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Priest (friend) has a crush on me?! Feeling let down...


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Old 7th August 2010, 2:32 AM   #1
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Unhappy Priest (friend) has a crush on me?! Feeling let down...

This could belong in many different sections i.e. friendship, spiritual, professional relationships, etc., so I just picked general relationships.

Today, I went out with a Priest friend of mine--he is a fellow classmate and friend, though he is nearly 20 years my senior--to an amusement park. Now, it was suppose to be a group activity, but no one else could go, so it was just he and I. He drove. On the way there, he related a fairly scandalous story to me regarding he and a woman he use to work with. Suffice it to say, he claimed he didn't do anything (i.e. break his vows), but the situation was not good.

Anyway, as the day progressed, he began to get somewhat flirty and stated that I bring scandal to him. He proceeded to say things like, "We could make it even more scandalous if we just rent a hotel room," and things of that sort. He has a strange sense of humour--I thought he must be joking, because I've known him for some time, and it just wouldn't occur to me that he'd think anything like that. (He's a Priest, for one!)

To make a really long story short, the whole night he was suggestive, and making comments alluding to the fact that I ought to indulge in whatever scandal he thinks I bring to him by being his "friend" and then even suggested that I had a reputation of being a tease. Strange, since I've never dated a man and would never suggest something with someone I wasn't interested in, nor would I suggest something with someone I was interested in and not follow through.

So, I thought I must be reading too much into this, until the end of the night, when he told me that he thought I was attractive, but knew it was better for me if he didn't act on it...as though it were all his choice. The arrogance and audacity! What the heck?!

Beyond his presumption that I would allow anything to happen between us, I am really feeling ill about this whole episode. I mean, I love my faith, and I know that I can't allow one bad experience to deter me from the Catholic faith, but I am really feeling put-off of Catholicism for the first time since I converted two years ago.

What do I do? Should I talk to another Priest about what happened? What a let down--people can be so disappointing.

Note that I'm not wishing to create scandal in the Church--I love my faith and I love the Church. Also, Priests are only human--I know that as well. However, this just really hit close to home and his behavior tonight really upset me. I just don't know that I want to be in any religion where a man who is saying those things and acting that way is spiritually "over" me, you know?

Any thoughts or words of advice would be appreciated.
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Old 7th August 2010, 2:51 AM   #2
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I can understand the feeling of being let down. Here was someone who is meant to be beyond reproach by the nature of their vocation, not only did he act totally inappropriately in that respect but he also abused his position as your friend.

I can imagine it being hard to separate the two things - the Church and this man of the Church, and so I think it'd be a great idea to talk to another Priest about it. Also, you say he's a classmate, is there anyone at your school/college you could talk with about this? I think a couple of perspectives would help you right now.
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Old 7th August 2010, 3:30 AM   #3
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Lol, priests are men, too.
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Old 7th August 2010, 10:55 AM   #4
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Thank you for your comment, turnstone. I think I will talk to a Priest at confession today and see what he has to say.

Jamesum, I realize he's a man. I'm a woman, and I can recognize whether a Priest is attractive, but it would NEVER occur to me to think ANYTHING about a Priest except that he is my Spiritual "Father" (thus, why we call Priests "Father"). I guess I just feel like he acted and said things that I found to be inappropriate. He knows I am a recent convert; he knows how serious I am about my spirituality; he knows I am not dating; etc. Maybe my agreeing to go to this amusement park with him when everyone else canceled gave him the wrong idea, but I honestly just thought we were going as friends...nothing more.

After some of the things he said to me, I feel like I must have done something to deserve his treatment--maybe I did give him the wrong idea; maybe I am a tease; etc. I don't like feeling badly about myself--with the exception of liking one of my married professors, I think I'm a pretty decent person. I am fun and jovial with everyone! I thought he recognized that. However, he seemed to indicate that he believed the feeling to be mutual, when it is absolutely NOT! I don't want to say anything to anyone who might be able to get him into trouble, because I feel like adults should be able to talk these things out amongst each other, rather than running to other people and yelling, "Harassment!"

Maybe I should just tell him that we ought not spend so much time together? I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I really do have a problem with how he is behaving.

What do you think?

