Photo by Danka & Peter

Tying the ‘knot’ is already complicated for most, however not infrequent.
The question arises when someone who is convinced it is what he/ she wants but cannot do it…
In sticking with the subject of priests/ nuns and marriage, I am happily joining the ranks of those who think they should be able to have a married life beside a life dedicated to the Church, thus exercising their free will to choose.

In some countries,  the second born son was ‘offered’ to the Church. Generations of young men had to forget and deny their normal impulses and suffer in silence because tradition mandated the future of their birth order.
I have to say that reading ‘The Scarlet Letter’ opened my eyes a little bit wider. I remember being extremely perplexed about that society: didn’t Jesus say ‘who will cast the first stone’? Hard to believe that the society who was so quick to condemn, was also probably so complacent about some ‘other’ secrets.

I have personally known of ex- priests who were condemned to leave everything to the Church ( my ancestor, a Jesuit, discovered a new comet, however upon leaving the Church to marry he was told the comet stayed and he could not claim it!!!) and that also meant their honor.
It was almost easier to be a renegade than to leave the priesthood.
Not unlike the crowd picking Barabbas over innocent Jesus.

What is deeply rooted in our minds, thanks to the teachings of some, is difficult to erase. My father always told me that some of the early teachings of the Church depicted a vengeful God just to control the masses.
God is Love, so if we consider that first and foremost, we should be able to accept that men and women can choose their path, serve the Lord and be personally happy. God would not interfere, but would guide.

Having seen priests and nuns completely devoted to their religious life, having attained a serene state of being where there is no room for a husband or wife, I draw my conclusion that it is a personal choice. However, going into the priesthood, or the nunnery with the intention to ‘wait and see’ is not fair.
This is a mission, and as such it should be exercised as a serious life choice. The difference is that if the choice was ‘wrong’ then there should be alternatives, and one should be to allow marriage and parenthood.
Where would we all be without second chances?

Paola Roncaglia