I’m relatively new to this forum, so forgive me if this thread is posted in the wrong forum.
I’m writing to express my concerns and sadness at being indirectly bullied and gossiped about at my regular parish in which I act as an altar server and member of the student’s Catholic Society committee, hoping that someone on here may be able to offer me some guidance about how to tackle the situation.
Avoiding complexity, I have become quite good friends with one of the priests at the Church/priory, and someone maliciously reported our friendship to the head of the priory about 6 weeks ago, accusing us of being overly affectionate and publicly indiscreet (I hardly call hugging and the occasional kiss on the cheek as 'overly affectionate!), leading the head priest to have ‘stern words’ with my friend about his so called ‘indiscreet affection’ towards me, and giving me stern looks of suspicion every time he has seen me since (despite my friend informing him that nothing bad was going on). This malicious rumour has further caused strains on our friendship, particularly as we must now be artificially ‘careful’ not to advertise it.
Well to cut a long story short, though no names were mentioned, I am pretty certain of who reported us (another altar server), as I always felt he had a vendetta against me since the first day I arrived at this parish, and thus saw my friendship with this priest as a chance to make that obvious. He further threw a spanner into the works by approaching me yesterday evening and informing me that I am not needed at Sunday morning masses (as I serve on both Saturday nights and Sunday mornings), as there are too many altar servers, so he is having to reduce numbers. I find this very hard to believe, considering that every time I’ve served at Sunday Mass there haven’t been enough of us to fulfil every function, and so I am also thinking that this is a further attempt to ‘terminate’ the friendship I have with this priest.
So, having read this, I hope you can understand the sadness I feel, as such personal hostility I find is making me feel unneeded and worthless- especially because I have only been at this parish since last September, and have been made to feel unwelcome by some, from the very beginning. I further hope that someone can offer me some guidance as to what to do, as I feel that this situation, if true, should be dealt with.
Thanks, and God Bless.