Question about a priest


#1

I’ve posted before with the issue of my friend trying to decide about her husband getting a vasectomy. Thank you to all of you that posted with replies.

What is also bothering me is that she went to the priest and asked him about it and he blessed off on the vasectomy, calling them “being prudent.” I personally know this priest as this is a military community and I used to be there, so I know him. Unfortunately, I didn’t know him as well as I thought I did because I was SHOCKED when he said he’d support their choice to get the vasectomy done.

Do you think I should say something to the priest? What would you do if you were in my shoes?
thanks!!
Theresa


#2

[quote=tamccrackine]…Do you think I should say something to the priest? What would you do if you were in my shoes?
thanks!!
Theresa
[/quote]

No, you shouldn’t say anything to the priest. It really isn’t your business.

                     ~ Kathy ~

#3

first of all you don’t know what the priest really said, you only know what your friend thought she heard, or what she reported to you, although why she would discuss a private matter with someone other than her husband is beyond my understanding. In any case on a matter that is subject to the interior forum you keep your mouth shut, it is between her and the priest.


#4

I just listened to my Kimberly Hahn tape last night about this very thing. She said that a priest is human, and imperfect. And even though they are called by God in a special way, they cannot make something all right that is not. They cannot give a “blessing” to something that the church is strongly against. I would instead talk to your friend, point out what Humanae Vitae says, and also, what the catechism of the Catholic church says. This priest cannot change what the church believes just because he wants to be liked, or “be nice.” I would also ask that you find another priest for her to talk to that is faithful to the Catholic teaching on this. Finally, to understand more fully the Catholic teachings on NFP, contraception, etc. so that you can speak more fully on this issue, I highly recommend reading “Life-Giving Love” by Kimberly Hahn. Her book is great reading, and lays out beautifully the church’s teaching on life, and how we should faithfully follow it. Everyone I’ve given the book to has been touched, passed the book on, and those people are then touched. It gives voice to the hearts of many women who are struggling with the issue of “one more soul?”.

God bless, and good luck!
-Amy


#5

Thanks Amy for your advice… believe it or not, I have read Dr. Kimberly Hahns’ book Life Giving Love and ironically, gave it to my friend to read specifically dealing with this very situation. It also addressed the age issue my friend has. However, I’m pretty certain she hasn’t read it, otherwise I think she’d think differently.

Puzzleannie… some friends talk about alot of situations. And when your husbands’ are military, there is a strong bond between some women and it’s strong enough to talk about alot of details. I’m not interfering with my friends’ marriage just because I have knowledge of an issue she is having a hard time grasping. She’s struggling and all I’m trying to do is help. I know exactly what she needs to do, how, when, why… but what I have a problem with is the priest told her it’s ok. Who is supposed to keep the priest in check by telling him he’s not supporting Church teachings?

I guess I’m underestimating my own relationship with said priest. I can freely talk to him… what I was asking ya’ll was if you thought it was a good idea. Now that I know some of you wouldn’t do it, I really don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t.

And yes, it is my business when a priest is leading his flock to sin. Here I’m trying to help my friend carry this burden of wondering what to do, trying to show her that she’ll be alright, KNOWING she knows the right thing to do and there is a priest giving in to what he thinks she thinks she wants to do without regard to the Church teaching.

Would you tell your friend that is contemplating aborting her and her husband’s baby and she was told by a priest that it’s ok, they’re being prudent as they already have 6 kids… that she’s ok and it’s none of my business and it’s between her and her husband?

I’m sorry if I sound angry… I’m feeling defeated at each turn when I know something needs to be done and I guess I don’t like being told to shut up when I’m seeing something being done that’s immoral.

Thanks for posting though… I appreciate your opinions. :slight_smile:
Theresa


#6

IMHO, we women find it easy to take on responsibilities that don’t belong to us. Sure it’s OK to help a friend and pass on what the church teaches. Just don’t get to the point where you think it’s your fault or your responsibility if her husband is sterilized. —KCT


#7

[quote=puzzleannie]first of all you don’t know what the priest really said, you only know what your friend thought she heard, or what she reported to you, although why she would discuss a private matter with someone other than her husband is beyond my understanding. In any case on a matter that is subject to the interior forum you keep your mouth shut, it is between her and the priest.
[/quote]

I think this is a very good point…did you hear the priest say this? Do you know if this is what your friend HEARD? It has been my experience that, under stress and wanting something, we often hear what we want to hear…


#8

I thought I’d relate something similar that happened to me. My sister came to me and told me that her priest in the confessional that contraception was okay. I was greatly disturbed by this. One of my friends challenged me, so I finally called the priest. He of course said that he couldn’t comment on anything in the confessional, but that in just to know that in general he would never advise someone in this way. As I thought about the way she presented it, I could see that she misinterpreted something he said.

