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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Healing from alcohol and adultery, and religious confusion

by Catherine Frakas 27 Jan 2001

Healing from alcohol and adultery, and religious confusion QUESTION from Frank on April 14, 2003 My wife had a battle over the years with the bottle and lost. She also had a long episode (years) of adultery with a priest who she used to work for and who used to supply her with the alcohol. Later on she bought her own alcohol but continued the adultery with the priest. She also had episodes of adultery with a deacon and 2 people in the parish. All of this adultery was under the severe influence of the alcohol. She was fired from her job at the parish as an assistant to the priest, but he and the deacon are still in their positions.
She is in treatment for the alcohol and seems to be determined to kick that. She does not want to stop all contact with the priest and the deacon that she had adultery with, because they can provide professional references for another job in the church. I view this as potetially disastrous, for her sobriety and her chastity.
It sounds like the priest and the deacon worked on seducing her at first, and then she went along willingly, perhaps mostly to keep her job and standing in the parish. The priest especially does not want to stop contact with her, at least over the phone, under the guise of prayer and job hunting tips.
My question is, when should I see the bishop and lay out my story? At this time, I think with my wife's state of mind, even as she recovers, this would precipitate a divorce. If she does come back from alcohol treatment and decide to divorce me, I feel I must go ahead and get this all on the table. but I am praying that she would want to go ahead herself, once healed, and recognize the abuse and sexual harassment and want to turn them in herself someday. There is a faith and spiritual issue here on how we can transform our church back to purity in action, instead of just teaching and talking about purity. I feel that I am going through my own Garden of Gethsename right now, becaise of the injustice to me, our family, and I still want what is best for her to heal. But I don't want to trigger her to start to drink or sexually relapse again, if I go to the bishop, and I don't want to trigger her to divorce me and ruin us and our family forever.
This question may belong on the demonic forum as well. I also wonder if there is a demonic presence in her and in the other men involved. She sometimes talks like someone I don't know as my wife, and the behavior of the other men is like they are a demonic presence in the church. I have been praying for deliverance of her especially, but what is the best way to pray for deliverance of someone who doesn't want it right now, necessarily?
How do I pray to heal from the stress of all of this, in my spirit. Do I need to be delivered from the stress and anxiety, or how will God provide me with the focus and healing and help me to keep the health I have left and do well on my job especially?
With all of the stress that I have, is there a demonic presence working on me as well? My sleep and my health are deteriorating as we speak. I am not making any of this up, and please E_Mail me if you need any confirmation of any of this.
Striving to be a man of God, in the worst trial I've ever faced,
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on April 19, 2003 Dear Frank:
I am so sorry to hear this story. It is certainly a story of woe and suffering for all involved. I admire your and commend you for living through this and not giving up and leaving your wife. Most men would have. God will richly bless you for your perseverance and patience.
Your instincts about your wife's contact with these men is absolutely correct. She should have patently NO contact with these men for any reason or under any circumstances -- in person, on the phone, Christmas Cards, NOTHING.
Obviously your wife does need to stay sober. She needs to go to AA for that. But that is only the beginning of the story.
From my experience alcoholism almost always has a demonic element. It is not that the demons caused the alcohol abuse, it is that the demons know an opportunity when they see it. Demonic harassment and influence comes mostly from demons hitchhiking on the problems and travails we cause ourselves. They love to put their finger in a wound that is already there and twist making the situation worse than it is already.
Thus there is certainly a possibility of demonic bondage due to the alcohol. We have a Spiritual Warfare Catalog that contains prayers (still under construction) that I would suggest you use on her behalf.
As head of the household, you are the priest of the home. Thus in the spiritual world you have a powerful authority over your household. Pray for her the spiritual warfare prayers, pray the rosary for her, try to bring her to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and to Mass. There is no guarantee since God will not intrude upon free-will, but our prayers can have a dramatic effect and we know that while God does not force himself, He is an expert persuader. Also ask your guardian angel to speak to her guardian angel to do what they can to help her.
We will also be in prayer for her and you.
As for the affair with the priest and deacon, especially given the information you specify I would bet that demonic involvement is certainly involved there with the priest and deacon and maybe with the whole parish.
The devil has an active interest in the corruption of clergy and parishes. Pray the spiritual warfare prayers for them too, and for the parish.
Concerning informing the Bishop that is a unqualified YES. The Bishop needs to know this. Who know how many other women have been raped by these men. And that is what happened to your wife. She was raped. There is no true consent, I believe, in an affair between a priest and a parishioner. This sounds like it may not only be a rape (though rape may not be the legal technicality) but also a sexual harassment on the job. These are SERIOUS issues that must be addressed to the Bishop.
You will have to pray to discern when the right time is to approach the bishop. I would try to encourage her to come forward to the bishop, but if she will not, then I believe you have a moral obligation to do so.
You say going to the bishop may cause a divorce. Well, I think that the salvation of your wife's soul is more important than the threat of a possible divorce. I would spend some time in DEEP prayer AND fasting, going before the Blessed Sacrament, praying a Novena to St. Dymphna and to our Blessed Mother, praying rosaries, etc. for at least two weeks every day in preparation.
Pray that she will be healed, pray that she will be delivered from demonic, spiritual, psychological, and emotion bondage from any demonic entities around her and from these men. Pray that she will not leave and divorce you if you tell the bishop.
After at least two weeks to a month prayer preparation (also ask others to be in prayer but you do not have to tell them the details, just say that it is urgent), then approach the bishop.
Those are my thoughts. I hope they were helpful.
We will be in prayer for you and the decisions you must make and for your wife and your marriage.
God Bless, Bro. Ignatius
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