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  #46  
Old May 4, '12, 3:32 pm
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teresadeavila View Post
Little personal life talk, a few stories from our past in high school, family relationships, but not much else - nothing that belongs to the confessor or anything intimate. He also gives me spiritual advice, and I talk about how working parents balance work, life, our faith, etc.

I just want to make sure I'm not crossing any boundaries here.
Based on my experience having close frinds who are priests, I would say make the priest a family friend. I do believe a man and a woman can be non-sexual friends, but I also think it is best --for your marriage, for his vocation, and to ward of scandal --if you include your husband in these conversations.

Certainly priests need friends, but as another poster said, it is important that the priest not be tempted to share "work" issues with you. Also, it is very important not to give the impression of undue favoritism, so occasionally I'd expand the circle beyond you and hubby. Maybe invite a few other young marrieds (or young not-marrieds) to the movies as well.
  #47  
Old May 5, '12, 9:35 am
barb finnegan barb finnegan is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

I say 'yes, it is possible', because I've known it myself.

My best, best friend is a priest in England, who was ordained by Blessed John Paul II thirty years ago the end of this month. I met him 'by accident' on October 13, 1988 in Fatima, Portugal. i was in the house of the Vice-Postulator for the Fatima visionaries, and I struck up a conversation with him while he was there with his pilgrim group. I was so excited about meeting him (he was, and is, very friendly) that I forgot to get his address; luckily, an elderly Brit whom I met on my previous three visits to Fatima got it for me. It happened that this priest and his group were at a hotel around the corner from where I was staying!

We've been corresponding (and occasionally calling) ever since. I've seen him three times: 1989 (saw him in London when he was leading another pilgrim group-he said Mass in the lower chapel of Westminster Cathedral, and I attended that Mass as well), 1997 and 1999 (both times in his current parish). I think of him as 'the brother I could have had' (same age as my older sister and the brother who was born with her, but unfortunately died at birth). I can talk or write to him on almost anything!

I've also had other priest-friends. One was a Franciscan whom I met through a mutual lady-friend. When he and I met for spiritual direction, we hit it off immediately. He was a funny guy from New Jersey (his accent cracked me up), and had also been in Assisi as a summer tour guide early in his priesthood. I had been to Assisi, too, so we had another thing in common! I got to go to his Silver Jubilee in 1990; unfortunately, he was already sick with cancer, and died six months later. I was devastated-I wept when I read his obit in my local paper, because he was at the [then] Franciscan parish when we met in 1981. I was able to go to his wake and funeral, and visited his grave in New Jersey several times in the 1990s, when I visited the Blue Army Shrine nearby.

Another priest I was friends with was from Quebec, Canada. I met him in 1991, literally in the front yard of St. Therese's childhood home, 'Les Buissonets' in Lisieux! We wrote for a time, and I saw him again in the south of France after his ordination (I didn't even know in 1991 that he was a seminarian until he sent me a photo of himself at the time of his diaconal ordination!) in 1993. He lived in a small village near the mountains near Lourdes, and so I got to make day-trips from the village to Lourdes by train. The last time I saw him was in 1994 when I visited him in Quebec. I stayed with some friends of his on the 'Ile 'dOrleans' near Quebec City, which is where he was born. The last time I heard from him was when he sent me a postcard from Quebec City, saying that he was returning home to Canada from France due to ill-health. But I still think of him as another 'spiritual brother', and mention him by name with my English priest-friend in my daily Rosary and at the 'commemoration of the living' at my Sunday TLM.

Yes, it is possible that a priest and a woman can be friends. All the priests I've ever known have respected me-I have never felt uncomfortable around them.
  #48  
Old May 5, '12, 11:11 am
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

Barb those are great stories! But you are not describing the same thing the OP was. She talked about seeing the priest regularly at lunch or the movies. Visits when he is not acting in the role of or dressed as a priest.

