How to trust priests post: crisis revelations


I know good priests – honorable men whom I trust with my confessions and salvation. Yet even these men most likely knew about the debauchery occurring in seminaries if what I’ve read is correct. I don’t blame them if they were victimized while in seminary. But I also don’t know how to trust priests fully anymore. If they knew what was happening and didn’t or couldn’t come forward, what more might they know about the Church that they can’t or won’t share?


That kind of sounds of like rash judgment. It depends on what you mean by trust, but speculating about these things doesn’t sound like a good thing and thinking charitably of our neighbor should be done instead. (of course with common sense with the trust.)


PLEASE don’t judge a clergy member by the crimes of other clergy members. Judas was only of the 12 Apostles chosen by Jesus.


If, however, you research what’s taken place in the seminaries, it seems that in many parts of the country, the sexualization of seminarians was widely known. I’m not sure it’s genuinely speculation if priests are openly speaking about it.


Ask them about it during confession if you must know.

Otherwise trust in God and receive the graces you need from His consecrated. In ages past there were corrupt priests and eventually their day would end, and the faithfuls would begin.


And Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him. Their concern was if it was them - as I read it - not who the betrayer actually was. Good point.


Maybe yes, maybe no. I would not ask them at this point.


all the priests you know?

distrust is one of the issues many will face, it needs to be addressed by mental health professionals assigned to each parish or diocese

I recommend you get in touch with your diocese and ask for their mental health expert who is dealing with the fall out of this crisis in regular parishioners.
and if they don’t have one, they best get one.


Distrust that’s ill-founded can be dealt with in consultation with a mental health professional. It’s wise to distrust those who are truly untrustworthy.


you know, your reaction is very very common. And its part of the fall out of the revelations about the extent of the sexual abuse.
Every diocese in Australia has mental health professionals available to help parishioners with this.
And every diocese in USA should also have this facility available to parishioners.
Distrust, not knowing how to trust priests fully anymore, even if you know they are good priests, is all part of the fall out.

in Australia one big response to the crisis became the Loud Fence. maybe you guys need something like that to help heal

The loud fence started with one person tying ribbons to fences of cathedrals, churches, schools where abuse occurred. and woe betide anyone these days taking those ribbons down.
its a memorial thats helping people cope and reminding everyone of what happened.
I should show you a photo of my cathedral with all its ribbons. they have been there for a few years. and refreshed and retied regularly


I’m not really interested in “what goes on in seminaries”. I’m not funding them, the men in them are all adults nowadays, and if they’re to be reformed it’s a matter for the priests and the bishops and others in charge of the seminary to handle, not me as a female pewsitter. It’s like “what goes on in monasteries”, or “what goes on in the movie industry” (given that I don’t work in the movie industry and don’t live in any part of the country where many other people near me do). I don’t have any control over those things or involvement in them, and therefore I direct my concern elsewhere.

“What goes on in my parish” is a little different as that actually affects me and my neighbors, so that concerns me somewhat.

But for some of this other stuff, one needs to just say, “I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t control it.” And pray over it and then leave it be.


I agree with your last point because it’s completely reasonable. I’m having a hard time implementing it, however.

I’m not really interested in “what goes on in seminaries”. I’m not funding them

I’d check with your diocese on that one.


I try to direct my giving to causes earmarked for specific things. Even so, I am sure that a small amount of my general contributions to parishes may be used for a seminary, but it’s not on the same level as when I’m a taxpayer forced to pay for the US Military or for the public school system in my town.

Is there some priest who you trust enough to talk to about this issue, who might be able to help set your mind at rest?


You know, there is. I have worries about which priests to trust now but before all of this happened, I definitely fully and confidently trusted my pastor.

Thank you.


in my diocese we now have very trustworthy priests. and a wonderful Bishop. It doesn’t happen overnight, Trust takes a very long time to rebuild. Communication and the Bishop being visibly available to everyone, and involved in activities that include bringing parishioners, survivors, clergy and families of those who did not survive, all together, really helps.

I am sure we still get distrust issues when outsider clergy come in. They kind of go on a mini parishioner trial, their every move is watched. but its all part of the healing process.

Its not just priests though, the issue is also with laity in positions within the church that interact with others.


Trust them because they are men of God and have a struggle greater than me or you. No other explanations are necessary. I could go on for hours, but I think this somewhat brief response is more than enough.


I am going to tell you what I told myself after I was raped by a priest I entrusted with my soul and confession. I do not believe in the Catholic church or love it because of its priests. Its about a personal relationship that I have with Jesus Christ. If I, having been raped by a man I trusted, can stand there and tell you it didn’t crush my faith, then I think someone who has heard about similiar things can challenge his or herself to reflect on the weakness of their own faith.


I definitely agree with you on this issue. Find a priest you trust. Talk to them about this issue. They may be able to help. One of my best friends is a priest, and it was partially him that helped me regain lost trust, and let me see that I could believe in the good of man again.


Actually, if you are giving money to the church, you are funding monasteries, and seminaries, where do you think all that money is going? To your local churches light bill?


Eh, I think that was my point. ? I wasn’t the one who claimed not to be funding seminaries.

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