Friday, November 7, 2014

A Church Bullying Situation Might Change with a New Pastor

In the Catholic Church, priests tend to be reassigned to different parishes every six or seven years. Although there's no hard-and-fast rule, this is often a typical length of time for a pastor to stay in one spot. However, sometimes, a pastor could stay in a parish for two, three or more terms, which could equal about 20 years.

I strongly suspect that bullying and mobbing are highly dependent upon the pastor, how strong he is and whether he is willing to tolerate spiritual abuse of any members of his flock. However, there is also the possibility that he is a very holy man, who is trying to do the right thing, and is simply outnumbered by a pack of bullies, who may be giving him a difficult time as well.

Or, the pastor may have strong narcissistic traits, and is not a good shepherd. When our family was mobbed, and driven out of our spiritual home, much of it, in hindsight, appears to have been orchestrated by a "friend," working behind the scenes. However, I don't think she would have gotten very far if it hadn't been for a new priest who suddenly arrived from a different continent, and immediately took over, even though he had no legitimate authority to do so. No bishop had sent him there, which, in itself, was a highly irregular situation.

This priest seemed to have issues of his own, and he seemed to have a strong need to be accepted by some of the lay people. Upon his arrival, it seemed as if a switch had been flipped and a dark, hateful mood descended upon the community.

There is an old saying "Like pastor, like parish." This means that if you have a holy priest at the helm, the flock will behave in a more Christ-like manner. Kindness and charity will flourish.

However, the opposite is also true. If you have a troubled priest, expect trouble in the pews.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that things can change suddenly in any congregation, depending upon the pastor. If you're being bullied at church, it's possible things could improve the next time your bishop moves priests around.

In any event, don't let a pack of narrow-minded people (or even one or two) keep you out of church and away from God.

Pixabay image top by Nemo

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