their role in the life of a priest. There are numerous advantages for those who interested to discuss the challenge!