The priest didn’t know that he wasn’t clear. I hope he would be clear in the future. I asked him to do a homily on the topic because then my sister would here the truth from his lips. But, he refused.

It is a work of mercy to admonish the sinner. Just because he is a priest doesn’t mean he is not your brother in Christ. Someday, he will be before the throne of God. Why not make an appointment to speak to him? It may be that your friend misinterpreted him. Or, he may need a little admonishment.


#9

In our parish, you would speak or send a letter to the bishop who over see’s said priest and he would in turn speak to the priest, you could send it without your name etc. and just write, a very concerned Catholic etc.


#10

[quote=tamccrackine]…and it’s none of my business and it’s between her and her husband?..
[/quote]

It’s none of your business and it’s between her and her husband, that’s what I’d tell you.

And yes, you do sound angry and are going where you ought not to go. You weren’t there when your friend spoke to the priest so you don’t know EXACTLY what was said. You could be doing more harm than good I am afraid.

              ~ Kathy ~

#11

[quote=Katie1723]It’s none of your business and it’s between her and her husband, that’s what I’d tell you.

And yes, you do sound angry and are going where you ought not to go. You weren’t there when your friend spoke to the priest so you don’t know EXACTLY what was said. You could be doing more harm than good I am afraid.

              ~ Kathy ~

[/quote]

Kathy,
The question you quoted referred to abortion… and I’ll speak up any ol’ day about that. If a priest told your friend that having an abortion was prudent because she’s already got six kids, would you stand up to say something or go “it’s between her and her husband.”

I spoke to my priest here and he said I did the right thing by approaching my friend regarding Church teaching and he said I was within my right to contact the priest and gently ask him about what he would say to a couple contemplating sterilization. He said as long as I did it in a charitable and loving manner, not judgmental and condescending, then it’s alright and I’m to leave the rest to God. I sent him the email I sent the priest in question and he said it was very well written, thought out and done in a Christian manner.

I guess I am angry because I’m surprised at how many of you would allow your friend to sin without speaking up when she’s the one that presented you with the problem. I’m suprised at how many would just ignore that a priest is teaching against the Church and say it’s between a husband and wife. Yes… it is between a husband and wife, but not when it’s been presented to a friend.

At this point, my friend knows it’s a mortal sin, she is in full knowledge of what the Church teaches and I can only pray she does what is right. I won’t forsake her for any decision she makes (I’m not shallow) but she clearly needed to know my stance and I was bothered that a priest, a leader of our beloved Church, told her it’s ok to commit such a sin.

So… I’ve left it up to God to help her.


#12

[quote=LSK]I think this is a very good point…did you hear the priest say this? Do you know if this is what your friend HEARD? It has been my experience that, under stress and wanting something, we often hear what we want to hear…
[/quote]

No, I personally didn’t hear the priest say this as I’m over 3000 miles away… and yes, I can see my friend hearing what she wants to hear as the priest in question has a strong Spanish accent and my friend has always complained of not understanding him clearly. I did write a letter to the priest and it was met with warmth and understanding.

I felt strongly called to ask him how he would teach something when presented with a certain situation as I am deeply troubled that a priest would teach against the Church. I know this priest well enough that I could speak to him with clarity and honesty without feeling threatened.

It’s in God’s hands now as my friend has a decision to make. Neither the priest nor myself can force her or her husband to go where they don’t want to go. I know she’s in full knowledge of what the Church teaches… so we’ll see where it goes from here. I can only pray for her and her husband now.

Thank you for being charitable. I appreciate it. :slight_smile:


#13

I’ll pray too! My best friends are the ones I trust to rebuke me (they are gentle) when I’m off track. God Bless you!


#14

[quote=kamz]In our parish, you would speak or send a letter to the bishop who over see’s said priest and he would in turn speak to the priest, you could send it without your name etc. and just write, a very concerned Catholic etc.
[/quote]

our bishop has state publicly he will not respond to an anonymous letter (except in the case of reported illegality, which would be turned over to civil authorities for investigation). If you wish to report a liturgical abuse to your bishop the way to do it is in a signed letter giving specific details, not rambling accusations.

as I said before, it is completely inappropriate for you to confront a priest about the matter of another person’s confession, you know perfectly well he cannot discuss it or even comment on it. If he were publicly teaching this, say in a marriage preparation class, that would be another story.


#15

[quote=tamccrackine]Kathy,
The question you quoted referred to abortion… and I’ll speak up any ol’ day about that. If a priest told your friend that having an abortion was prudent because she’s already got six kids, would you stand up to say something or go “it’s between her and her husband.”

