Faith/Spirituality Forum: Unfriendly priest

Unfriendly priest QUESTION from Lee September 3, 2001 I hope I have the right forum for this question. We have known our parish priest for a year and have not been able to thaw him. He is very superficial and usually seems to want to be somewhere else when I try to talk with him. We invited him to lunch or dinner (left choice to him because we know he has busy schedule) but he never came. He loses his temper quite often & doesn't apologize. I feel so rejected by him that I don't want to talk to him & have a difficult time going to confession. Should I try to discuss this with him, in person or by letter, or should I just leave well enough alone? I honestly don't know how much of our problem is due to my own shyness.
Thank you for any help you can give me. God bless.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 10, 2001 Dear Mrs. Lee:
I am sorry to hear that you are having problems, but I would first day that you should not confuse any personality querks that exist between the priest and you with the priest as the aalter christo in the Sacrament of Confession. The priest's personal foibles has no baring upon the Sacrament.
Contrary to popular opinion Confession is NOT suppose to be a rap session between buddies, or a counseling session. This wrong idea of the Sacrament has been encouraged by the practice of face-to-face confessions which facilitates a more personal-rap-session approach.
Go to confession and stay behind the screen. Do not let these problems damage your soul by not going to confession when you need to.
With that said, priests are like anyone else -- some are outgoing, others are not. If you feel this is a serious stumblingblock to having a normal relationship with your pastor, you may want to discuss your concerns with him. It is certainly inappropriate to accept a dinner invitation and not get back to you. Though, remember, he may have forgot, give him the benefit of the doubt.
It is not wise to let things fester. That leads to bitterness and resentment. Talk to your pastor, but approach him giving him the benefit of the doubt (like about the dinner invitation) and with an attitude of: Maybe it is just me, Father, but I feel.....
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