Last edited by always_searching; 7th August 2010 at 11:01 AM..
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Old 7th August 2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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Drop him, both as a friend and a priest. He is being neither to you.
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Old 7th August 2010, 11:47 AM   #6
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Thank you for your comment, turnstone. I think I will talk to a Priest at confession today and see what he has to say.

Jamesum, I realize he's a man. I'm a woman, and I can recognize whether a Priest is attractive, but it would NEVER occur to me to think ANYTHING about a Priest except that he is my Spiritual "Father" (thus, why we call Priests "Father"). I guess I just feel like he acted and said things that I found to be inappropriate. He knows I am a recent convert; he knows how serious I am about my spirituality; he knows I am not dating; etc. Maybe my agreeing to go to this amusement park with him when everyone else canceled gave him the wrong idea, but I honestly just thought we were going as friends...nothing more.

After some of the things he said to me, I feel like I must have done something to deserve his treatment--maybe I did give him the wrong idea; maybe I am a tease; etc. I don't like feeling badly about myself--with the exception of liking one of my married professors, I think I'm a pretty decent person. I am fun and jovial with everyone! I thought he recognized that. However, he seemed to indicate that he believed the feeling to be mutual, when it is absolutely NOT! I don't want to say anything to anyone who might be able to get him into trouble, because I feel like adults should be able to talk these things out amongst each other, rather than running to other people and yelling, "Harassment!"

Maybe I should just tell him that we ought not spend so much time together? I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I really do have a problem with how he is behaving.

What do you think?
I would hesitate to speak to another priest about this, especially in the confessional. The Catholic priesthood is the most fraternal organization in the world and they tend to protect each other and deflect criticism of any kind. You say you are a new convert. Why not speak to your spiritual advisor, or if you don't have one, your former RCIA director. At any rate, I would avoid any social contact with him and I would pray for guidance from your patron saint. If he persists in trying to engage you socially remind him that you are struggling to avoid sin, and the near occasion of sin, and that as your spiritual father, he should respect that and be a model to follow.
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Old 7th August 2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Anyway, as the day progressed, he began to get somewhat flirty and stated that I bring scandal to him.
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To make a really long story short, the whole night he was suggestive, and making comments alluding to the fact that I ought to indulge in whatever scandal he thinks I bring to him by being his "friend" and then even suggested that I had a reputation of being a tease.
He crossed the boundaries of both his vocation and your friendship. Saying you had the reputation of being a 'tease', suggesting sexual scenarios and placing responsibility on you for his behavior is completely rude, and lacks any sort of personal accountability. It has nothing to do with him being male.

If you have a trusted friend or advisor (it doesn't necessarily have to be a priest), you may feel more comfortable discussing this with them. And yes, have as little contact with this guy as humanly possible.
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Old 8th August 2010, 12:15 AM   #8
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I would hesitate to speak to another priest about this, especially in the confessional. The Catholic priesthood is the most fraternal organization in the world and they tend to protect each other and deflect criticism of any kind.
Whilst that is true for some, its not true for all by any stretch. I'm sure you, OP, will have the sense to judge.

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If he persists in trying to engage you socially remind him that you are struggling to avoid sin, and the near occasion of sin, and that as your spiritual father, he should respect that and be a model to follow.
This intimates that you're tempted to enter into something sinful with this priest, which not only absolves him of his own actions, its not how you actually feel. If you were to say anything to this guy, its needs to be that you're extremely uncomfortable with his actions and don't wish to be put in that position ever again. The truth in other words.

I'm sure you'll work this out, just be aware that nothing and no one is perfect, not even religion.
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Old 8th August 2010, 1:58 AM   #9
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this post really, really sickens me. Not you, Always, but because this person has more than likely undergone ethics and integrity training by his diocese to prevent and to be aware of this kind of crap. By making the kinds of comments he has made to you, he apparently seems to believe that none of that stuff applies to him ... and he's wrong.

