I need some advice on dealing with a difficult priest!

Our priest has been at our parish for 6 months and is very difficult to work with, hard to approach, mean, not humble, doesn’t want to be involved and doesn’t like to meet new people. He does want to discuss anything after Mass, in the hallways and doesn’t want private meetings either. He is now giving us difficulty regarding the sacraments. He does talk with parishioners after Mass, and the elderly and children are just left out. He doesn’t want to make sick calls, he doesn’t want to spend any money on PSR. We have lost 1/2 our members in 6 months~!!! HELP!!!

He is a priest, and is human. We all have things on our minds. Try writing him a kind letter, maybe break the ice. Good priests are on their guard today because of quite a few bad apples in the lower and upper levels. give it a shot, no telling next time you meet you may get some face time. Good luck.:thumbsup:

Do you live in the Philadelphia area? Sounds like a similar priest in that Archdiocese who made my daughter cry. She and her then fiance attended morning Mass together. He accused them of sleeping together because they were at the church so early. Even though they came in separate cars, he assumed there was hanky panky going on just because they arrived early at the church. When my daughter tried to talk to him about it, he refused to have any conversation with her. They eventually left that parish. Now they are married and have found a nice parish to attend which is not far from their home.

I hate to say this, but I would be among those who left. If you have children, do you really want them to have this priest having an influence on them? :confused:

Do you pray for the priest? There might be something going on within him that you are not aware of and he needs as much prayers as possible from you and your parish.

It’s really hard to judge a person based on descriptions, and I don’t know if your priest has a negative attitude or not, but I would suggest that you be careful of judging him based on how comfortable he is socializing. Some people have a more introverted temperament, or are uncomfortable with a lot of social activity. That doesn’t mean that they dislike people or hold negative attitudes toward them, it just means that they find lots of interaction overwhelming. When you meet a person like this, you have to work harder to develop a relationship and get to know them, but once you do you may find that they are very generous and loving people with strong loyalty to the people they are serving.

I don’t know if that describes your priest or not, but it is something to keep in mind.

Yes, I pray for him each day and others are doing the same. We have been overly nice, trying to get him to warm up. Everything I’ve tried to speak with him about is related to parish activiities, or youth activities, I haven’t even discussed his bad behavior with him at all…yet!! I know priests are human, but why be a priest if you don’t like people. Why be a ministerial priest??? Ministerial priest are in the"people" business. We are having to suffer for some kind of problem he has…he needs to talk with the Bishop, if he has some problem. Our last priest was truly an Alter Christus, he was just like what you think Jesus would be like if he walked into your church today. Loving, king, humble, friendly, taught the truths of the faith clearly, without regret, loved the kids and the old people. We have just had a 180 degree shift, and it is hard!! This is my parish, I’ve gone here since 1975, I don’t want to leave.

No, he is negative about anything you say…and mean!!

Several months after he came, he said to me…“I don’t like to meet new people.” that is a quote!

It is kind of hard to get adjusted to the new priest after you had a great priest. There is time for the new priest and for your parish to get adjusted as well. Perhaps, you expect him so much because you had a good priest in the past. Perhaps, letting go of the previous priest is hard for some of your members?

I don’t know much but being 6-month at a new parish is not a whole lot of time.

Furthermore, maybe you can make some new conversation that isn’t about parish activities, or youth activities, or any of his bad behavior (and I don’t know if telling his bad behavior is truly a good approach to your new priest).

Maybe he meant to say that he had a hard time meeting new people - perhaps, he is quite introverted and has difficulty or shyness in talking with new people. Thus, he said he didn’t like to meet new people, and this might not mean he hate them.

Could you give at least 3 examples?

This is a difficult issue to deal with. I know it can be rough when the leader of the parish is difficult to deal with. ONe other poster mentioned that they would probably leave and go somewhere else but for me, my Parish is part of my family. It would be like leaving your entire family over just one person. All I can recommend is pray for this man and possibly talk to your bishop and let him know what is going on. I’m sure he already knows and I know there’s probably not much that he will do, but if your parish has lost over half of its membership, then maybe he will do something. Good luck and God bless you.

I don’t like meeting new people either. I am quiet. I still love and accept everyone. I just have trouble warming up. I would not like you very much if you “tried to warm me up”, or if you judged my commitment to my duties based on superficial aspects of my personality. That would be unfair to me.

Are you sure that this priest is negative toward people, or are you judging a superficial aspect of his personality that really has nothing to do with his commitment to people and to the Church?

