Another what would you do situation


#1

There is a family in our Parish that suffered from divorce. The wife and I were fairly close…she sponsered one of my daughters at confirmation (horribly…during the celebration I learned of the separation)…since this time the wife moved out of state with the two daughters…devastating…

All along I talked to a lovely single mom of two boys in our Parish. I have been through an annullment and I asked her if she had started that process yet…and she stated that no she had not…she said she was confident that she would never marry again.

I bet you guys can see where this is going…when I first noticed the Husband and single mom hanging out…I thought they have divorce in common…they are simply counseling each other…becoming friends maybe. Tom probably needs support since his ex-wife moved with his children…I thought it was a dangerous situation for them to put each other in, but none of my business basically. I knew that the single mother knew the teachings about divorce and remarriage since we had discussed it before.

Fast forward a few months and suddenly they are driving to Church together as a family (single mom…divorced dad and two boys)…they sat in front of me during mass once and I noticed that divorced dad is carressing single mom’s shoulder throughout the mass…my husband saw the kiss after Church…I was upset for them…but I also was very disturbed when my daughter noticed(remember…divorced from her confirmation sponser) and she was visibly upset, we discussed it and I made sure that she understood the teachings of our Church…and I confirmed that she was right to be upset…BUT…I still didn’t think it was my place to correct them…I did plan to talk to Father about it but he was in a car accident that was very severe…needed back surgery and was away for many months…

Fast forward to the present…CCD classes started back up this fall…and to my horror I see divorced dad and single mom…TEACHING A CLASS TOGETHER:bigyikes:

I know our priest has had a rough year…with the car wreck and just last weekend the poor guy fell and had to go to the hospital and get x-rayed…he is getting up in years, and might not know the situation…I also don’t want to appear as a busybody…spying on carresses and kisses to catch evidence to bust people…

I am going to write an annonomous letter to Father…I am curious how you guys would respond…am I being too timid? Would any of you walk right up and confront the situation??? I have tried to make eye contact with both these people in order to discuss but they both avoid me like the plague…

God Bless you all!


#2

I would leave it in God’s hands and not attempt to interfer in order to cause pain to anyone.


#3

How do you know that the situation did not change?
Perhaps they have both gotten their annulments?!?!


#4

I don’t know what to tell you, which is another way of saying I do not know the right answer.

I will say that to write a letter ‘anonymously’ is the act of someone who is afraid. It is kind of like a drive-by shooting. If you are not brave enough to identify yourself as author, you are not brave enough to write a letter.

That is just my opinion.

maurin


#5

Yes…that is what I had been doing…but I feel really relly funny about the teaching a class together part. I think it’s inappropriate for this to be happening, especially since my chidren know the ex-wife so well…and are questioning. The divorce just happened last winter…it is a bit confusing to them…


#6

True…they could be going through the process…but as you probably know, that is a lengthy thing…the divorce just happened last winter…in this area avg. annulment takes around 18 months…


#7

Sorry did not realize that the civil divorce occured that recently.


#8

I just didn’t want to be labeled a trouble maker…it is really not my style. I guess you could say I am fearful of being labled…

thanks for the opinion:)


#9

you have absolutely know way of knowing the whole story. Assume that since they are taking an active role in the parish they have spoken to the priest and are taking whatever steps are necessary according to whatever plans they have for the future. let the person whose responsibility it is–the pastor or person he appoints–to screen catechists worry about it. In Christian charity we are obliged to always put the best construction on anything we see in another person’s behavior.

If these people are teaching your child’s class, it is entirely in order for you–in fact every parent should take steps to know who is teaching your children–to ask the pastor quietly and discreetly if the catechists are qualified. Mention that since this person is a friend and not, to your knowledge, married to the guy, you feel uncomfortable having someone teaching your kids who is not modelling a Christian lifestyle. You could preface your question with a statement that you have no intent to judge anyone, but are merely concerned about the type of teaching and example your child will be getting.

In my parish when I do get such questions, my standard answer is that they may assume anyone they see as a catechist, that is the person with overall responsibility for the class, not necessarily helpers, has been interviewed by Father and has fulfilled or is in the process of fulfilling all the requirements for a catechist. In addition to ongoing faith formation and certification, plus background check and Virtus orientation, that includes meeting all the requirements for godparents or confirmation sponsors.

I myself brought to Father’s attention the situation of several long-time catechists whom I “inherited” and he assured me he was aware of each problematic situation and to remember that sometimes it takes a while to rectify a situation, such as annulment, but that I could take his assurance each such situation was being dealt with pastorally. I took that to mean that anyone in a problem situation has received pastoral counselling in the internal forum, which is NOMB, none of my business.


#10

This normally wouldn’t be a problem if they aren’t engaging in what is perceived as adulterous behaviors. You say the man does not have an annulment? If not, I’d be wary of the openness towards “caresses” and “kisses.” They need to be Christian examples, and this is not what they are portraying.

