Faith/Spirituality Forum: mentally disturbed priest

mentally disturbed priest QUESTION from Bonnie on September 3, 2002 Our priest's behavior has become increasingly bizarre & troubling to many parishioners. Some of us have decided we must inform the Bishop, but are unsure of the best way to approach him. Should we send our concerns by mail, send a committee, just 1 person, or what? Thanks for any & all help.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 6, 2002 Dear Bonnie:
I would suggest that you have two people who may represent the parishioners go to the bishop personally.
But, you need to be prepared.
Begin to document the behavior you are observing. Have several parishioners sign affidavits of the behavior they have observed.
You might even ask a psychologist for an informal consultation to confirm that the behavior you are observing is something to be concerned about. Now, keep in mind, a psychological consultation will NOT be a evaluation of the pastor, just an informal review of your notes.
The point is to be prepared and be clear as to the behavior you have observed when you go to the bishop. Don't go to the bishop with, Well, the pastor is acting a little funny. Be specific, be detailed, be accurate, be clear with what you have observed.
Then make an appointment with the bishop. Tell the secretary that this is on a confidential and sensitve matter concerning a parish priest.
Express your concerns with the bishop not in a way that smacks of here is a report like you were an investigator, but with an attitude of love and respect for the priest from a concerned parishioner.
We will be prayer for this priest and for you.
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