My relationship with my former parish priest


#1

I know I am going to be judged by everyone but please here me out. I am married with 2 children. My former position was " Parish Coordinator". I met the Pastor when he came to our parish two years ago. I was the Parish Coordinator but also his assistant. As time went on I developed feelings for him. We worked together very closely and developed a great work relationship. As i realized these feelings were growing stronger I resigned and began to work in a secular position. I also began worshipping in another parish. My former Pastor ( who has been a priest for 20 years) would call and check on me occasionally but when he went on vacation he called me and told me that he missed me. I told him I missed him also and that I am doing well. Well he emphasized that he missed me again and I just kept the conversation going and didn’t address it. That day we stayed on the phone for 5 hours. From there the conversations became daily and longer. Nothing inappropriate just conversations about politics and life. Well then we started talking about other things and one thing led to another and our conversations became sexual in nature. I made the mistake of expressing my emotional feelings for him.A couple of times he has changed his mind about the direction our friendship was going in and I agreed and we addressed the issue, yet it eventually fell back into sexual conversations and explicit pictures. It has been about 5 months and now we are both at the point where we know this will never work as a relationship. We are 3 hours away from each other and to answer the question in everyone’s mind NO I did not sleep with him. I suggested to him that we should go our separate ways so that the temptation is not there but he insists that he will not accept anything but a healthy relationship with me and that he needs me in his life. He wants to be friends. I am praying everyday that the Lord takes away this desire for him and that my love for him becomes pure so that I can be the kind of friend he needs and wants but am I being unrealistic in thinking this can happen? Please help!


#2

I am sorry but you need to be realistic and totally end this relationship. It is totally inappropriate and will never be good and right. It will always endanger your real relationship with your spouse and the salvation of both of you. It will be hard, but much harder would be to keep trying to do what cannot be done and suffering for it. Make it a quick, clean, and complete end. And I would seriously consider telling a superior priest about the whole thing so that he can get help also in not falling into the same or worse with others.


#3

You must cut off this relationship, period. You cannot ‘just remain friends’. The temptation is always going to be there. It is NOT going to go away. Because Who is behind it is not going to go away. And the Who is not from above, it is from below.

After you cut off the relationship you can make a good confession and be forgiven the mortal sins involved. In the end you cannot be properly absolved from something like this unless you cut off the relationship because it is a temptation that is not going to go away, and which you are not permitted to enter into the occasion of.

For the sake of both your souls this has to end.

Now, you may say to yourself, ‘But I do not feel like it has to end.’ Feelings do not justify morally sinful acts. They only cover up the consequences which are quite terrible in all cases.

This man is a priest. He needs to have his spiritual life in right order so he can help others. Do not get inbetween the Lord and a priest.

He should know better, he does not ‘need’ you. He needs to cut off this temptation and he needs to turn to the Lord for his soul.


#4

I have tried to end this relationship. He stated that he needs me in his life because I am the only one who really knows him and he can talk to me. I told him this would not work and what is best for him is for us to not communicate. I told him that loving someone means caring about their soul and that means caring enough to let him go. He cried and begged me to not walk out of his life. That we would fix this relationship so that it would be healthy. What am I supposed to do just walk away?


#5

run and never look back


#6

we have been communicating now for about a week on a friendly basis. Nothing explicit. We are both getting through this but know that it can’t be anything else. HE wants to make sure that I can remain in his life and that is why we have changed the nature of this relationship. Am I being naive in thinking this is possible?


#7

Anybody can be tempted, including priests and pious women.

And remember, we are seldom tempted by things that look totally bad. I’m sure that love was what led Adam to take the bite of the fruit.

I do no condemn you, but if you really love this priest, then for the sake of his vocation you will cut off the relationship NOW–changing your phone number if need be.


#8

As has already been said. End all communication and report to a senior priest - Bishop if you have to - so you can confess and get the necessary help.


#9

Disconnect your email address today.

Change your phone number tomorrow.

