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islander

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islander

i recently had dealings with this man re a property here.

https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/former-catholic-priest-left-church-2883493-Jul2016/

http://www.mayonews.ie/living/27288-changing-stations

Words fail me on this. I have met him, by chance, and he is so ...sociable. kept inviting me to lunch with him and  his wife. ex nun.

just seems to have set his vows aside without a  thought? 

 

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Swami Mommy

I personally would rather change course midstream when I realized I wasn’t living my life authentically and with joy, rather than adhere to vows I made when I was too young to know about myself and my place in the world from a mature, fully adult perspective.   I applaud his courage to honor his own deepest needs in the face of judgmental disapproval by those who were not walking in his shoes.  I know several ex nuns and priests who are wonderful, happy, spiritual  people and much, much happier through their choice they made to leave the religious life.  It was just not for them in the end.

Edited by Swami Mommy

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Bonkira

God called him to something else, and it is unlikely it was without a thought...I imagine quite a bit of thought went into it. Rarely do we have access to all the processes and questions and time someone spends with God discerning the path. :)

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beatitude

It is a very serious thing to get a dispensation from the Vatican, and it takes time. You may be sure neither he nor his wife will have gone through that process lightly. They will also have had support and guidance from the diocese and the religious community in making up their minds. People don't leave just because they're finding it difficult or someone attractive has come along. That happens to pretty much every priest and every religious, sometimes several times, and I expect this couple will have faced obstacles in priesthood/religious life that they did overcome. So there will have been more to their leaving than just waking up one day and deciding they didn't want to do it any more.

I remember feeling a bit shaken and disappointed when a very good friend of mine left seminary, two years in. It's not the same as leaving after ordination, of course, but I still felt sad that I would never be able to invite him to celebrate my own profession Mass, and part of me felt irrationally cross - he'd provided such an encouraging witness to me in entering seminary, and now he wasn't there any more. But of course he shouldn't have stayed if his heart wasn't there in all sincerity. I did see that. We do need to recognise that our uncomfortable and disappointed feelings aren't necessarily reasonable in cases like this, and just pray for the people involved to find peace wherever they're called and to lead holy and happy lives.

 

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BarbaraTherese

My grand aunty (grandmother's sister) was a Sister of Mercy for over 60 years I think it was.  When she arrived to enter when quite young, she went to the chapel and prayed "I am here, Jesus, and I am here for life"  She kept her word.

My cousin entered the seminary and left after a couple of years.  Another cousin entered religious life and she left towards the end of her noviciate.  I entered religious life and I left before the noviciate.    We each left, but it was no easy decision at all rather it was a painful decision, nor a decision made overnight.

My younger brother was poised to enter the seminary when he met a young lady poised to enter the Dominican Order.  They were both teaching at the same school where they met.  They fell in love and married and have had four incredible children now adults making their mark on society, each in their own unique way.  Two are university educated and now professional people in valuable positions in society.  The other two have had suffering to bear and have borne it outstandingly well and great examples to the rest of us in the family. 

4 hours ago, beatitude said:

. We do need to recognise that our uncomfortable and disappointed feelings aren't necessarily reasonable in cases like this, and just pray for the people involved to find peace wherever they're called and to lead holy and happy lives.

Amen

The Lord can move in the strangest of ways at times defeating all human reasoning and logic and certainly our human expectations, desires and hopes - and to sort of paraphrase what He says in the Book of Job, who can give Him advice and tell Him what to do, what not to do.

 

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islander

NB he did not seek dispensation and he is proud of what he did... also he still calls himself a priest .

So you are averring that Vows are not Vows? 

 Vows ARE  Vows.

You are also saying that priestly formation is invalid? Temporary?  

  

Disappointed in you frankly 

Priesthood is about serving God not about serving us.   

 Small wonder the Church is dying 

16 hours ago, Bonkira said:

God called him to something else, and it is unlikely it was without a thought...I imagine quite a bit of thought went into it. Rarely do we have access to all the processes and questions and time someone spends with God discerning the path. :)

That was not God calling him! He says that 

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BarbaraTherese

I am a bit surprised this thread is in Vocations Forum.

I know I do try to avoid judgement of others in order that I will not be judged - and I am going to need The Lord's Mercy desperately at Judgement and so try to be merciful towards others ... and Mercy will be granted to the merciful Jesus has promised.

 

Matthew Chapter 7: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

Matthew Chapter 5 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."

Letter of St James, Chapter 2 "13For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

 

There is that beautiful poem and prayer by Alexander Pope - it says it all.

"Teach me to feel another’s woe, 

    To hide the fault I see; 

That mercy I to others show, 

    That mercy show to me. "

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Antigonos

I'm not sure the Church is "dying".  But it is in the process of change as radical as the Counter Reformation, and I'm not sure anyone, at this time, can see where it will go eventually.

This is the fate of all religions, even when they like to believe that they are everlastingly unchangeable.  Some -- like the great changes the destruction of the Temple wrought in Judaism, creating the basis of the rabbinic system we know today and dispensing with animal sacrifices -- have weathered the crisis and even flourished.  Others, who are less flexible, and more brittle, sometimes don't.

IMO, the quality of those entering religious life is more important than the quantity. It is also true that, for women at least, many doors are open in secular life to committed women in occupations that even a century or two ago were entirely closed to them, such as nursing, teaching, social work, etc.  There was a time when the very idea of a "professional" woman meant a member of a religious order, regardless of her spiritual state.  Fortunately, today a woman entering religious life is primarily doing it as a religious act.

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BarbaraTherese

I wanted to highlight some of your post, @Antigonos, but realised that I would be highlighting the whole post.  Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts.  I think as The Catholic Church we are in the process of radical change and we can't see where we are going, the goal and objective ahead of us - and that is a quite unsettling feeling.  What was once firm unchanging religious ground under our feet is breaking up, changing and rearranging.

 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Sister Leticia
28 minutes ago, islander said:

he is proud of what he did... also he still calls himself a priest 

I have read both articles. He says he is proud of himself and proud of those of his companions who left - and proud of those who stayed. I imagine he is proud for different reasons, about different things. 

And he "calls himself a priest" because he joined the Anglican Church and was ordained a priest in that Church (much as many Anglican priests have become Catholic, and been ordained into the Catholic priesthood)

 

islander - you've clearly been upset and stirred up by reading these interviews - and probably others like them. Too much of this can drag you down - especially if you also read the comments, as they're generally pretty awful. It might be better to focus on reading things which inspire and uplift you, or which stir you up to be passionate about working against poverty, injustice, homelessness etc. 

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BarbaraTherese
4 minutes ago, Sister Leticia said:

(much as many Anglican priests have become Catholic, and been ordained into the Catholic priesthood)

We now have the Anglican Ordinariate too in The Church.  A (married with children) priest from the Ordinariate has provided relief in our parish and his Mass was quite beautiful and his homily pretty good as well.

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beatitude
2 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

I am a bit surprised this thread is in Vocations Forum.

I hesitated when I saw it, as this is a place for discerning and discussing our own vocations, not focusing on those of other people. But given the highly romanticised image some people can have of priesthood/RL, I thought it might be good to have a thread exploring what happens in those relatively rare circumstances when a person leaves after vows/ordination. That does not seem to have worked out, so I will lock this thread.

 

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