Am I wrong to be feeling so distrustful, and if so, how do I overcome it?


#1

After my recent experience with a priest, I must say that my respect for the priesthood has taken a dive.Please, I know I was very guilty in my interactions,and I accept that I was disgusting behaving the way I did, but I almost feel that he should have been stronger than I was(being a priest), and not been the initiator.In other words, his “priestly” side should have been stronger than his “human” side.Does that make any sense?? I find myself looking at other priests with a suspicious mind, and wonder how “genuine” they are, and if I could trust them with anything.That’s how I got into trouble in the first place-trusting.I know I am perhaps being unreasonably hard given my own experience and how it all led to an almost disaster.I felt I couldn’t even look at our parish priest, I couldn’t go to mass.Also felt guilty, guilty,guilty.On top of that my mom told me that many many years ago it was a well known fact (but never officially acknowledged) that one of our relatives was the son of a local Bishop.Boy, did that send me reeling even further!So from my limited experience, it seems like the whole celibacy thing is problematic for more than one priest I have come across.

One other thing.When I ended communications, I asked him to forgive me for anything that I had done to cause him to stumble, because I really want a pure, clean concience, and he refused to say he forgave me.What should I make of that?Does he or doesn’t he forgive me, and should I really care.I’m NOT going to contact him to discuss why he won’t say he forgives me.It’s just hard to accept that someone, especially a priest does not accept an apology.Sorry for going on…


#2

Priests are as human as we are, and have exactly the same problems as we do. Purity and chastity until and during marriage are as hard as chastity within priesthood. We sin a lot. Some Priests will sin too. But hopefully with many prayer and with the help of God, they will overcome their sins.


#3

MCH, I’ve thought about this one quite a bit and have a few questions for you to ask yourself. I do applaud your decision to do the right thing and to obey your marriage vows, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to have been in your situation.

If your husband read your thread in its entirety, or listened in on your former conversations with the priest, would he be asking the same question, “Am I wrong to be feeling so distrustful?”

If you were the Devil, who would you be targeting? Don’t the public sins of a priest or other religious tend to effect the public’s opinion of religious as a whole, more than the public sins of those of us in the laity? I always think that Satan’s efforts would be best spent tempting and encouraging people who are held to a higher standard here on Earth, as those people’s failings seem to reflect more on the Church and its believers as a whole than say do a life-long atheistic criminal.

If your friend is still struggling with forgiveness, that doesn’t mean you can’t be forgiven by the people who truly count, your husband, God and yourself. It probably means he is still struggling to forgive himself.

All of us, priests included, are sinners. It’d be hard for me to find fault with a whole group of people because one of them committed a sin (along with me) that could have broken both of our vows made before God.

I hope that this is written with the compassion I intended. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to write things of this nature and I mean no offense.


#4

I’m sorry for all the misery this whole situation has brought. I did read through most of the past posts about it, and if you look back a lot of people gave wonderful advice, particularly to 1. Cut off all communication with him and 2. to go to confession. Did you do both of those things?

I can’t understand why you are continuing to allow yourself to think on all of it so much. You did say you were going to focus on the relationship with your husband, and that you two were becomming even closer now. I don’t see how that bond can continue to grow if you are still thinking about everything that went on with the priest, kwim?

Perhaps time with your spouse @ Retrouvaille and some counseling with Catholic Charities (my counselor is a female) could help you sort things out.

I can’t see allowing this one situation to mar your view of all priests. He is first off a man and we can’t just ignore that fact and expect that because he is a priest he won’t be attracted to women. He is human and all priest do sin. He needs confession as much as the next person. Also, priests are even more tempted by sin. The devil hates priests and would love to see them fall, so he tempts them more than the rest of us. We have a responsibility as the faithful to help them resist, by not putting ourselves into positions that might cause temptation. Right now he may be reconsidering his life in the priesthood, may blame you for tempting him, and maybe that is why he isn’t sayng he forgives you? Who knows, it is possible. His whole life could change over this.

But if I have a bad experience with an electrician, I’m not going to suddenly give up on all electricians and refuse to have my home wired. It just doesn’t make sense.
What if he were a doctor? Doctors are in positions of trust too, but would you give up on all of them because of one?
The story about your relative being the illegitimate son of a bishop is just heresay and means nothing. So you know of maybe two cases out of a whole world of priests? That’s just like those who think all priests are pedophiles~ it makes no sense.