Further, they are causing scandal since they have given the impression of inappropriate behaviors in light of the known status of their states in life.

None of us do. But these are public acts? And marriage and divorce is also public knowledge. Annulments are more private, but they matter in the eyes of God. I think you are trying to be responsible by wanting to protect children from a scandalous situation.

I understand about wanting to be anonymous, too. But I think it might be better to approach the priest in person, privately, etc. Letters can be read by others, misplaced, etc. And if you plan on naming these ppl in the letter, that can lead to further problems.

IF you really don’t want to do it in person, then ask for advice in the confessional w/o giving names or ask the question at EWTN Q&A for advice.

You say they’re avoiding you, eh? Ppl will do that if they think they’ll be judged or they know they’re not doing something properly. Maybe it’s their consciences, esp since you claim to know the woman well.

I’d get advice from a priest before causing a stir, but first know if the annulment has been granted.


#11

Puzzleannie and rj04…

Good strong advice…thank you friends…

P.S…nice to meet you rj04:thumbsup:


#12

When I taught CCD, there was no interview, no background check, no req’d certification, no orientation of any type. In my experience, it was “okay, you want to teach? Good. Here’s the teacher’s manual and there’s your classroom.”

I do think there should be requirements, but not every parish is created equally.


#13

Instead of talking to the priest who probably doesnt have a whole lot to do with it, I would talk to the lady if you are friends. not in a condescending way but as a friend, as your daughter’s mentor. You can let her lead the conversation and you can ask questions on how she feels about xyz. I think the priest should be the last person you talk to.


#14

Great post. While I completely empathize with your “gut reaction,” especially when forced to deal with your daughter’s reaction…this is an oppportunity to teach charity as well as the “rules.”

In our social circle of married couples–we all greet reach others’ spouses with a hug and kiss. No one thinks twice about it–but if a divorced woman + man were in the mix, maybe that would add a different flavor.

Also–while the arm caress in mass seems to you inappropriate (and it may well have been) it also may be no more than a gesture of friendship and support during mass. I have certainly had the experience of attending mass with a friend who is going through a difficult or emotional time and held their hand, put an arm around them or given a hug during mass–a time which can spark a lot of vulnerability and emotions.

I would try your very best to assume the best, but if you see them cross a line in public–either bring it to their attention or go through your priest to assure that no one who doesn’t know them has an opportunity to form a negative impression of them.


#15

Why don’t you just ask?

Surely you can be a friend just curious?

“Oh, hey, you seem so happy, what’s been going on in your life?”


#16

I’m glad to hear of someone being concerned about this type of situation. Too often I see people sitting on their hands instead of taking steps to make sure our children are being taught sound theological ccd.
Now, it’s not clear in this situation if anything is wrong. But I would not encourage you to do nothing.
I would be in favor of you speaking directly to your priest. He may have no idea that anything may be wrong. I know that in my own family there was a situation where a family member was ‘living with’ his girlfriend/fiance. They hosted a foreign exchange student through the local catholic high school. But the priest was NOT told that there was a sinful living arrangement in the home where the student would be staying. This could be just such an incident. Maybe not…but do find out.
Greema~


#17

An anonymous letter is tempting but is an act of cowardice. Don’t do it. I would talk to whomever is in charge of religious ed at the parish and just say you didn’t know it was okay for divorced people to teach CCD, but you are glad that X and his friend Y have been able to support each other during what must still be a very difficult time for them both. Or something like that, something that is positive and upbeat, not interfering, yet ensures somebody in a position of authority over the matter is informed of the situation.

The parish may already know all about their situation and the situation may be completely innocuous despite your impression. Yet, if not, they should not be serving as role models in a religious ed situation, IMO. If they were teaching how to crochet, you should butt out, but this is Catholic CCD, so what you suspect is true would be relevant and your business IF your child attends CCD.


#18

What does she suspect? What does she suspect these two people of doing? In essence what is she accusing them of? They have not done anything, because they were seen at Mass together, and he was carressing her arm. How does she know they are doing anything wrong? Perhaps they ARE seeing each other she is single he is divorced, they may both be in the process of getting an annulment. Because others see them together that gives others the right to sit in judgement of them and say they are doing something wrong?

If one want’s to know what is going on instead of going to the priest, or writing a letter, why don’t you go directly to the person and just ask them?


#19

The OP suspects that it is inappropriate for a married woman to be caressed by a man who is not her husband. This is particularly bad that this occurs in Church and gives scandal to her children. If these 3 married individuals choose to “date” publicly, they should not be serving in public teaching roles within the parish.

To the OP…This should be addressed with the pastor because you should be concerned at the example this sets for your children and the children of the parish.


#20

Again IF IF these 2 individuals are in the process of getting an annulment (which no one knows). IF IF they are in fact dating (Which no one knows). Why doesn’t the OP just ask them?

Why all the cloak and dagger stuff with going to The Pastor? if the OP is so busy monitoring their movments in Church then why not just ask them?


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