I spoke to my priest here and he said I did the right thing by approaching my friend regarding Church teaching and he said I was within my right to contact the priest and gently ask him about what he would say to a couple contemplating sterilization. He said as long as I did it in a charitable and loving manner, not judgmental and condescending, then it’s alright and I’m to leave the rest to God. I sent him the email I sent the priest in question and he said it was very well written, thought out and done in a Christian manner.

I guess I am angry because I’m surprised at how many of you would allow your friend to sin without speaking up when she’s the one that presented you with the problem. I’m suprised at how many would just ignore that a priest is teaching against the Church and say it’s between a husband and wife. Yes… it is between a husband and wife, but not when it’s been presented to a friend.

At this point, my friend knows it’s a mortal sin, she is in full knowledge of what the Church teaches and I can only pray she does what is right. I won’t forsake her for any decision she makes (I’m not shallow) but she clearly needed to know my stance and I was bothered that a priest, a leader of our beloved Church, told her it’s ok to commit such a sin.

So… I’ve left it up to God to help her.
[/quote]

If my “friend” spoke to MY priest behind MY back, I would be furious.

As you stated…Let GOD help her.

                ~ Kathy ~

#16

[quote=tamccrackine]Would you tell your friend that is contemplating aborting her and her husband’s baby and she was told by a priest that it’s ok, they’re being prudent as they already have 6 kids… that she’s ok and it’s none of my business and it’s between her and her husband?

I’m sorry if I sound angry… I’m feeling defeated at each turn when I know something needs to be done and I guess I don’t like being told to shut up when I’m seeing something being done that’s immoral.

Thanks for posting though… I appreciate your opinions. :slight_smile:
Theresa
[/quote]

your specific question in OP was about contacting the priest to question him about one person’s confession, that is completely out of bounds, you know he cannot discuss it. If you had asked about counselling your friend, or about asking your priest about his general teaching on the issue, I would have addressed these questions.


#17

Actually, the op was didn’t mention confession. I mentioned in my post that my sister was told in confession that contraception was okay. It was I who went to the priest. She revealed her confession to me. I knew that after my sister had heard from the authority of her priest, she would be firmly entriched in her practice of contracepting.

I agree however that the poster should have told her friend that she was contacting the priest. Perhaps the best thing would offer to go to the priest with her friend. Looking back, I should have done the same thing with my sister. It was several years ago and I was immature. Frankly, it took a lot of courage due to my temperament for me to contact the priest.

Having a permanent sterilization is very very grave matter. If someone was on the verge of committing such a serious sin, I would think that we should be prayerfully proactive.


#18

[quote=Katie1723]If my “friend” spoke to MY priest behind MY back, I would be furious.

As you stated…Let GOD help her.

                ~ Kathy ~

[/quote]

The priest isn’t just HER priest… it’s a military community in which I was heavily involved in up until May of this year when I moved across the country. I’m still in regular contact with said priest as we are good friends and I trust him. I was floored when my friend told me what he said as I had always believed him to be pro-life, pro-family and conservative.

Like I’ve posted… it’s in God’s hands now. I’m thankful I contacted the priest as he now knows that at least one person is standing up to his false teaching. My conscious is clear because I know I did all I could to help my friend (and a priest). I’ve stood up and said my piece… now all I can ask is you pray for my friend and her husband and that the Holy Spirit guides their conscious to do the right thing and to help them feel good about their choice.

The three scripture passages I presented to my friend:
Prov 3:5-6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In **all ** your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Col 3:16- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom.

Gal 6:2- Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I highlighted what I found the most profound. I love my friend very much and I just don’t want to see her hurt later down the road. I will be here for her no matter which choice she makes and I will not judge her for it.

God bless and thank you so much for all your prayers. And have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!


#19

tamccrackine-

FWIW, I think you did the right thing here, from what I am seeing, you are not asking the priest to discuss this person’s confession with you, you are letting the priest know that your friend discussed it with you, and how she interpreted what he said, and that her interpretation of what he said is wrong in the eyes of the Church. He now has the option of setting things straight, which hopefully, he will.(I am giving the benefit of the doubt to this priest that she misunderstood him)

Interestingly enough, our priest told my dh that we could do some things sexually that are, in fact, not allowed by the Church, and I have yet to speak to him about it (as I showed hubby the light on my own) still, I can assume :wink: that he is teaching this to others, and do feel I should say something to him about this.


#20

[quote=puzzleannie]your specific question in OP was about contacting the priest to question him about one person’s confession, that is completely out of bounds, you know he cannot discuss it. If you had asked about counselling your friend, or about asking your priest about his general teaching on the issue, I would have addressed these questions.
[/quote]

I did… reread the original post and I had another thread listed regarding my friend, this one was about the priest… and I said nothing of confession… none of this transpired out any confession… my friend went to the priest to talk to him about getting her husband sterilized as she doesn’t want any more babies.

But thank you for your input… :slight_smile:


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