Kimberly Rose

I Seem To Be Alone On This Matter

2014-11-17
By: Kimberly Rose
Posted in:

There was a recent scandal in my hometown, a priest was having romantic relations with adult women which is against the pastoral code. I have compassion for him, he did break the rules and what he did was wrong but what people having been saying about him has ruined his reputation. My mother said no one has respect for him anymore, which I can understand but I have no respect for the women he was with. They, for all my knowledge, knew he was a holy man and should have had at least some knowledge of his station, refusing him and his advances. It's all grey to me but I can decide which are darker tones than others.

I know love isn't black and white, neither are God's words. Most of it is for our interpretation, and sometimes we read it wrong. I don't feel sorry for him but I hold compassion for him in my heart, I know what's it's like to have my name dragged through the dirt because of someone I feel for. After he broke up with me I was forced down into the mud just like this man. And that's what he is, a man. He is human, and humans make mistakes. He's paying for his mistakes and no one has the right to truly treat him that way. I'd like to stand up for him but then I haven't the right volume to speak over the thousands of voices in my home town.

I would have rather not known about it then let this hurt Catholic community, that was taught never to judge and they are passing judgement on this man. I am personally embarrassed to call myself a member of their parish, and I wish that I could get the courage to tell them what I think.

The women are at fault, in my opinion, and too many times men have been blamed. If I hear any discussion of this at Thanksgiving my heart will not be able to keep silent because if something that isn't my family's business penetrates that sacred place I feel the need to make my family sure I do not enjoy the topic and they must change it lest I not get Thanksgiving dinner. Family is important in my hometown and so is a sense of community, but once someone in the community makes a mistake they must attack them.

Getting up from the table without asking permission or giving any warning usually gets my family's attention, I did the same thing when my cousin decided to talk about my dear classmate's death when I sat across from him. If this is anything like when Kent died I will not stand for such slander, I feel as though I am choking from the poor words spoken about this man. I want to not be lumped into the hateful community I am a part of, but stand out in opposition to them.

Pat-Starbridge
11/18/14 11:20:37AM @pat-starbridge:

Im very sorry for what you went through and its clear that this priests plight is bringing up those hurts for you. Let me say, that while Im no longer Catholic, I was raised and went to Catholic school until college. This was old-school with nuns and priests teaching and its where I learned logic, reason and how to construct an argument. Unfortunately, this often gets me into trouble here, as people think that Im trying to change them or are attacking them when in fact Im simply presenting a different perspective. So, please understand that Im not attacking your beliefs nor wishing to change them but just giving a different take on the situation. Although, Im no longer a practicing Catholic and have my issues with the doctrine, I do value its contributions.

Its only in the recent years, that people have come forward with accounts of abuse by the hands of priests and that has changed the way we view priests. We no longer hold them as being above reproach but see them for what they are human beings. The teachings of the Church and the concept of American democracy have always had an uneasy relationship especially when it comes to abuse of power. We see abuse in all sectors politics, business, etc but it is particularly odious when it comes to religious leaders. And we are living in that aftermath so people will judge this man harshly.

What caught my attention in your post was that the issue involves more than one woman. So, this isnt about a romantic relationship but about a man who has been breaking his vows, more than once. You have compassion for this man but what about compassion for the women. Should they have known better yes; but so should the priest. We still havent come out of the old mind-set that its the womans fault when men stray. Its the type of thinking that suggests that men have no free will in the matter and theyre lacking a brain. We all have free will including priests.

Experience is a great teacher and youve learned what it means to be the outcast, to know in your heart that you didnt deserve that harsh treatment. We all tend to take sides, based on our judgments, we decide who is worthy of our love and sympathy and who isnt. Its easier to judge others than to open our hearts, which is the greatest act of courage.

I hope that you will have a pleasant Thanksgiving and that the topics will remain cordial. I cant tell you what to do if the topic turns to the priest. However, you might want to look around the table at all those you love even the ones who drive you nuts and remember why you love them. We are all doing the best we can with what weve got. Some of them may have gone through their own situations where they were not shown compassion and in turn, closed their hearts to others. Perhaps the greatest exercise in compassion is to have compassion for those who dont.


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