Looking for a charitable perspective on a situation my family is facing. We have a lovely parish community that is home to a rather high percentage of somewhat independent mentally disabled adults.
One in particular, a man, has become friends with my husband. DH has a way with people, an ability to talk to them on their level yet respect them as adults- that’s why he’s so great with youth, too. This fellow has really latched onto him, calling him several times a week, wanting to be friendly at Mass.
We learned from another parishioner that this man has faced sexual harassment charges for allegedly following a teen girl at the mall; this parishioner’s husband worked mall security at the time and was involved, so it isn’t just a rumor.
On another occasion, he tried to kiss my husband on the lips, but “not in a gay way,” according to DH. Like many mentally disabled individuals, he is very touch-feely and affectionate.
Obviously on a moral level, he likely bears no moral culpability in the mall situation. My poor husband is rather uncomfortable with all this, and I was the one who encouraged him to return the phone calls. The poor guy just left the saddest, loneliest messages on our phones (got them out of the parish directory). “Retarded people need friends, too,” I told him. It has taken him 3 years to even kiss me in public as husband and wife, and I just don’t have any good advice for him. We also need to take precautions since we now have a baby daughter to look out for.
Any advice on how to respect this man’s dignity with a charitable response to his physical affection?