I absolutely do think that men and women can have platonic friendships, but I think this situation or a young married woman and a priest is too likely to cause scandal and confusion unless they take these outings with one or two other people -- her husband, another family member or friend.
  #49  
Old May 5, '12, 12:04 pm
7 Sorrows 7 Sorrows is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

i am a 60 year old divorced woman and it even feels scandalous to me when i make an appointment to go into see the priest for counseling. i have done it a couple of times and i get stares from the ladies in the office and once when i told someone i had a meeting with the Father, a woman commented - "you two have fun!". the counseling session was serious, not a light hearted moment. it makes me angry that when you need to speak to a priest about personal things going on in your life - not a confession - that you are made to feel so uneasy or that you are a scarlet woman who will be tempting the priest.
i would love to have a platonic or spiritual friendship with a priest. i didn't grow up with any brothers, lost my adoptive father when i was 30 and never knew my biological father.
i envy these posters who say they have friendships with priests and lunches, etc.
that is why i left church for many years. if you don't fit into a certain mold, that is if you are attractive or divorced you are seen as trouble or someone that might lead to temptation.
if you are frumpy or married or perhaps a big donor to the church, then you can get the help you need and not pose a threat.
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  #50  
Old May 5, '12, 2:23 pm
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triumphguy triumphguy is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

this is Not in response to the previous poster!

Just some observations:

Just 'cos someone has the vocation to the priesthood doesn't make them a naturally good friend or confident!

And they can be a good pastor without being a good counselor.

And they can be a wonderful confessor without being a good conversationalist.

And they can be great at being a priest without being good at friendship.

And they can lead a fantastic liturgy and be a fantastic homilist without being a good lunch "date"

If people need friendship don't count on the priest to provide it!
  #51  
Old May 7, '12, 5:18 am
EvelynEVF EvelynEVF is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

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Originally Posted by BenedictFTW View Post
St Teresa of Avila warns against particular friendships between nuns. Religious lives are for God - at all times. Priests, especially. We can be kind and sociable to our priests without crossing these boundaries.
Yes, but do be mindful of the distinction between religious and secular. Diocesan priests are not "Religious" and do not have the community of their order. They do not have the same commitments or lifestyle.
  #52  
Old May 7, '12, 5:25 am
PJM PJM is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

Quote:
=teresadeavila;9249515]Can a priest and woman be good friends? Would the Diocese or church frown on this friendship, ie having lunch together, talking about books, movies, etc? If woman is happily married, hubby knows about all meetings, and priest is happy and enjoying his vocation but just enjoys spending time with the woman as friends and there's no sexual tension, or should this relationship be avoided? Just wondering what your thoughts are...
SO LONG as "the NEAR OCSASSION OF SIN" is avoided; and the meeting are VERY PUBLIC, no probem.

God Bless,

Pat
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  #53  
Old May 7, '12, 9:26 pm
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InspiritCarol InspiritCarol is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
If you're an attractive woman, people are going to wag their tongues regardless.
If you are mangey, fat and old; people are still going to wag their tongues.

(oops - did that sound bitter?)
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  #54  
Old May 8, '12, 6:37 am
teresadeavila teresadeavila is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

I never said we often go to movies together. We talk about movies - big difference. Thanks for all the insight - and I think I may have found a great book club, just all girls.
  #55  
Old May 8, '12, 10:46 am
PJM PJM is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

Quote:
=Julia Mae;9250630]Maybe he misunderstood the word/concept of a "housewarming?"
Prudence is required here.

MAKE SURE SOMEONE ELSE IS PRESENT. Don't put both he and yourself at unnecessary risk.

God Bless,
pat/PJM
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  #56  
Old May 8, '12, 3:32 pm
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WetCatechumen WetCatechumen is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

If a priest is friends with a woman, they're having an affair.

If he is friends with a man, he's gay.

If he is friends with a teenager, he is a pedophile.

If he is not friends with anyone he is anti-social.

...

This sort of attitude needs to stop. Priests are people. People have social needs. I have friends who are female with whom there is zero romantic involvement. It's possible, believe it or not. And yes, boundaries should be taken. Should a priest's female friend spend the night on the rectory couch? Of course not. Strictly, there is nothing wrong with this action per se except for scandal and the mild occasion of sin. Adults are adults and we sin pretty willfully - if a priest and a woman want to be sexually active, they will, and these precautions that are taken aren't going to do anything. But the idea that they can't go out to lunch or dinner or whathaveyou? That's preposterous.

So yes, a priest can have a friendship with a woman and it's perfectly acceptable. People need to mind their own business.
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  #57  
Old May 9, '12, 7:52 pm
john78 john78 is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

personally i am considering a religious life, probably leaning towards the priesthood, though i wouldnt turn down a vocation as a brother,,,

I would want to have friends, but i am not going to put myself in a position where anyone would get the wrong idea, and in todays world an honest smile and helping hand to one person can be misconstrued and twisted by others as an improper relationship, so why would i want to put myself in that position ?

So I would not want to give any special attention ie, private lunches, spending time together at a movie, private meals with any woman, married or not .

and that is going to be my stance and choice if i ever enter into a religious life and if it also the rules then i will honor those rules too as i will be committing myself to being a Servant of Christ, and I do not want a side relationship interfereing with much needed work i want to do , that hopefully the Holy Spirit will be guiding me to do.
  #58  
Old May 10, '12, 8:40 am
barb finnegan barb finnegan is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WetCatechumen View Post
If a priest is friends with a woman, they're having an affair.

If he is friends with a man, he's gay.

If he is friends with a teenager, he is a pedophile.

If he is not friends with anyone he is anti-social.

...

This sort of attitude needs to stop. Priests are people. People have social needs. I have friends who are female with whom there is zero romantic involvement. It's possible, believe it or not. And yes, boundaries should be taken. Should a priest's female friend spend the night on the rectory couch? Of course not. Strictly, there is nothing wrong with this action per se except for scandal and the mild occasion of sin. Adults are adults and we sin pretty willfully - if a priest and a woman want to be sexually active, they will, and these precautions that are taken aren't going to do anything. But the idea that they can't go out to lunch or dinner or whathaveyou? That's preposterous.

So yes, a priest can have a friendship with a woman and it's perfectly acceptable. People need to mind their own business.
Amen to what you said!
  #59  
Old May 10, '12, 8:45 am
barb finnegan barb finnegan is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Sally View Post
Barb those are great stories! But you are not describing the same thing the OP was. She talked about seeing the priest regularly at lunch or the movies. Visits when he is not acting in the role of or dressed as a priest.

I absolutely do think that men and women can have platonic friendships, but I think this situation or a young married woman and a priest is too likely to cause scandal and confusion unless they take these outings with one or two other people -- her husband, another family member or friend.
I understand what you mean. I myself knew another priest who headed a prayer group in one of my previous parishes. There was a number of ladies in the group (mostly married, but also a widow or two and a couple of single people like me) who would go out to breakfast, lunch or dinner with him. This priest was very friendly, and we all loved him (in a non-romantic way of course!).

I even went with him and some of the ladies from the prayer group to a fund-raising concert at a local performing arts center-had no problem with that. In fact, I even drove them in my car!
  #60  
Old May 10, '12, 11:16 am
EvelynEVF EvelynEVF is offline
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Default Re: Can a priest and woman be good friends?

It's interesting that someone mentioned that it wouldn't be appropriate for the priest to do these friendly things while *dressed* as a priest. Personally, I would feel better having lunch (or whatever) with my priest if he *were* wearing his clerics, because that would make it very obvious to everyone that he was a priest. Otherwise it would feel like maybe we were trying to fly under the radar. I guess for me, part of my friendship with clergy is that they are always a priest first, and my friend second.
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