I do hope I haven’t come across wrong, I don’t mean to be harsh in any way. I do understand what it is like to be attracted to a priest~ one of ours here is incredibly handsome, young, and charismatic. Going to confession with him isn’t something I choose to do anymore simply because I’m sinning right there in the confessional by having my own uncontrollable thoughts, lol!
(I wish they were all ugly, bald, little old men with no teeth~ it’d make my life easier! :wink: )

I think its time to not over think this anymore and if you can’t move on from it on your own, then by all means get some help at Catholic Charities and/or Retrouvaille.


#5

You are right, I need to stop thinking about it.One of my big faults is that I over-analyse absolutely everything, and I am the type of person that likes everything in neat little boxes.I.e. that episode is over and I want to do the right thing for a change.So I’m thinking, well I’ve said sorry, so that should make it ok- box closed.And when he won’t say it’s ok, it really irritates me because I keep wondering why it’s so hard for him.Which of course is a selfish thought because as it’s been pointed out, he has his own issues to deal with.Honestly, I am so strong one moment, and the other, I’m a wreck…I guess I just need to get on my knees.


#6

Honestly, I am so strong one moment, and the other, I’m a wreck…I guess I just need to get on my knees.

You and all the rest of us. You are not alone, we’re all struggling with sins we’d rather forget and sins that need forgiving…

I’ll pray for you, as I’m sure many others here will.:console:


#7

I have to agree with what Chovy and Jennifer have said to you and they have offered some great advice. All I really want to say is that you now have to focus on a man other than this priest, completely and totally…that being your husband. He deserves that more than you can even realize. Put the priest and whatever issues that he may have behind you and do not allow it to consume another moment of your time. It is over. Finished. Final. You can do nothing to change him or his feeling or his reactions or lack there of. You need to move on and focus on your marriage, your husband, your kids. They deserve that. You husband deserves a full time wife, not one that is partially there, partially in the marriage.

Not trying to be rude so I hope that it comes off that way. I just feel for your huband and hope that you open yourself up to him and turn to him and forget about the priest. Easier said than done, I am sure, but very much a necessity.


#8

Oh, and I haven’t gone to confession:o .Our parish priest called a young girl who is converting to Catholicism a “whore”(yes, his actual words!!)because she approached him about a church wedding, and she has a child from another relationship…so I would be terrified to hear what he might say to me.Unfortunately, we are quite isolated, and this is the only parish in the area.


#9

One other thing.When I ended communications, I asked him to forgive me for anything that I had done to cause him to stumble, because I really want a pure, clean concience, and he refused to say he forgave me.What should I make of that?Does he or doesn’t he forgive me, and should I really care.I’m NOT going to contact him to discuss why he won’t say he forgives me.It’s just hard to accept that someone, especially a priest does not accept an apology.Sorry for going on…

Maybe a. he won’t reply because he has cut off all contact with you. So you writing him is unfair.
b. Maybe he doesn’t think you have anything to be forgiven for because he’s blaming himself for not being more professional.

Please cut off all contact with him. Don’t try to write him anymore for “closure” or anything. Some may see that as an attempt to reel him back into the loop.

Imagine how you’d feel if you had let things go further.

Go to confession anyway. And you don’t have to identify yourself or go face to face. You need to go.

And don’t let this human being with all his frailties keep you from respecting the priesthood. The fact is, this priest cut off contact and did the right thing in the end. That deserves respect. Blaming him now for your emails and your thinking about him and your temptations is not fair to him or his brother priests.

As another poster said, Satan is busy at work here. He didn’t reel you in with actions, so now he’s trying to torment you with thoughts. Don’t let him.

Priests sit and listen to all our sins and they don’t post here and say “Now I can’t trust any of my parishioners.” Cut them the same slack, please!


#10

I have no right to comment on the motives of either the priest or the lady in this story, except to suggest that one might profitably retell the story, with the man as anyone else, not a priest, possibly a married man, and the lady (married I believe, if it is the same poster who has shared this story in other threads) in the same situation. How would one judge the actions of either in that case. Who would have been seen as manipulating whom? If the incident was really over and done with, as the story has it, then we would not still be reading about it, and the participants would not still be full of anger and recriminations about it. I think it stands as an instructive moral tale for our times, and I choose to take it as that, a tale, and offer my comments as relating to a fictional narrative (because I cannot bear to think the sorry thing is true).


