Priest renounces his vocation!

Well, I don’t where to place this thread but oh well…

*Disclaimer: This is venting situation. If these thoughts do not seem to make sense I apologize. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this stuff and obviously my wife is the wrong to person to speak to when it comes to the Catholic faith and the Sacred traditions

I feel like I am in a spiritual whirlwind right now.

How it all started:

I had an discussion with my wife of 16 years on how I really am not feeling this whole chuch choir deal because it seems to be manifesting itself into contemporary Christian programing meaning the guy who runs it is getting alot of these Christian artist(which I have nothing against and I will explain why) songs into the mass. Now I am a big time believer in Sacred Music and chant style singing during the Liturgy of the Eucharist and I feel that using contemporary Christian music in its place is not right. Granted the priest doesn’t seem to mind…long story short, my wife and I got into a really bad arguement which ended up with me getting angry(and being called out for not speaking up in her defense during a choir practice because after all a choir is an SATB set-up.) Anyway, I try to let her know that I just don’t feel that its right to be playing that kind of music program for a holy mass and well, I dont want to do it anymore…but now she does and feels she is using her talents for God even though I don’t agree with it. Well one thing led to another and I was told that I must follow what the priest says. Also, I was given a hypothetical scenario by her which basically pointed out that If the priest were to say that it is ok, I would probably end up arguing with the priest. And well she is right but…there is a little more to that than I have time right now.

Now on the the Thread Title:

I just found out yesterday that a priest was renouncing his vows to start a family. This really tore me up because it was this priest that brought me back to the Catholic faith and gave me a strong love for it(Which I am often accused,by my wife, of being a hater because of the teachings on homosexuality, divorce, etc). I broke down completely, and was confused…What could this mean? Is everything a lie? A million things ran through my head. Well I made the mistake of telling my wife and she was a surprised as I was but basically commended the priest for being brave to make such a decision and alluded to this “divorce” as an ok excuse for couples to divorce. My mistake…I should have kept my mouth shut but I knew that, in her angered and fed-up state, she would take that and use it against me :(. Well needless to say it was a very long and emotional night for both of us. Her views have always been different than mine. She is more a of loving, positive person and uses God as an example that I should be more concerned with her and the kids rather than what the decisions of someone else. i should be more loving…You see guys, I have alot of anger and hatred in me that has not been quelled. I feel the older I get the angier I get. i have less patience.

Why did I write this? I don’t have anyone to talk to about the Catholic faith. I’m accused of being argumentative, hateful and angry. I really don’t know what else to do. I guess I will just have to suck it up and deal with it. Anyway, Thanks for taking time to read this thread. I think i feel a little better knowing someone will relate…I hope.

If you don’t want to sing in the choir, for any reason at all, you certainly don’t have to. The choice of music is a valid reason, IMHO, but that’s *your *reason–one that others don’t have to share, most especially not the priest. A parish priest has the final say in such matters. If he prefers more modern pieces, then that’s what will be done. That’s his right to decide, even if others don’t agree with his choices. So, it’s something you either live with or attend another parish where the music is more to your liking. :wink:

Now on the the Thread Title:

I just found out yesterday that a priest was renouncing his vows to start a family. This really tore me up because it was this priest that brought me back to the Catholic faith and gave me a strong love for it(Which I am often accused,by my wife, of being a hater because of the teachings on homosexuality, divorce, etc). I broke down completely, and was confused…What could this mean? Is everything a lie? A million things ran through my head. Well I made the mistake of telling my wife and she was a surprised as I was but basically commended the priest for being brave to make such a decision and alluded to this “divorce” as an ok excuse for couples to divorce. My mistake…I should have kept my mouth shut but I knew that, in her angered and fed-up state, she would take that and use it against me :(. Well needless to say it was a very long and emotional night for both of us. Her views have always been different than mine. She is more a of loving, positive person and uses God as an example that I should be more concerned with her and the kids rather than what the decisions of someone else. i should be more loving…You see guys, I have alot of anger and hatred in me that has not been quelled. I feel the older I get the angier I get. i have less patience.

Why did I write this? I don’t have anyone to talk to about the Catholic faith. I’m accused of being argumentative, hateful and angry. I really don’t know what else to do. I guess I will just have to suck it up and deal with it. Anyway, Thanks for taking time to read this thread. I think i feel a little better knowing someone will relate…I hope.

