Good Tidings was founded in 1983 to give support to women and priests who were involved in romantic relationships.
We intend to help priests and the women they love to discern before God what their relationship is and should be. This may be a celibate or marital relationship. In speaking to such persons we insist on honesty and integrity, before God and before each other. We usually suggest counseling, and try to put them in touch with professional counselors and experienced spiritual directors. If desired, we also put them in contact with persons who can provide peer support.
Since its inception some 2,000 persons have contacted us. Some of them merely request information; many more share that they are involved in a clandestine relationship. Most who contact Good Tidings are Roman Catholic. The mandatory nature of celibacy for the Roman Catholic priesthood is an essential element of this issue. This aspect is addressed by several ministries and Church reform groups.
The conflict is not usually one of Faith. We encourage a spiritual resolution to their problem, as well as a psychological and emotional one. Sometimes we feel it necessary to encourage a victimized woman to seek legal redress (for child support, for example) when justice is not possible within her Church.
Good Tidings, as a name for this group, serves as a reminder that Christ is with us in every situation. Just as the angel announced Good Tidings of great joy that a Child was born Who would bring peace to people of good will, we want to share with you our belief that Christ can bring this same peace to each person who seeks it. May your Christmas be holy and filled with that peace and joy only Christ brings!
Clerical Sexual Misconduct or Abuse
True love is manifest through respect, integrity, and honesty. If he says you must hide your relationship question it! Love does not hide. Love lives in the light.
When priests, who are bound to clerical celibacy, and Christian Chastity, take advantage of vulnerable people, children, youth, or adults, that is abusive. It is first an abuse of the power they have as clergy who are trusted to be faithful to their obligation of Christian Chastity, and their profession duty as clergy who serve their congregations. Whether it manifests as sexual abuse, physical abuse, or spiritual abuse, it needs to be addressed directly and victims need support, empowerment, and healing...
The cold ugly fact is that some priests are predators, and use their clerical status to find their prey. They may use words like "love," but then the devil can manifest as an angel of light.
Over 100,000 Roman Catholic priests have had the integrity to leave the canonical priesthood and marry the women they love. There is no excuse for any woman to be used by a priest who makes excuses that because he is a priest they must hide their affection or relationship. If he does this it is not about love but about saving his clerical career. The fact is that thousands of priests have chosen to marry.
Clerical sexual misconduct or abuse is a grave concern of Good Tidings, but not the entire focus of this ministry. This ministry is intended to help individuals reach some solution to the difficulties they face in their relationships which may include guilt, confusion, loneliness, isolation or pain.
NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE!
Do priests ever truly fall in love?
Yes. When they do, if they are mature, they act like men and not little selfish boys or teenagers, and they honor the beloved. There are actual procedures that priests of integrity follow when this happens, and those procedures don't involve cowering and hiding and lying. The Church's process of laicization is the obvious procedure for those who wish to remain Roman Catholic. If a priest wants to continue functioning as a priest, there are other denominations who will welcome him as a married priest. There is no need to live a lie.
Good Tidings' services:
- Telephone help-line.
- Online chat room.
- Peer Support
- Directory of counselors and spiritual directors.
- Network with similar groups around the world.
- Reading list of related books and materials.
- HOLY INNOCENTS
support for children of priests and their mothers.
- LEGAL GUIDE (USA) for women who have children by priests.
NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE!