In our parish we have a man who has discerned Holy Ministry. He is a convert to very traditional Catholicism.
Our priest is a lovely holy man but who does not respect this individual. He is privately [in the Sacristy] critical of most things under the ‘traditional’ label including Opus Dei and organisations close to the Vatican.
My friend has drawn from our PP the worst kind of bullying, that most folk simply would refuse to believe. It was only by chance that I witnessed one of these encounters.
The PP blames this man for everything that goes wrong in the parish even when it is blatantly not his fault. Anything gets broken or moved and it is ‘his’ fault. The PP has even accused him of theft, which has infuriated him, grieved him and has made him question if Catholicism really is for him.
There is so far as I am aware, no substance to the theft allegation but something that I think was conspired between the PP and his Sacristan to damage his reputation. He is currently taking legal advice for ‘defamation of character’!
The PP has told him not to do anymore voluntary work for the parish including jobs given him by the former PP. I have witnessed this ‘holy’ PP shaking with anger in his criticism of this persons intentions and blaming him.
He has warned me that it is not in my interests to be seen talking to him in the Church grounds. I thought this was a bit paranoid until I observed our PP to be evesdropping on our conversation. I am no threat to the PP or anyone else, so see no reason for this bizare behaviour.
This man is about to ‘walk away and shake the dust of the parish from his shoes’ so to speak. I think his leaving will be a great loss as he is a very kind caring generous sensitive loving person. But I am at a complete loss to know how I can help him and bring about a reconciliation between him and the PP.
I did try to mention to the PP that actually he probably means no harm but the PP stormed off in disgust and would not even let me finish my sentence.
What would you do to prevent the loss of a good convert?
What do you think is the underlying cause of the problem?
It does seem a bit drastic that a PP and Sacristan would collude to set up a parishioner to discredit them. What do you think?