First off, I hope no one judges me for I NEVER intended this to happen. I am a catholic and became became very close to my priest. He counciled me threw life changing events and then when I found out I had a germ cell tumor in mybleft lung and was refusing treatment, he talked me into treatment which saved my life. I must say we are the exact same age, grew up in the same city, he went to the all the boys catholic school, I, the all girls catholic girls. He NEVER ONCE acted inappropriate, EVER. And I never showed my feelings. We were really close though. I told him everything about me, all my secrets and traumas and we would email each other. I met a "priest " online and confessed my love for my parish priest and he told me I must tell him right away which I did threw an email. I have not heard from him since. He won’t email me back and now I’m to scared to go to church. I’m do heartbroken. I never even wanted to tell him but that online priest forced me to do so. It’s not just that I loved him, he was my friend, my confidant, my secret keeper, my priest. I miss our emails, our conversations, our prayers and i don’t understand why he’s totally ignoring me.
For a priest to continue a friendship with someone that wants it to be more than that would be incredibly imprudent. He is called to celibacy. The priest told you to say something because he knew that both of you needed to not be in this situation any longer. Seek spiritual guidance from a priest that isn’t the one you spoke about, and may God guide you.
**Through no fault a line was crossed . You need to, if at all possible, go to another Church. “Stay off of his radar.” Don’t seek him out, don’t try to fix things with him, don’t try to talk to him about this or seek his counsel anymore. You did what the other Priest advised you to do and it was the right thing. He was out of bounds for you and he possibly was just doing what he felt he needed to do as your spiritual adviser. He’s let you know by NO response that he is not interested in any further contact. Don’t push the issue. LET IT GO and move on. If you need to, talk with another different Priest in person. But by all means LET IT GO. He is a Priest of the church and you have your life to lead. His spouse is the Church don’t interfere. Do NOT pursue him or this issue with him. He’s walked away you need to also.
Real love seeks out the best for the other person. It’s not a selfish thing. Feelings can develop when we spend a lot of time with someone but perhaps you can reevaluate how you feel for him? Maybe you do love him but not in a sexual way and just recognise the beauty of God shining through?
Edit: I’d just like to clarify something. I completely agree with the comments above that he belongs to God and you should not pursue him. I’m simply suggesting you reevaluate your feelings for your own peace of mind.
I have no means of knowing if this is what is happening here, but as in psychotherapy, transference is a thing in spiritual care. Feelings are not uncommon when someone helps you through difficult times, guides you, and helps you know yourself better and grow closer to God. One should be very careful with these feelings, because they often are nothing more than a part of an inner healing process, directed toward the “wrong” person.
Now, as he is not your therapist but your priest, he has to be extremely careful with that. He is probably aware that this can happen, but that doesn’t make it easier for someone who committed to celibacy. He is acting carefully and putting his vocation first. This is wise. Not pursuing him and letting it go is the most loving thing you can do for him.
During a difficult time you had a source of comfort and strength. It’s time now to stand on your 2 feet and move forward. I know it’s a painful loss. He was that strong arm that kept your head above water until help came.
Trust that God has a plan for your life, to impact this world for good. Offer your loss and grief, united with Christ, that souls would be saved. God give you courage today and tomorrow.
You have to understand what a very vulnerable position this situation puts a Priest in. They do have some training regarding counselling issues. He would know that your feelings for him aren’t just going to go away. Even secular counsellors will recommend another counsellor for a client who is dealing with these sorts of feelings for them.
If possible, find another parish and a counsellor. Perhaps a female counsellor. God Bless.
I’m not sure what he’s supposed to do with that information, particularly since I don’t know how you worded what you said. You didn’t tell him. You e-mailed him. You don’t know that he isn’t re-visiting every part of your relationship and asking himself if he failed in how he handled you and your vulnerable state in any way at all. You don’t know that he did not have feelings for you that he could not appropriately share with you. You may not ever know how he took this and he probably cannot ever tell you, at least not most of it. The chance that you’d inappropriately blame yourself are too high.
This is what I mean: You know if he were your psychiatrist or therapist or any other kind of physician, he would have to immediately refer you to another provider. If he were a teacher at the only school you had to go to, he’d have to arrange to have you in classes other than his, if at all possible. If it could not be helped that you had to be in his class, you’d have to keep your contacts as brief, as professional and as public as possible. That’s where you are now. It doesn’t have to do with anybody having done something wrong. It has to do with helping you to get to an appropropriate place and preventing anything inappropriate from happening.
Well, that’s what you have to do now. If his parish is the only place for you to go to Mass, you don’t have much choice. Keep your contacts brief, strictly professional and public. Otherwise, join a different parish.
Just because there is no one to blame this on does not mean you don’t need help to get through this, as well. If you can afford it I would suggest you find a therapist or some kind of counselor to help you through this. If you have no resources, you could probably could call your diocesan office, explain that you have a serious crush on a priest who never did anything inappropriate to you and ask if they have anyone they could refer you to. They might be able to think of someone.
You might also want to write him a “thank you” note, explaining that you appreciate the help he gave you, help you still see as literally life-saving, and letting him know that you have made a positive choice to get the help you need to move on to a more appropriate support system. In other words, he need not worry about you, save that you hope he’ll keep you in his prayers, as he will be in yours.
