I deleted my priest off Facebook

… I’ll explain why:
My priest from my former Parish who is about 40, befriended me on FB about a year ago. He started talking to me on the private messaging often. He would usually just ask me how I am and tell me about what he was up to. He kept messaging me all the time on there and sometimes he wanted to talk to me for hours. I never initiated the conversation, he would just start talking to me when he saw I was online.
I was only 21 at the time and a single women but he never said anything suggestive or anything, he just seemed friendly but I was bothered that he liked talking with me so much.
It got obsessive because he told me he had only got online to talk to me. If I didn’t respond to his messages he would just keep messaging me.

I started to think this ‘friendship’ wasn’t healthy because he spent mass staring at me and he seems kind of obsessed with me or something. I deleted him because I feel it’s not good for him to keep messaging me all the time.
What do you think? Is this behaviour wrong for a priest? Or am I wrong for breaking the friendship?

I would go to Mass at another parish if I had to, so that he wouldn’t be placed into a near occasion of sin by staring at me during Mass.

Yes I did. I moved away awhile ago so had to move but do visit the Parish from time to time to see friends. Last time I visited he asked me to go have coffee with him but I declined.

I think this is yet another good example of why I have no personal facebook presence :smiley:

Is this behaviour wrong for a priest?

Who can say?

But it does sound a bit weird.

I always had the impression that Priests were incredibly busy people - generally not enough of them to get around even a mid sized Parish and perform all the various duties expected of them.

Quite how one has time to spend hours on facebook I’m not so sure. :shrug:

Or am I wrong for breaking the friendship?

It doesn’t sound like a friendship.

Too one sided.

And the behaviors described made one party feel very uncomfortable.

I think you were correct.

You may need to find another Church to go to though as you may now face stares and questions about why you broke off facebook contact.

Sarah x :slight_smile:

This behavior is wrong for anyone but especially problematic for a spiritual leader. This sort of focus isn’t healthy and seems indicative of the potential to cross boundaries or, alternately, an inability to maintain or even set appropriate boundaries. You might consider writing a letter to the Bishop, even anonymously, just in case. If this is isolated then your letter will not likely do him harm and your deleting him might be enough of a hint to inspire him to self reflection but if he has this sort of focus on other females, a few of them have likely written letters or complained and this may provide impetus to act to correct this before he does serious harm to one of these sacred relationships.

It sounds like you made a good decision both for yourself and this priest. I have a feeling his “Facebook ministry” is not a good thing if he gave you such inordinate attention as you say.

I also think you made the right decision. I would just stay off of his radar as much as possible.

I think you did the right thing. It would weird me out too.

I feel sad. can such a priest ever preach of the value of time? healthy use of social media? modesty and prudence? apostolic distance (a boundary in relationships required of religious leaders- to help maintain the dignity of their leadership)… and I know I can’t judge him but I wonder what good example of how to pay attention during mass he shows by staring consistently at a person as if she is a tabernacle based on my understanding. I know a few good priests (unfortunately just a few ).!

You did the right thing, sometimes we get attracted to someone we shouldn’t ,
Could be a married friend,of whomever , it starts innocent enough,but becomes an obsession,

If he contacts you again, I suggest telling him what you feel, that it is inappropriate and you are not interested. It would be the kindest thing you could do for him provided its done respectfully and kindly. If he persists after that, please contact your new parish priest and request his guidance.

Yeah I will do this, thank you.

Many priests are on facebook and many are ‘friends’ with young females. I think this is a huge mistake.

He wasn’t just sitting idle on my friends list, he was messaging me daily, he would go on Facebook just to speak to me (he told me this) it was strange.

I think you did the right thing. What the priest was doing seems kind of weird to me. If you had been a good friend of his, I could understand it, but otherwise, no.

What you did sounds like a prudent judgment. However, in addition to deleting the priest, I would also send him a note explaining your thoughts on the matter, even if that seems awkward. Something’s easier to ignore when it is done silently. Hearing your thoughts from you explicitly may be the wake-up call he needs.

Yes, you did the right thing, I think.

We need to pray more for our priests. Many people really don’t believe in the devil practically speaking while they may theoretically.

The evil one will focus much of his effort and attention on trying to do harm to a priest because they are our spiritual leaders.

For example, if you are an enemy sniper observing an enemy platoon or something like that, you’re going to train your cross hairs first on the captain because that will do the most harm. The devil does likewise.

Let us pray harder for our priests.

God Bless!

Yes very true! I will pray!

It sounds like you did the right thing. Even if he didn’t technically do anything “wrong”, there are usually many small boundary violations that lead up to larger boundary violations. Better to cut things off before they have the possibility of getting to that point.

LET IT GO. and all will be fine.

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