I don't want to say anything to anyone who might be able to get him into trouble, because I feel like adults should be able to talk these things out amongst each other, rather than running to other people and yelling, "Harassment!"

do NOT make any attempts to talk to this man about his behavior, but rather, contact the diocese to see who handles these kinds of situations – there is a specific department that deals with such cases, and act on your behalf when dealing with clergy or other diocesan employees. Trust me on this, I work for the church, my paper has had to deal with the fallout created by of these kind of men who don't think the rules apply to them, but who merely go about their merry way destroying lives. Do a search on "Diocese of Dallas" and "Rudy Kos" – the Kos case is among the first big cases of church scandal that prompted bishops of this country to come up with a way to protect church members from sexual abuse. And this means protecting people like you from jerks like this particular priest.

you do not deserve to be treated with such lack of respect, especially by someone who is supposed to be a spiritual guide in your journey toward God. He's a jerk, plain and simple, and needs to be stopped. And your diocese has the means of dealing with this kind of situation. You don't have to be "nice," just take the proper steps in protecting yourself AND other members of the church, because it's not about him, it's about protecting the body of Christ from these kinds of predators who don't seem to think their behavior is scandalous.

you are not squealing on him or screaming "harassment," but doing your duty as a faithful member of the Church to prevent abusers from hurting others. He's a man, yes, but he's also supposed to be acting as Christ's representative on earth ... and I highly doubt Jesus would be sexually harassing you. This priest has a serious problem, one that the diocese needs to know about.

check your mailbox, I'll send you a PM.

quank

Last edited by quankanne; 8th August 2010 at 2:04 AM..
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Old 8th August 2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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This intimates that you're tempted to enter into something sinful with this priest, which not only absolves him of his own actions, its not how you actually feel. If you were to say anything to this guy, its needs to be that you're extremely uncomfortable with his actions and don't wish to be put in that position ever again. The truth in other words.
Priests will most certainly protect one another almost without exception, and to bring it up in the confessional automatically imputes guilt on the person confessing. The priest will undoubtedly see this as an admission of culpability. Are you even Catholic?
I intimate nothing. I clearly state that she should avoid this priest socially. Obviously this includes describing how uncomfortable his advances are to her. I'm simply advocating that she put it in priest-speak.
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Old 8th August 2010, 12:43 PM   #11
 
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Bet you anything you're not the first woman he's tried that with. Good for you for not falling for it.

Sounds like he's playing the "amazing how the idea of a priest about to break his vows makes a girl's panties fly off" angle pretty heavily. It's probably worked for him in the past.

What a hypocritical douchebag.

Sorry, my bad. FATHER Douchebag.
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Old 8th August 2010, 5:57 PM   #12
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you must avoid this priest. go talk about it with another priest in a different parish who does not know him. Don't bring it up in confession because you did nothing wrong.
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Old 8th August 2010, 8:48 PM   #13
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Sorry, my bad. FATHER Douchebag.

oh, i shouldn't ... BWAHAHAHAHAHA ... but he's got a point. The guy is NOT a good priest – or man – if he's hitting on women. He understood the rules when he signed up for the job, and pretending they don't exist is flat out WRONG.

it also occurs to me that this is how every perpetrator of sexual abuse grooms his victims: By encouraging a false sense of friendship, then preying on them through intimidation, either real or imagined. The whole fact that he spent an afternoon with you WITHOUT third parties present tells me he's aware of what he's doing, because after the huge black eye the Catholic Church got over pedophile priests running amok and abusing victims, no clergyman in his right mind is going to be in a room alone with a single other person, regardless of gender. This man has a serious problem ...

always, I hope you've taken to heart what I told you about contacting diocesan officials about this man.
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Old 9th August 2010, 1:00 AM   #14
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Priests will most certainly protect one another almost without exception
Utter rubbish.
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, and to bring it up in the confessional automatically imputes guilt on the person confessing.
You didn't mention the confessional when you advised the OP to tell the priest in question that she was trying to not sin as a way to avoid spending time with him.

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The priest will undoubtedly see this as an admission of culpability.
Well if she says what you told her to say to him, yes, of course he will!

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Are you even Catholic?
I don't need to be Catholic to understand confession, the priesthood and Catholicism.

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I intimate nothing. I clearly state that she should avoid this priest socially. Obviously this includes describing how uncomfortable his advances are to her. I'm simply advocating that she put it in priest-speak.
So why tell her to tell him she's trying to avoid sinning which clearly intimates that sinning is in the question, when its clearly not!

'Priest speak' - purleaze!
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Old 9th August 2010, 7:56 AM   #15
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I don't need to be Catholic to understand confession, the priesthood and Catholicism.
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Sinning is always the question.

Actually, I'm not disagree with you in principle. I don't think you've given bad advice at all.

Last edited by Shakz; 9th August 2010 at 8:05 AM..
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