If he calls, hang up.

Get to Confession and to counseling.


#10

Change my email and phone? Are you guys serious? So I am supposed to forget about his tears and pleading with me to not walk out of his life. I understand not pursuing an inappropriate relationship with him, but turn my back on him and report him to the Bishop? We didn’t do anything. I did not sleep with him.


#11

Its tough but you have to cut off your relationship entirely. You will be in my prayers


#12

but if you really love this priest, then for the sake of his vocation you will cut off the relationship NOW–changing your phone number if need be.

Disconnect your email address today.

Change your phone number tomorrow.

If he calls, hang up.

Get to Confession and to counseling.

This are the only options you have and you must do them no mater how much pain or sacrifice it is to you OR this priest. Out of LOVE you cannot in any way allow this to go on. He may be hurt but the alternative is worse for him, you, your children, his parish, the list goes on. End it now.


#13

Yes.


#14

Yes you did do something, you shared sexual feelings and messages and images. That is a mortal sin.

You have to cut it off. So you will feel numb for awhile. That is the consequences of something like that. It’s fine. In fact it might be a good starting penance for the both of you. Penance is a very necessary thing after grave sin.

I know that’s not popular to hear but, actually, it helps and we understand it in our hearts that we should bear a cross for a time for what we did to make up a little for the sinful pleasures of the past.

Now, he is a man, and he can take rejection like a man. Cut him off. Let him weep and whine and whatever, he will get over it. No one believes they will get over it when they’re in the middle of it. But everybody who grows older knows, once it’s over, eventually, you are over it.

And you’ll both be fine. As long as you order your lives towards God again. :slight_smile:

I have some fearsome quotes from the saints about relationships and about this sort of thing. I’m not going to use them. I am too easy a person. Everyone here has been kind and given good strong advice so far. :slight_smile: Listen to it!

You are not meant to be in this person’s life any longer at all.


#15

Well at this point in time, I feel the ned to communicate less and less and hope that he will eventually understand that the communication has stopped and for good reason. People who are friends do not necessarily speak on a daily basis. I still would like to be there if he needs me, but that may have to stop also based on the advice I am getting here. One thing I can’t do is turn him in.


#16

Take some time to read today’s readings - Jesus used harsh language when telling us to get out of sin.

Stop it, today. Not one more phone call, not one more email.

Neither of your eternal souls is worth this affair.


#17

The point is you can’t solve this on your own. I recommend going to the Bishop because it has to do with a priest. You don’t have to tell the Bishop WHO this relationship occurred with but to tell a normal priest may not be enough. It would very likely be easier to just go straight to the Bishop.

A priest is to be Christ’s representative - he has not fulfilled this requirement for you. He cannot fulfill this role with anyone if a relationship remains between you and him. The plain fact is you never should have been in his life in this way - no one but God should have been.

You aren’t turning your back on him, you are standing up and doing what he himself should be doing. You’ve tried to lessen it other ways but it hasn’t been possible. YOU have to take the leap to end this.

You can’t be absolved until this is resolved.
**
Go to the Bishop for confession, he will tell you the steps from there.**


#18

#19

Every time you contact him, you are hurting yourselves. You need to stop all communication. And just know it will hurt. But then, it will be better.

And the fact that you are concerned about being judged is a sign that you are not in a good place. We don’t worry about being judged when we are not sinning.

Seriously, stop the communication.
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#20

How do you think your husband would feel about this matter, knowing you continued the relationship as a ‘friendship’?

How would you feel vice versa?

You owe it not only to God, but also to you family to cut this man out. He is not to be a ‘friend’ anymore.

You do not have to tell your husband about this, thankfully. That would do more harm than good. Do not in the future confess it to -him- out of a false shame, it would only hurt him and be for your feelings sake to do so.

But you owe your husband far more than just ending this relationship. You’ve given something away of your heart that was meant only for him. Now you have to work on giving your heart back to him and your family.


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