What other people decide to do, priest or not, should have zero effect on Church teachings or how anyone feels about it. It was his decision to make and has nothing to do with divorce between married couples–so your wife shouldn’t be making that correlation because it isn’t the same thing nor can it justify divorce for just any reason.

Having said that, it does no good to try to argue with someone who is not disposed to listen–it only frustrates you and makes the other person less likely to listen. No one can convince another of what is right or wrong–only the Holy Spirit can do that, and the person has to be willing/open to the Spirit’s instruction.

Many of our people are more influenced by secular society than the Church, even when she speaks quite clearly. You can’t make your wife accept anything, so it’s best to simply pray for her, be a loving husband and father, and live the fullness of the faith before your family in love.

It’s sounds like you’re more frustrated than angry, but don’t let your frustration lead to being angry with others for not seeing what you see or understanding what you understand. That’s not how to show them how to be a faithful Catholic. Living as a faithful Catholic is better than preaching at them/pushing on them what they don’t want to hear. Again, pray for them. Ask Our Lady for her intercession–pray the rosary for them and love them in Christ. Let them come to see the truth as you live it in love before them. :slight_smile: I will remember you, your family and priest friend in prayer.

If singing in the choir is poisoning your life, then you must quit. Choir is not a requirement, and if it is causing marital strife, it needs to go. Now. Lest you think “well, that’s easy to say”: I have more than once given up a great deal in the course of practicing what I preach here. You won’t be able to imagine how much.

That said – the type of music used in Mass is very much at the discretion of the pastor. I am a pastoral musician and have read lots of Church documents on this subject. I tend to fall more on your side of the question, but the Church (especially in the United States) does not lay down many prescriptives; she almost exclusively makes soft suggestions. When we find ourselves in situations where we disagree with the musical choices made, it’s a clear call to exercise charity: we can respectfully and from an informed place have a conversation with the authority in charge, we can swallow our dislike and participate cheerfully, or we can find another ministry. There is no Church law on this subject, so it’s a waste of time and energy to discuss it with others who are in similar positions of non-authority.

It sounds like the priest who was so helpful to you was a bigger influence in your past than in your present? A teacher once told me he believed that it’s not fair to either party in a mentoring relationship to expect that relationship to continue forever, because people change. We help each other where we are now, then we need to move on. The priest who so heavily influenced your life has changed. That happens. It doesn’t mean that anything else has changed. And it doesn’t even mean anything he did was a lie; he very well could have been acting in what he thought was good faith all along. Don’t despair. It’s just that we live in a messy world.

Regarding your anger, please get help with that. You don’t have to live that way if you don’t want to. Venting might feel good now but won’t help at all in the long run, and arguing with your family will only make it worse.

I’ve prayed for you: that God will give you peace, rest, and the presence of mind to respond instead of react when you find yourself in these challenging situations.

I, too, struggle consistently with anger, lack of patience, and wrath. It got so bad that I was having to confess several times a week. I was traveling for work, and went for confession to a Church I had never been to before. The priest, after my absolution, suggested that I think deeply about 1 Corinthians 13. While I was reading and pondering, I came to the realization that God wants me to love everyone the way I love my own young children, with an unlimited patience and capacity for forgiveness. He wants me to place the dignity of others before my own dignity. THAT is how God loves us.

Since that time, It has helped me to imagine that each person who offends me was my own young child, because that person, no matter what they’ve done, is Christ’s child. I am in no place to treat my Lord’s children any worse than He would.

It’s difficult. I don’t always succeed. This is my particular weakness, and this is where Satan tempts me most often. Prayers to St. Michael help a lot.

I had this happen also. A priest who I looked up to very much as a teenager left the priesthood to marry. He did it the correct way, was released from his vows, married in the Church. It was a shock to me. I could not believe that such a popular and charismatic priest would give it up. Ultimately, we must remember that everyone is on his own spiritual journey and not judge others.

It sounds like your anger issues are the real problem. Please consider getting some professional help to find the cause and deal with it. You are certainly free to sing or not sing in the choir. If you are uncomfortable with the music selection, then take some time off and try again when there is a new pastor. Your wife is also free to sing or not, if she is ok with the music, then she should be free to continue without you. It is also perfectly acceptable for her to have a different opinion than you. It does not mean she is right and you are wrong; it just means she has a different opinion. You belong to the Catholic Church because it is the One, True Church, not because of any one person who helped you along in your faith journey. Your priest has his own personal reasons to leave, it may be confusing, we may not like it, but it is his business, between him, the Church and God. There will be many, many priests in and out of your life, that is the way of the Catholic Church. It prevents us from becoming too attached to any one person and focus more on the faith of our Church.

