One of the few parishioners that found out about me and my pastor ended up giving me a 20-minute lecture on how I’d better treat her well, because she was currently an “integrated personality”, and we didn’t want that disturbed.
(And because my pastor had told me not to tell anyone about the sexuality, I ended up having to discuss a “relationship” whose existence I was not allowed to acknowledge.) It stinks to keep secrets from the people you pray with, because then how on Earth can you pray in any meaningful way together, if you can’t talk about one of the most important things in your life?
Priests in the Episcopal Church are called to ordination by God, and the call is confirmed by the church in a discernment process with the prospective candidate for ordination.
But pastors can turn all that knowledge around very quickly to get you to feel you’re falling in love.
Especially if that community is paying their salary, and holds them up as a model of moral behavior. But when someone in a congregation finds out that a pastor and a parishioner are dating, the news is wildfire, and the questions never stop.
It’s worse than being on the cover of the National Enquirer, because it’s your that’s curious about your sex life, and they’re all spiritually invested in the pastor’s emotional stability.
They do this by presenting themselves as having some kind of spiritual or supernatural sensitivity—they wear flowing robes, or bless the bread and wine, or explain Bible passages.
If they didn’t do like this, you wouldn’t be at their church.