Here it is the beginning of March, 2019! How sad it is that Good Tidings still exists! How sad that woman are still in need of peer support as they remain in their relationships with priests. Yes, I use the word "relationship" because I don't agree that the word is limited to loving relationships, but also applies to abusive ones, or other forms such as friendship, or mentoring. The word is not exclusive to relationships of equals as our romantic songs and media would have us think.
Women in relationships with priests can be blessed or cursed by the nature and quality of that relationship. Those blessed, know they are loved because it is not hidden. They are not "second place" to priesthood. Their children, if the priest fathers children, are not hidden, or denied, or silenced regarding their "dads" but are loved openly before God and people, REGARDLESS THE COST!
The news that has been in all papers and media throughout the world in recent weeks has been covering sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy. It is real and widespread, leaving faithful priests suffering in the wake of the playboys. It leaves the Roman Catholic faithful suffering as well, whether they are family or friends of abuse victims, or victims in the pews suffering from the awareness they have been betrayed by priests who vest and present themselves as celibate chaste priests while they are actually buggering the children and youth among us. It is a horror. It is not a nightmare though, because it is real and affects us all in our ability to trust. We are not dreaming, we are living this horror.
Good Tidings has quietly addressed the matter of adult women and priests, and sadly those who are abused by priests. Vulnerable adults do not get the sympathy that abused youth naturally and rightly get. Adults are supposed to be able to protect themselves, so it is thought. Yet, the reason we have professional licensing among doctors and lawyers and other helping professionals is to protect vulnerable adults who seek their assistance. When professionals abuse clients, the professionals lose their licenses. It is how life works. Yet priests who abuse are yet to be automatically defrocked! Rather they have been and continue to be protected in one way or another and I for one have become convinced that those who protect them are themselves abusers in hiding.
This blog will from this point on, be open to some of the women who have been affected by this issue of priestly sexual misconduct. And, make no mistake, that is what it is (minimally), sexual misconduct! Priests are bound by chastity, as are all Christians. Priests of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church (as well as other Rites in the US and Canada) are also bound by mandatory clerical celibacy (unless of course they were lucky enough to be born Anglican, ordained Anglican priests and converted to Roman Catholicism over their opposition to women priests, in which case THEY get to have their wives and families). Priests generally are expected to be chaste and celibate. When they are not, they need to decide which path they are taking (until Rome allows the option of married priesthood to ALL).
When my husband and I realized we loved each other, back in the 1970's, we realized we needed serious discernment regarding our choices. We took two years for that. When after counseling and spiritual direction my husband was at peace, we married in 1980. He was punished for his integrity. Had he stayed and played, he would have had a comfortable life, respected by all who thought they knew him, and thought him to be honest, and a celibate priest. Rather, he chose to be honest in reality, and not hide me, and to father a family in public, not keeping us hidden. Integrity is possible. Over 100,000 priests have chosen integrity and left canonical priesthood to live honest lives. The Church has a right to honest priests, honest servants, and has a right to demand honesty and integrity from those priests who remain in canonical priesthood.
I've heard priests talk about the phrase, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" That is the most misogynous statement any man can make, and when priests live by that thinking it is disgusting.
Women need to be aware. You would not take such treatment from any layman! Don't take it from a priest who uses his priesthood as an excuse to hide you or the children you have with him. Thousands of priests have made the choice for integrity Your guy is no better than they are, and has no right to presume his right to priesthood. Your guy has no right to abuse you or your love, or expect you to protect his living a lie. If you do, you teach your children to do the same.
Priests of the Lie! That needs to end in our time so the future of priesthood is not destroyed.