This is my first post and I'm not sure if I am putting it in the right category, so forgive me if it is the wrong spot. I need some advice, I will lay all of the facts before you:
As the cliche goes, "Love can make you do some crazy things." While I was in college in the 1990s I fell in love with a Jewish girl. I had been discerning a vocation to the priesthood, but found myself completely smitten by this girl. She was bright, very spiritual, very moral, very pure, beautiful, humble and so sweet. We had a pure relationship, we finally made it to a kiss at one point. I began telling her about the Catholic Church, I was attending daily Mass and she would come with me sometimes. She really started to consider converting and this seemed wonderful at the time because she would have made a great Catholic mother and wife. However, her rabbi suggested she spend a year in Israel learning and she came back and said she could not convert and she had become an Orthodox Jew.
I really admired her and began learning a lot from her spiritually. I went through a crisis and made the horrible decision to stop attending Mass for several months. I began considering converting to Judaism which is a very long process. I spoke with her rabbi and one of their tactics is to turn people away. I am glad he did because I ended up realizing I could not leave Jesus or the Church. I truly believed my salvation came from Christ and that the Catholic Church is the church he founded.
During the period of not going to Mass and my mini-spiritual crisis, I spoke to some of my good Catholic friends and asked them to pray for me. Deeply concerned, they told others to pray for me as well. After 6 months, I went to confession and resumed attending Mass daily and have tried to do much penance since.
A couple of years later, I went to a special Mass where a priest from Rome was celebrating and then giving a talk. After the talk and lunch, I was heading out and a woman I knew stopped me and said, "Oh, I see you're making the St Louis de Monfort 33 day consecration to Mary." I said that I was renewing my consecration and said what a great practice it was. She then told me she didn't think I should do that because I am not one of Mary's chosen ones. I asked her what she meant and she went round and round telling me she just didn't think I was. An older lady approached and said, "Oh who is this young man? Are you going to be a priest?" And the other lady said to her, "Oh no he couldn't!" "Why," the other lady asked. And she responded, "Because he got a Jewish girl pregnant and then forced her to have an abortion." You can imagine the gasps and howls.
My mouth dropped, my heart sunk, I couldn't even respond. In the most heartfelt way possible I denied it and told them that was absolutely false and asked who told her that. She wouldn't tell me, other women started coming around and they formed a semi-circle around me and the whole thing spiraled out of control. Most knew the story and they believed it. I had wondered why so many of them had avoided me at various masses and special events over the past couple of years. They demanded to know what the truth was and I told them the story and mentioned I had missed Mass, insert gasps, and said, yes, I know it was wrong and said that I had sinned. They were saying things like, "I should say so! Oh my goodness, dear Jesus, how could you, how could you?" Some weren't convinced and continued saying they believed that I had knocked this girl up and forced her to have an abortion. I was being eaten alive and all I could do was deny it in a quiet voice.
While I was defending myself, I happened to overhear two ladies off to the side. One said, "Do you believe all that?" The other replied, "Well...that's what x x told me." I finally left and went up to the chapel and cried to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I just offered it, tried to forgive them and move on.
As I was heading to my car, one of the ladies pulled up and rolled her window down and said, "I am sorry about that. I don't think those things are true and it was Mrs X who told me that." A week or so went by and a very devout lady slipped and told me that the woman who was saying those things called people and told them that she saw me at the cathedral one Sunday and that I was wearing crazy sunglasses and a wild jacket. It all started making sense. It was all the same lady.