What do you do about a priest who lies?

Our pastor has severely limited use of parish facilities during the summer. We have more than 4500 families, and about eighty Small Christian Community ministries. Many of these ministries meet year-round, but now have been forbidden use of parish rooms. There are plenty of rooms to meet in. This has caused a lot of angst amongst the leaders of these various ministries.

I asked our pastor about exceptions to this policy for groups that meet year-round. I was told that nobody else had complained and perhaps we should take a break. I have direct, firsthand knowledge of at least six other group leaders asking and being told the same thing. While this is not of a hugely serious nature, it is, in my opinion, still a lie. His telling people that they are the only ones to complain seems like his way of dealing with a policy that is not working and trying to hide behind a false statement. This really bothers me, especially in light of him representing Jesus on earth and his being my confessor.

I am at a loss of what to do or how to address this. Does anybody ot there have any suggestions? Please help!

Speaking of your priest “representing Jesus on earth and … being [your] confessor,” perhaps you should be more reticent about assuming and then publicly accusing a priest of God and an alter Christus of “lying.”

In regards to the problem itself, you do not know why this priest is unable to accommodate the groups’ wishes to use the parish facilities. For all you know, he may be dealing with the demands of others who are insisting that he do this (e.g., his bishop, the parish’s insurance company).

In regards to the priest’s handling of the situation, while we may quibble over how he is addressing the concerns of the parish groups wanting to use the facilities, he may not feel free to explain exactly why he cannot allow your groups to use the facilities. Perhaps he is suggesting “a break” because he hopes that he can eventually accommodate the groups again.

In the meantime, you and your fellow group leaders are not helping matters by resenting the necessity to find other places to hold your meetings, gossiping about the priest, and accusing him of a lack of integrity. It would be more in keeping with Christian charity to cheerfully arrange for the Small Christian Communities to meet in members’ homes and to ask Father to keep you informed about the situation with the parish facilities so that you will know when you will again be able to use the facilities.

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