+1
None of what you have written has anything to do with you and how you live out YOUR faith.

Just a couple of questions which I offer in the hope that it might be helpful in examining your current feelings and not meant unkindly nor asking you to answer here.

How is your prayer life?

How is your physical health?

Prayer life? It’s not as good as it should be

Physical health? I teeter totter In weight…once the weather warms up I go back to powerlifting and HIIT…

I have read it. I read through it a few times, actually

First, relative to the music, I think it is important to understand that you have every right to prefer what you prefer as well as to like what you like

As a priest, I have had to adapt myself to my pastoral responsibilities, which many times included aspects of ministry or forms of spirituality that were not what I would have chosen for myself. It meant I had to move beyond my own tastes and preferences. A paid liturgical minister of music will have to do that at times, as well…or choose not to accept certain positions or minister in certain places

You are a volunteer. If you find that what you are involved with presently is not to your taste, you should withdraw from doing it, given how it is obviously affecting you

On the other hand, the fact that this is to your wife’s taste and that she is fulfilled by it means that the same matter of taste that should be accorded to you should be accorded to her and that she should continue in her involvement

The choice of music is, ultimately, the decision of the parish priest. Presuming it is within the standards established by his bishop or the conference of bishops, he is acting within his prerogative. Personally, I was always sympathetic to those with differing tastes…to a point. When they began to argue or to insist, that was the boundary at which dialogue was declared by me to be at end

This seems a matter to speak about – in a non-confrontational manner – with your parish priest, presuming that the lines of communication have not yet been compromised. If that is the case or there is another reason not to speak with him, you may wish to seek the counsel of another priest in how you could practically, in your concrete situation and the possibilities in your parish or a church/chapel in your vicinity, ameliorate your predicament

If, for example, there is a monastery or other place where you could attend Mass some times during the month where the music is more positive for you, or at least less annoying, it might allow you to dial back on your stress and frustration even as you attend Mass, with your wife, at other times during the month

With the help of someone, you need to find better coping mechanisms

As for the priest. I did formation work and encountered various men that I believe had a vocation…but they chose to leave the program. There were others that did not have a vocation and discerned that…they went on to live their lives in other ways. And, of course, there were those who came, discerned with their formators that they had a vocation, and stayed to ordination

I have also had brothers in the priesthood who, within a short time after priesthood all the way to years after ordination, chose to leave. For various reasons and motives. There are those I have stayed close to and those who have vanished

Ultimately, I can only carry out my own vocation and walk the path the Lord has traced before me. That’s already quite a lot, actually. And that is true for everyone in every vocation

I can try to help a brother priest but I can’t force a decision to stay. If all my peers, those of my range of ordination – who are not dead – were to walk off en masse…well, I am not them and they are not me. I still have to do what I know I am to do

I pray for those who have stayed and I pray for those who have left. It does not mean that those who left did not do good in their time in ministry. Many were quite gifted and accomplished much

But you remark that this was a cause of a turbulent evening with your wife. Emotions can be deeply felt but there is also a reason why, classically, we speak of the importance of detachment. This priest, obviously, must have indeed played a pivotal role in a chapter of your life

Fundamentally, though, he was the instrument that the Lord used to touch you in a particular way and to advance you in your journey of faith. That’s to be cherished but not to so overextend the importance of the individual person, that the line of demarcation is lost between, for example, my friendship with a person and the relationship I have with them in their capacity…whether they are my diocesan bishop, the vicar general, my spiritual director, my confessor, or any of the other possible permutations. I have had a few now of each of these categories over the years. I am sad when any of them passes out of that role but that is part of life

You speak more than once about anger and hatred. You speak of being accused of being argumentative without saying who is making these accusations. That your patience is receding

These are things you really need to address, perhaps with an actual spiritual director or at least someone who can offer you knowledgeable and appropriate spiritual advice ad interim…perhaps it needs to be addressed through anger management or counseling…perhaps you need both approaches together or in succession. You know the depth and breadth of these issues within yourself

There seems to be a confluence of events that points to this being a moment in time when, for your sake, your wife’s sake, your marriage’s sake, and for the sake of your relationship with God, His Church, and your particular part of it, you should be seeking remedy and not simply trying by sheer dent of your own effort

That would be my advice

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