I would write him a letter being charitable of course…he may resent being sent to your parish…or perhaps he isn’t there for long…in any case…include him in prayer and don’t leave your parish…

Firstly he maybe very shy.Secondly if he is not humble how did you arrive at this conclusion?.
Sometimes the best approach is to catch the priest when he talking with someone where ever: excuse your self be polite and propose your question for a meeting regarding your particuliar concernswhen you have done tihs stand quietly, humbly and wait for a reply look him straight in the eye.If he does not respond in the same manner you are probably right you all have a problem.
You could ask someone whom you know this Priest speaks too and ask them to give him a little nudge in the direction, but don’t give up.This may be a challenge for you to practice your assertivenees skills with out bullying the line is thin maybe sometimes blurred.
Lastly it is not your fault that this Priest is behaving this way.He may have had a bad experience un his last Parish.Most of all pray for your GOOD FATHER he may need them more than you might imagine.Don’t go behind his back to speak ill of him this will not do your spiritually any good, in fact it will stunt your spiritual growth be forgiven

                      Let me know how you got on 
                             Your brother in Jesus and Mary
                                             Hugh:

Firstly he maybe very shy.Secondly if he is not humble how did you arrive at this conclusion?.
Sometimes the best approach is to catch the priest when he talking with someone where ever: excuse your self be polite and propose your question for a meeting regarding your particuliar concernswhen you have done tihs stand quietly, humbly and wait for a reply look him straight in the eye.If he does not respond in the same manner you are probably right you all have a problem.
You could ask someone whom you know this Priest speaks too and ask them to give him a little nudge in the direction, but don’t give up.This may be a challenge for you to practice your assertivenees skills with out bullying the line is thin maybe sometimes blurred.
Lastly it is not your fault that this Priest is behaving this way.He may have had a bad experience un his last Parish.Most of all pray for your GOOD FATHER he may need them more than you might imagine.Don’t go behind his back to speak ill of him this will not do your spiritually any good, in fact it will stunt your spiritual growth. be forgiven

                      Let me know how you got on 
                             Your brother in Jesus and Mary
                                             Hugh:

Firstly he maybe very shy.Secondly if he is not humble how did you arrive at this conclusion?.
Sometimes the best approach is to catch the priest when he talking with someone where ever: excuse your self be polite and propose your question for a meeting regarding your particuliar concernswhen you have done tihs stand quietly, humbly and wait for a reply look him straight in the eye.If he does not respond in the same manner you are probably right you all have a problem.
You could ask someone whom you know this Priest speaks too and ask them to give him a little nudge in the direction, but don’t give up.This may be a challenge for you to practice your assertivenees skills with out bullying the line is thin maybe sometimes blurred.
Lastly it is not your fault that this Priest is behaving this way.He may have had a bad experience un his last Parish.Most of all pray for your GOOD FATHER he may need them more than you might imagine.Don’t go behind his back to speak ill of him this will not do your spiritually any good, in fact it will stunt your spiritual growth. be forgiving

                      Let me know how you got on 
                             Your brother in Jesus and Mary
                                             Hugh:

I think I would temporarily go to another parish until that priest is gone from your home parish. I personally wouldn’t want my daughter being exposed to a difficult priest b/c I would want her faith to grow and and not be tainted by any negativity.

If your priest is as you say he is, it would be unjoyable going to church on Sundays. I would seek another parish as an interim solution. When you hear that the unlikeable priest is gone, you could return to your parish.

I’m sure the Bishop will notice (if he hasn’t already) that the monies collected at your current parish have decreased significantly; especially if half the parishners have left. I think he would know for sure when the fiscal year is over and he receives the financial statements.

We too have an amazing pastor who will inevitably be leaving soon. He has been with our parish for 10.5 years and I’d say he’ll be transfered at 12 years for sure. I too worry about this more for my daughter than anything else. I don’t want my daughter to lose her faith b/c of an unlikeable priest in her life.

Our faith shouldn’t be about the priest, but at the same time a good priest is a great mentor and builder of faith in any given community.

We had a similar priest at our parish for 5 years.

We lost over half our parishioners.

He left, and our parish is slowly recovering since the new priest has come.

There is a lot of bitterness. He had “favorites” and padded committees with hand picked people. Everyone knew it, and many resented it.

What is interesting is that since the priest left, so have most of the hand picked committee members (committees which were dissolved when the new priest came).

I know many have a problem accepting it, but there are some bad priests in the Catholic Church, and the damage they do to parishes, is real.

I have not had to live under such a situation, so its hard for me to say anything other than, pray for the priest and pray that you can endure, until he’s gone.

Jim

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