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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Suffering Because of the Sins of a Spouse

downloadQuestion

I do not know what to do. It came to light about a year ago that my husband of almost 40 years stole money from an extended family member. Two of my adult children thought I was also involved, even though I was not. They are very angry. We lost our home and the equity in our home. He is currently paying restitution. Through prayer God helped me to be able to forgive my husband, even though my siblings and children could not understand how. I did get a legal separation to protect myself financially; however we still live in the same apartment. It has been a very difficult year. It has now come to light that he has stolen money from these two children as well. Worse yet, they think I am involved. I am deeply sick over this. They have written both of us out of their lives. Angry at my husband, I have no more respect for him.

We were married in the Church and I have always tried to be faithful to my vows. But now he has cost me my good name and my children with their families. I cannot stop crying. I want to leave, but then I think of my vows. It is clear that my husband has an addiction to spending. He says he is very sorry, but at this point, no one is listening. I need to hear some sound Catholic advice.

Response

Communicate honestly and clearly where you stand with everything that has happened. Given that you were unaware of your husband’s deception and larceny, express both your innocence and the pain that you feel as a wife and mother. Share your poignant words to me with them.

You cannot control their response. They are rightfully very angry and disappointed. The violation of trust is a wound that takes time to mend.  Even if they turn away from you, let them know that you will always love them. While your husband has sacrificed any earned respect, you are right about the vows. They were made “for better or for worse.” The worse is now upon you. The loss of home, family and security strips everything to the bare bones. Running away from him and the situation would not make matters any better. Our Lord was betrayed by Judas for the cost of silver. He was marked by a kiss and falsely charged. Jesus endured his passion and death to redeem us. Jesus never stopped loving or forgiving us. We are urged to take up our crosses and to follow him. I am sorry that there is no easy answer. I will keep you and the family in prayer.

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