Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Holy Toledo! What a question we got yesterday!
Okay Sister Mary, this is a big one and I will understand if it's too much of a topic to tackle....But I am so conflicted. One of my very best friends is in love with a priest, and he feels the same way about her. ( He is 27 and she's 24) They have kept their relationship very hush hush, and only a few people know about it. The problem is..( besides the obvious!) ....he has no intention of leaving the priesthood, because she said she's not ready to get married as she's beginning grad school. I want to be a good friend to her, but ahahahahahaha how can I possibly support them making the priesthood just a temporary job...and does anything he do as a priest even count??? I just do not know what to do and would love to hear your thoughts....God Bless you!
Too much to tackle!?
Here's the simple Ann Landers answer: Unless you live in a police state where the storm troopers are about to haul you off for being in love with the 'wrong' kind of person, the very idea that you have to keep your relationship 'hush hush' tells you something is very wrong with it.
"Do not hide your love under a bushel.".....who was it that said that? I can't think.....
But this is not a simple situation, because we have soooo much to hide. Obviously both parties realize the deep gravity of the situation but are using the "Jerry Springer Excuse" : "We're in LUV".
how can I possibly support them making the priesthood just a temporary job...
You cannot support your friend because to do so would be scandal.
I think a lot of people don't really understand what we mean by scandal. We tend to treat that word as meaning 'shocking.' The actual meaning is that a person's behaviour may lead others to sin. As in a priest who is dating....is now leading several people to think it's okay......because they're in LUV.
Perhaps we should throw a chair at them.
To think I had to read about this during joyous Easter Week.
and does anything he do as a priest even count?
Yes, it does. Everything he does as a priest still counts. He is a 'priest forever'. The Sacrament of Ordination is an indelible mark on the soul. His priestly powers can never go away. It's not like when Superman goes to his ice castle and dumps his powers to he can marry Lois Lane in Superman II (or is it III?). There is no kryptonite for priests.
This fact only makes the scandal all the worse. It's why members of the clergy are punished in Purgatory worse than anyone else because everything any time they sin (and God knows, everyone sins) the potential for scandal is very high. (Don't think you're off the hook, the next rung up on the Purgatory ladder: parents, for the same reason.)
And then there's the sin of the big lie itself. Lying is a sin, too. Someone help me here, as my head is spinning....either St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas said that dishonesty of any kind is the worst sin, period. It's very interesting reading if you can sort out who said it.....I can't right now as I've removed my head and set it in my lap to avoid further thought on the whole matter.
Anyhow, with what's left of my brain I say to you there is no need to be conflicted. Sad, worried, compassionate, forgiving, loving, yes. But conflicted? Time to throw a chair.