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This happened several months back and I'm still struggling with not knowing what I should do and/or should have done about it.

I attend a NO Mass but only because there are no other options in the small community where I live. We are a 'missionary' area, meaning what we get is what we have and options are limited.

We got a new priest, fresh from India, and at my first confession I confessed to a sin that I KNOW is a sin because it was in my examination of conscience.

A few days later the priest hunted me down and suggested we should go for coffee. I agreed, but I felt uncomfortable so I insisted we meet in public. He wanted to meet in his 'home'.

At our 'meeting', he brought up what I'd said in confession, along with a shrugged; "I know I'm not supposed to mention this but..." He then proceeded to tell me what I had done wasn't sinful and I should go ahead and do it more. And yes, the sin was sexual in nature (though not explicitly so, I'd rather not go into detail).

It was a shocking and upsetting conversation.

After that day he started insisting we meet again. I avoided him and... started avoiding Mass as well because I was just so uncomfortable being around him (I know... I'm weak).

He emails me weekly and insisted I edit all his homilies. He even tried to get me to 'modify' his homilies as I saw fit. I refused but I continued to edit the homilies as I am planning to get married in a year and felt I needed to 'play nice' or I feared he would make things difficult during marriage prep.

Initially, after all this happened, I posted to the Catholic Answers Forum seeking some advice. I'm a relatively new Catholic and I just don't know what to do with all this. They mocked me for 'overreacting' ... because the sin I had confessed in their minds was 'innocent' and 'everybody does it'. They then scolded me for badmouthing a priest.

But I know in my heart what's happening here is concerning and not good. I just don't know what to DO with what's happening.

I'm terrified he's going to make things difficult during marriage prep and I'm horribly uncomfortable being around him after that horrible conversation where he not only broke the confessional seal (even if he was speaking to me about sins I had confessed, it's my understanding that was breaking the seal as I didn't initiate the conversation) but encouraged me to engage in lustful activity.

There are no other places I can go. I tried speaking to the neighboring Catholic Church (a good 30 minutes away) but they refused to deal with me since I'm not part of their parish. There are no other churches in a reasonable area.

What do I do?
Call the diocesan office and talk to someone there about it.
(11-10-2017, 01:46 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]Call the diocesan office and talk to someone there about it.

I didn't want to escalate it to that level but I can see how that's probably the only option.
(11-10-2017, 02:49 PM)tiberbound82 Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-10-2017, 01:46 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]Call the diocesan office and talk to someone there about it.

I didn't want to escalate it to that level but I can see how that's probably the only option.

It's not 'probably the only option' in the circumstances you describe, it is the only option. The Bishop is his only superior (unless he's a religious Priest, in which case you can contact his superior) and the only one who can address the problem.
Hi There Tiberbound,

You are right--this priest is definitely in the wrong. Priests should NEVER bring up a person's sins outside of the confessional. Since he does not know you well and you only confessed to him once, he has no right to make the judgement call that you are not in mortal sin. Only you can decide if the three conditions of a mortal sin are met (and a good confessor who knows you well can help you decide this).

You are relatively new to the forum, I see. Welcome. I would advise you to stay away from Catholic Answers like you would stay away from someone with bad body odor. I used to post there frequently, seeking help for a masturbation addiction that I still struggle with. I was soundly ridiculed for "overreacting" and being scrupulous, and assured that "everyone does it, it's no big deal." This is not what the true Catholic church teaches. Ignore Catholic Answers, and ignore this priest.

First of all, I would break off all contact with this priest. I understand that you are in a "missionary area" and your options for Mass are limited. Go to Mass on Sundays of course, but avoid the priest (the only perk of Eucharistic ministers!). If you are having problems with him like this now, there is no way in hell you will be able to go through marriage prep with him. I went through a similar situation. I am also engaged, and the priest we started doing marriage prep with was the only priest within reasonable driving distance. However, he was a terrible priest and my fiance and I made the decision to drive a long ways away to do our marriage prep with a different priest. We have never looked back. Don't stay in this situation with this priest because you feel trapped. 

Also, it is very odd that he is asking you, a layperson, to edit his homilies. That is crossing a line. He is being a bit too friendly. Perhaps he is lonely or something, but still, the way he is treating you is extremely inappropriate. I would try to avoid him at all costs.

Contact the bishop if you can, but don't put much faith in it doing much good. Bishops have "other things" to worry about, and most of them don't care if their priests break a few rules. It is a sad fact, and part of why there is such a problem with sexual abuse and liturgical abuse in the Church today.

Finally, I will be praying for you, as will everyone on this forum. I came here a few months ago after being chased away from Catholic Answers and have felt very much at home ever since. I hope this helps. God bless you.
(11-10-2017, 02:49 PM)tiberbound82 Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-10-2017, 01:46 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]Call the diocesan office and talk to someone there about it.

I didn't want to escalate it to that level but I can see how that's probably the only option.

The seal of confession is absolutely inviolable. Even progressive priests who don’t seem to believe anything about the truth of the Catholic Faith generally don’t dare to go there.
Thank you for the responses everyone.

The last few months have been pretty agonizing as I have no real spiritual direction outside of studying what the Church teaches but in a situation like this the answers aren't so easy to find.


Glad I stumbled upon this forum.

Saracol (I hope I got your name right), you mentioned seeking another parish to do marriage prep and etc. I did attempt that. I was soundly turned away because here they insist you MUST attend and take marriage prep ONLY in the parish you are 'part of'. Unfortunately I think the only way around this will be taking it to the Bishop. 

I think I knew it needed to go there but I've been intimidated... because if the Bishop takes his side, this priest could make my experience even more difficult. It's hard when you live in such a small community, and when one lives in the middle of nowhere with little access to anything else int he world.
You can get around the parish you are a part of issue by becoming a parishioner at the other parish. There's no geographic limitation on where you are a parishioner.
(11-10-2017, 08:57 PM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]You can get around the parish you are a part of issue by becoming a parishioner at the other parish. There's no geographic limitation on where you are a parishioner.

Actually, there is:


Quote:Can. 518 As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason.
However, a lot depends on how  strictly the Bishop enforces it. I know in most Dioceses it's just a matter of 'registering' in a Parish, but the law is that you belong to the Parish in which you live.
(11-10-2017, 07:40 PM)tiberbound82 Wrote: [ -> ]Thank you for the responses everyone.

The last few months have been pretty agonizing as I have no real spiritual direction outside of studying what the Church teaches but in a situation like this the answers aren't so easy to find.


Glad I stumbled upon this forum.

Saracol (I hope I got your name right), you mentioned seeking another parish to do marriage prep and etc. I did attempt that. I was soundly turned away because here they insist you MUST attend and take marriage prep ONLY in the parish you are 'part of'. Unfortunately I think the only way around this will be taking it to the Bishop. 

I think I knew it needed to go there but I've been intimidated... because if the Bishop takes his side, this priest could make my experience even more difficult. It's hard when you live in such a small community, and when one lives in the middle of nowhere with little access to anything else int he world.
Does your fiance live in the same town as you do? If not, you may be able to go to your fiance's parish and utilize the priest/spiritual direction there. I live in one diocese and my fiance lives in another, but we both attended marriage prep with the priest in his diocese.

I understand how you feel living in the middle of nowhere. I am fortunate to have a Tridentine Mass relatively close by (30 miles) but this morning the priest didn't show up and my fiance and I were forced to attend a horrendous NO instead. Just not many options around here.

Praying for you!
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