#11

MCH - you are feeding this thing. And when you feed something it grows and lives. You need to stop feeding it by continuing to talk and think about it. Consider it dead - stop feeding it by your constant dwelling on the details, the what ifs, and the rest. It will eventually die, and that’s where it needs to be.

And get your butt to Confession woman!! Accept what the priest has to say to you be it good bad or indifferent. You need the Sacrament more than you need your pride of not having your feelings hurt on the off chance he may say something hurtful. Living in the state of mortal sin has the possible end result of ending up in hell for eternity. No one else is apparently willing to say this here, but it needs to be said. Get to confession, stop feeding this thing, and get on with rescuing your marriage before it too dies from neglect.

~Liza


#12

Okay, that rumor probably didn’t help you to feel you can trust priests either. Nevertheless, get to confession. I don’t place my trust in humans–I place my trust in God. Jesus gives the power to absolve sins and administer the Sacraments even to not-so-great priests. Ask God to help you find a priest to hear your confession. Drive whatever distance it takes if you don’t want to use your parish priest, but a good Confession will help. It’s amazing, but God works through faulty human beings, and that should give us all reason for hope.:slight_smile:


#13

I can only say that unloading the heavy stuff made me feel so much better… This might be a good opportunity to take a Weekend drive somewhere and visit another parish. THAT priest would not know you and you might be more comfortable.

If you go to masstimes.org, you can find a nearby (relative) church and it’s time for confession and mass.


#14

This may seem drastic, but if you live in area that is really very isolated, you may want to seriously consider moving. I knew someone once years ago who left an area entirely over something of a similar nature (no priests, though in that situation). From what I have gathered since, it seems to have helped her family start anew–without the baggage of past sins. Yes, the sins can be forgiven, but the effect of those sins often continues on like ripples in a lake. We’re all human, and sometimes starting over somewhere new makes the most sense in order to keep God and family in the correct place of importance and priority within our lives.


#15

Just in my own personal life, I have found out that my great uncle was one of the priests sexually abusing boys, that the pastor of one of the churches we attended was skimming the contributions to pay for cruises and other fun stuff for himself and his friends (he goes to trial this week), and had a priest complain to our faces during Mass that all of us parents were making too big a deal of the whole sexual abuse issue, and couldn’t we just drop it please? (It took everything I had not to walk up and slap him and then walk out of that Mass!)

If I wanted to hate priests, I could use all these, or any one of them, as an excuse. Priests are human, and they sin. These are just the things I know about! The one lesson we all should have learned was that priests are tools of God, and imperfect tools, and while they can help us with our faith, they themselves are not where our faith is.

I have also known some wonderful, dedicated priests who were truly holy men committed to serving God’s people. They radiated the fire of God’s love. There is one in particular out there who helped my husband get through a year in Korea without his family, to whom I am eternally grateful.

I also agree with the comments above about choosing to feed either this obsession with the priest or your marriage. You’ve got to choose one, because one will starve the other.


#16

Pray is your solution. And getting to confession! Find a nice Bed and Breakfast with a church nearby and take a weeked trip with your hubby! Start saying a daily rosary, or reading the Mass readings, or simply the Morning Offering and Confitor at night.


#17

This is not about distrusting Priests because of this one or about this Priest. This is about you and your relationship with God and your soul. You need to get to confession because living in Mortal sin you are not going to feel any relief.


#18

The priests in question are struggling with chastity not celibacy. A priest struggling with celibacy has chaste thoughts about marrying a single woman and then having a family.

The celibate priesthood is not the problem here. Understanding the difference between chastity and celibacy might help you to a deeper understanding of the priesthood. And it might lead you to a further understanding of your own behavior. Trust and distrust are not really the issue. They just became a good escape hatch.

I say these things in all Christian love because I too, used to struggle terribly with chastity. I agree with others here. Get to confession and be really honest about your actual sin. Don’t dwell on the scapegoat “sins” that Satan wants us to confess.


#19

Having been in your husbands place I would suggest you put away the me,me,me attitude and realize just how you’ve treated him AND the priest.

Seems to me you are still being extremely selfish.


#20

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