The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

In the fall of 1995 along with my twin children of three years old and my husband whose life has been shortened by the VIH virus, I was walking toward my new church in this huge metropolis where we started a new life. As I entered this magnificent building with breathtaking frescoed architecture, I never would have thought that a man wearing the Roman collar, someone who is married to ''Mother Church'', was going to upset my little imperfect but quiet world.

As I was watching him walking back and forth to get things ready for mass, I got hit with a huge wave of what instantly submerged to my very soul into a pool of pure overwhelming love. He walked at a brisk pace in the large corridor that ran along the rows of carved wooden benches. As he approached the row where I sat, our eyes met - it was love at first sight. I felt as if I had always known him, but at that point, I did not even know his name. The only details I had were his exceptional height, blue eyes and a smile that lit up his whole beautiful face.

Despite this new indescribable feeling that came over me, I felt much guilt as I thought about my husband. The service ended, and I returned home with my family, determined to forget this incident. From one Sunday to the next this uncontrollable feeling got the better of my reason. I wanted to know more about this man that stirred my soul and my heart. So I decided to let events flow to open the door to friendship. I wanted to discover, without it being obvious, whether what I felt was mutual.

During this time, my husband's health deteriorated quickly, and I felt overwhelmed. Since he did not take the drugs needed to stabilize the disease, we found ourselves faced with evidence that he had only months to live - now he had contracted full-blown AIDS. I asked the support of the man of my heart, in his position as a priest, to accompany us on this painful journey. He nodded reassuringly and gave us all the support we needed during the illness, death, and funeral of my husband.

Now a widow, the relationship became increasingly close between us. Not two days would go by before we would call or meet each other. As insignificant as it could be, any excuse was good enough to see each other. The desire to kiss and to say how much we were in love was evident but neither of us dared to admit it. Months had passed without anything physical happening between us, I felt his prudence and especially his fear despite his desire. One day, after having hinted that he wanted marriage, I began to see my dream coming true. He seemed ready to take the step. There was now no barrier between us - my happiness was at its peak.

One day, his superiors realized that something was wrong. They saw that the morale of my beloved priest had been low in the recent months. He had confided to his spiritual director, revealing that he suffered from loneliness. With the help of a pretend friend of us, they quickly found the culprit for an inconvenient truth, for them, and could see that we were in love. They decided to separate us by imposing on him severe restrictions, of which I had no right to know the details. The only thing I knew is that he was forbidden to talk to me and he was obligated to give them all my personal letters, after which they would read; violating my privacy. As for me, I was pushed aside without explanation or support. I could quickly see that no one cared about the excruciating pain I felt.

To keep me away from the man I loved, they began to destroy my reputation, to intimidate me and to spread rumors of 'scandal' among some parishioners, who were quick to judge and harass me. Meanwhile, my priest wept as much as I did, which added to my pain. I tried to fix things, but the more I tried, the worse the situation became embittered. After twelve years of persecution and suffering, I decided to go away, leaving behind the man of my life for whom I could do nothing.

After much therapy, I managed to go through mourning. I could forgive and make peace with the situation.  It's been 19 years since he was forced into silence, but love is still alive and hopes for the Church to exchange its tradition of celibacy for the freedom of choice. Even if this change comes too late for my beloved priest and myself, at least it will be for benefit of future generations.

It is true that there are some priests who hurt women just because they want to play with the fire to quench their lust. Once they realize they can’t control the raging fire they’ve lit in the heart of the woman, destabilized, they will run back to “mother church,”. The church, of course, will fix everything for them. There are, however, priests who are genuinely in love and wish to be with the woman of their life. Unfortunately, they will find no support from the clergy to be able to make this important step towards their happiness. That is one reason why we must understand how difficult it is for them to leave the church.

I am presently in a good place in my life. I have learned with time to love myself enough to let go and appciate life as it is. I am at peace with the situation. The love that I feel has grown to be an unconditional love; to me God is love... therefore, there is no barriers, no laws, no distance and time. He is - that's it! And the day that I have learned and accepted this fact, I was free. Now, I take time for myself and I share the wisdom that I salvaged from this experience in a comforting form of support for others.

I wrote a book to share my story and bring awareness on the consequences of mandatory celibacy. It is called Forbidden to Love. I also started a website to give the support to others who are going through the same thing as I did.

In this present moment I launched a petition to request the abolition of mandatory celibacy and to have the right to vote during the Synod.

If you wish to sign you can follow this link:

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. {jcomments on}


Your Holiness,

I humbly suggest to you that the issue of priestly celibacy be addressed. This restrictive requirement was not imposed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It would benefit our clergy in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church if priestly celibacy were made optional. Our married priests could then be versed in the issues facing families, and other aspects of family life. I would posit that such a move would increase the number of vocations to the priesthood. I pray that in my lifetime, married priests will become a reality in our beloved Church.

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Catholic Church Reform

Celibate clergy have served the Church very well, and they are not the cause of any sexual dysfunctions in the Church. Child sexual abuse more commonly occurs in families by brothers and fathers than anywhere else.
Have you heard of any lawsuits against family members? And there is only one person to bring a suit against, and to collect one time.

But the Catholic Church has 8 billion members worldwide, for an incredible source of abuse restitution money. The Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis has had so many lawsuits from priest abuse victims that they have declared for bankruptcy protection, as have 11 other Archdioceses since 2002. They are being targeted for millions of dollars.

Other denominations are not being targeted. They allow clergy to marry, if they choose. Can the Catholic priests be allowed to marry also, if they choose to do so? You can make it happen.

Pope Francis when leaving the U. S., strongly condemned sexual abuse here and the cover-up. But, of course, he cannot change Catholic teachings without the Vatican Curia saying so. They have discussed this in the past. Now is the time to change this teaching.

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I was a religious for 15 years, a priest for 5 years. After being bullied and discrimnated by European people in authority and after witnessing the unjust treatment of local people, I protested but to avail. I got dispensation from the religious order and from the Ministry in 1970. I volunteered to return to the Ministry but was turned down and told emphatically that ” it was not legally possible”??? I would have wished to be able to help out with Mass, baptisms, funerals, weddings etc… What a pity! I am an inactive priest…celebrate Mass at home……God bless… .

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I will share my own story—My father was a priest who stayed a priest. He took advantage of my mother who lived in the rectory with her family, poor parents , brothers and sisters.. He got her pregnant and made sure I was given up for adoption.” Out of sight out of mind” Not for me!!!
We talk about the natural law and then ask priests to live a life for most , un-natural , celibacy.
I don’t agree with most that child abuse is not because they are celibate. It is a lot easier to abuse children than women. With my husband being one of the first ” Director of Deacons” in any diocese I could see the pain of loneliness not having family. I had a few major crisis so friends asked why I didn’t go to the priest. I said that would be the last place I would go. Not living in family they would just say to pray some more I believe in married priests . I also think that the community should have some say who they would like to lift up for ordination since they work, play and pray together. Since the church has deaf ears about women and their needs, maybe they would be heard with married priests being husband and family.
Calling protestant pastors to catholic ordination is ludicrous. We have 15 ex-priests in our rather small community since they already have training, start there .. Eventually, include women. I was asked several times to write a book calling it “Celibacy’s Child” wish i was a writer.

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