What disturbs me about some priests’ sexual affairs is that they seem to come to light involuntarily. It sounds to my ears something along the lines of . . .
“It’s OK so long as you don’t get caught.”
Wouldn’t have it been better if Fr. Cutie had gone privately to his superiors and discussed his relationship with this woman because he was troubled by it rather than be forced to bring it into the spotlight by having photographs published?
How long would the inappropriate relationship continued if there hadn’t been photographs? If they hadn’t been caught?
I’m just a new Catholic middle-aged married woman, but is seems to me that if a priest goes to his superiors saying
*“This is wrong, I know, but I was weak and one thing led to another and now what do I do - will you help me?” *
then he should be given all the caring assistance we can give him to discern what his future holds. If he requests to leave the priesthood or chooses to stay, then I feel he should be treated with the utmost compassion and respect.
But if he was caught in the act, then to my thinking, the situation might have gone on indefinitely and there is little evidence of remorse or repentance. This would make a difference in what the next steps would be, if I were the a position of authority.
And, yes, the same thinking applies to a spouse. If my husband were to come to me with an admission of guilt for something he did, it would feel different to me than if I caught him by happenstance. I’m guessing many parents feel the same way about their children’s behavior also.
Just my 2 cents.