Has anyone pulled this one on you?
I suppose this post really outght to be entitled 'In defence of Catholic priests' to pair off nicely with this post.
But somehow, I prefer to spin it differently this time.
I am friends with many Catholic priests, young and old. I guess it comes with the territory of being a Catholic.
Priests are people too :-)
But it is precisely this thinking on my part which could lead to all kinds of problems. I am reminded of a comment Bellita made in one of her posts ages ago, where she describes making cookies for her local Catholic priest. In this case it turns out he is diabetic and doesn't actually like/want the cookies for this reason...but I sympathise with Bellita's goodwill.
Many women, at least in traditional Catholic circles are brought up to keep in mind that they have a duty to their local clergy, not just to their immediate family. When I was small, it was not unusual to have priests over at my childhood home, for Sunday lunch or a little picnic especially as catechism classes for all the local children by the seminarians from the local 'priest school' were sometimes held at my house.
You could say I kinda grew up with priests (and nuns).
In many traditional societies, there is always a woman (young or old) whose (usually but not exclusively, unpaid) job is to look after the local priest - be a kind of housemaid for him. This is a noble job. This woman could be single or married, no matter.
Families take it in turns to host the priest, like my family did throughout my childhood.
Because otherwise, it can be a pretty lonely life for a priest, especially if he is posted to a remote place.
Yes I am aware that this arrangement went horribly wrong in many instances with the whole abuse scandal. It is not the focus of this post however.
Fast forward several years and I continue my habit of hanging around priests. It is quite the culture shock to see that one young priest I know is very good at keeping women at arms' length, quite literally. If you go to kiss him on the cheek, he will bow his head in such a way as to thwart you. I know this is automatic with him. I get it. I see it as a kind of 'b*tch shield' for priests :-)
It fascinates me. Because of course it makes me realise that priests are men too.
And these men are special in that they are called to remain celibate for life.
A nun would kiss or hug anyone, I notice. But then again a nun may not have quite the same problem as a priest.
A woman, whether she likes it or not is a 'distraction' to a man - whoever he is, priest or pauper, prince or philosopher.
Islam is obviously not oblivious to this :-)
But I am not sure shrouding women in total body cover is quite the best solution :-)
Although I think Danny would have preferred this option had it been available in the situation he describes here where he is distracted by a female patient's attire.
Whilst my priest friend is not made to suffer to this degree, at least not by me nor the women in his social circle, I understand his and other priests' predicament. At least I can imagine what it must be like for them.
I guess no-one is born a priest. I have not and will never ask, but I am sure all my priest friends would have romantic stories to tell from their pasts. It is known that Pope John Paul II had a girl he was in love with before he became a priest.
Which brings me nicely to the essence of this post.
How does a woman feel when her ex-boyfriend one day becomes the Pope?
I mean, how does one deal with the fact that your guy cheated on you with God?
I am being deliberately provocative here, of course. It's one thing to see God as the ultimate practitioner of Game, but it is another entirely to see him as a woman's rival for the affections of a man :-)
It is said that nuns are 'brides of Christ'.
But so are priests in a way. Not to see tham as 'feminine' in normal terms, but just in relation to God.
How hurtful is it for a woman to know that her man has been 'stolen' from her by God?
Is this situation livable?
I would dearly love to hear from any woman who has been in this situation. I am conscious of the fact that this might be a painful story to tell however.
But men can be 'taken away' from women in other ways, of course.
In some ways, it is 'personal'.
Like when you find out your husband is gay on your wedding night, or after ten years of marriage.
Like he died (in which case, we are back to God being 'the accused' in a way).
Like the guy you've been dating for six months turns out to be your long-lost brother.
Like your husband cheated on you and he is now making plans to leave you and stay with the other woman.
Or it could be 'general'.
Like the whole MGTOW movement :-)
OK, OK, I couldn't resist throwing that in...
The point is, how does a woman deal with her greatest fear - to be abandoned by a man, in whatever form that may take?
For that matter how does a man deal with his girlfriend leaving him to go become a nun? I am sure this is rarer than a man leaving for the priesthood.
Before I get the obvious retort, might I pre-empt by sympathising with those men whose wives suddenly become 'nuns' whilst still in the marriage, for no apparent reason.
I guess this situation is not funny either.