I will preface this by welcoming you to CAF ! At the same time, it is good to remember that many who are hospitalized, i.e. physical need, will develop a strong psychological attraction to doctor or nurse. It often becomes a disordered attraction, as the original need may no longer exist.
By becoming attached to; even dependent upon a particular priest, we can actually become a near occasion of sin for them. We have heard your feelings and emotions, but we do not know his. We do not know what he has confessed; what he is struggling with. He may have an immense sense of guilt for allowing himself to walk that bright line with you and perhaps emotionally crossing it. This relationship has very likely become a negative for him. Who could want to continue that?
I would say that both of you need a fresh start, having received all benefit that is morally permissible from your relationship. Whatever went beyond should be/has been repented of. The common factors you shared may have helped to establish a bond, but ultimately hurt in maintaining or deepening that bond.
Some of us are clingy types. Once we know that, we can hope (and pray) to moderate our affections and direct them accordingly. Most of us have significant others in our lives whom we love dearly. Yet relationships must be well-ordered. If they lack discipline, they can be at the same time fragile and spiritually dangerous.
You do need to break away; to make a fresh start, having received the healing that you have. If thoughts of that priest are recurrent or intrusive, then it is appropriate even to consider therapy.
Honestly, in the big picture you have been healed by Christ - the Divine Physician. At this point, He is the One you must turn to. He is the One Who can lead you along the right path. He is the source and summit of your faith.
It will be only one facet of your healing, but I would think that spending time with Christ can only be beneficial. Since we all love to spend time with the one we love, a regular pattern of holy hours before Christ can do nothing but good for you.
Talk to another priest and inquire if counseling may help you. God is God of peace, not of sorrow or loneliness. He greatly desires that you live in peace, both now and in eternity.
For my part, prayers are ascending.
I understand your opinion but the longer she permits herself contact of any kind with him the longer the situation will not get settled. She should not contact him in any way at all. NONE! This is done and the OP needs to walk away. Contacting the Diocese will not help either in any way and could only make things worse. It’s in her “court” now and she needs to walk completely away.
I haven’t been to church mass in almost 3 months and have decided today to become a non practicing catholic. This whole thing has sent me into a spiritual crisis. It was a “hero” effect or anything like that. It was the way I could talk to him. His cheesy smile, thevway he got do shy so sometimes, the way he hard time looking people in the eye. Just certain things. I’m very intelligent woman. I fell in love with him with for him and that is my problem. I don’t ever want to to be a catholic again
You need to talk to a counselor about this. You shouldn’t leave the Church over this because the Catholic Church is about Jesus, not us and not the Priest.
I wouldn’t argue with her if she did that.
Actually, I’d suggest she find a therapist before she does anything else. You’re right.
That is totally understandable.
Go, anyway. You’re Catholic. Besides, if this friend of yours ever found out that you left the Church because of what grew up between the two of you, he’d be extremely saddened. He would feel responsible for you losing your faith, too.
The idea is to learn to have that kind of relationship with the Lord. He’s the one we learn to trust. He never fails and yes, he really does know you better than anyone else can. He has more power to help you than anyone else. He loves you more than anyone else. He gave you his Church to bring you to himself for eternity. Do not leave it!!
As someone who came into the church in my 20s, I can tell you, life is better with God than without God.
It’s better to go to church and pour your heart out than to stay home and be mad at God. Tell Him your mad at Him, and go tell Him in person.
You shouldn’t leave the church because of one bad situation. Missing Mass is a mortal sin and leaving the Church is the worst decision you can possibly make, although it doesn’t mean you’re going to hell. It’s understandable that you’re embarrassed to go to Mass, but you need to talk the situation out in person. It’s the only way to resolve it. How else can you resolve the situation? You said this priest was a very close friend of yours. I know you love him, but you must try to fight that. You NEED to talk to him in person in order to solve the situation. I hope this helps!!! I’ll be praying for you!!! God bless!!!
OP how old are you?
There is no fighting it… it is what it is. The heart is deceitful and kidding oneself that much good can come from additional encounters (at least unmediated) is a bit naive, with all due respect.
No, she does not “NEED” to talk to him. This priest deserves some consideration as well, as does his vocation. I doubt that the next closest Parish is too far, and if the OP is genuinely seeking spiritual guidance, she will find it.
Uh, if he’s a mentally healthy adult, I doubt he’d feel ‘responsible’. The OP is responsible for her own choices. She doesn’t get to make him feel ‘guilty’ about her faithlessness if she abandons Jesus because one of Jesus’ followers failed to know how to respond to her emotional needs in the way she wanted.
I don’t know if you’re just trying to treat the OP with kid gloves here, but honestly, I don’t think we should humour the idea that the priest she expressed inappropriate feelings for might feel ‘responsible’ for her own adult choice to abandon Jesus in a fit of emotion over not getting a desired response to an email. Yes, the situation was awkward; maybe some form of response from him would have been good (even just a polite form letter to express regret for the unfortunate circumstance and make the suggestion that she attend a different parish, for their mutual continued well-being).
But no one has the right to use emotional blackmail against someone else (‘quitting’ the Church then telling a bunch of people it’s the fault of other people because an online priest “forced” her to confess romantic love, then the beloved priest failed to respond to that email (the details of which we do not know)), and I feel kind of gross watching people humour the OP on this.
She CAN fight it, if God helps her. And she should talk to him in order to solve the situation. Otherwise, it’ll just be awkward for the rest of their lives.