How I Dealt With My Church's Asshole Priest
How I Dealt With My Church's Asshole Priest

Forgive Me, Father: How I Dealt With an Asshole Priest

In confession, he told me to eat more salad. I responded by playing to my strengths--retaliating on social media.
April 25, 2016
6 mins read

My Priest’s Last Rites

In confession, he told me to eat more salad. I responded by playing to my strengths–retaliating on social media.

By Bettina De Mesa, California State Fullerton

I’m what you call a “twice-a-year Catholic.”

You may or may not have noticed the resurgence of “faithful” churchgoers during Easter and Christmas. I’m part of the minority that sneaks around the back of the pews so I don’t feel the smug glares of the church choir. What can I say, I like spending Sunday mornings with Daenerys Targaryen rather than my unintelligible Vietnamese priest. At least she has subtitles.

However, there are some rare occasions in which I channel my Catholic school girl days and feel inspired to go to the confession.

For those that are Catholicism noobs, confession is a way to repent all your sins in order for you to get your one-way ticket to heaven. A few times a month, you can tell your priest all the dirty, scandalous sins you’ve committed in exchange for absolution. Theoretically, you can eat heroin with a spoon and avoid hell if you go to confession. Religion, am I right?

How I Dealt With My Church's Asshole Priest

Feeling pumped up to get my confession on, I wrote down a list of all the despicable things that I’ve done. From late night “study parties” with my ex-boyfriend to taking a couple of bobby pins from the dollar store, I’m what you call a bad-ass.

What’s funny about confession is that on the way to confess, you forget all the things you had written down. You start thinking about being in hell with Virgil and Mel Gibson. The courage that you had to tell the priest all your dirty deeds suddenly disappears and you’re left vulnerable. At least, that’s what happens to me. What happens to me happens to everybody right?

I started my confession by telling my priest the troubles I’ve experienced at home and at work. I treated him like he was Frasier Crane and I was one of his callers. I reached a catharsis once I finished bawling my eyes out. I was expecting some golden piece of advice, like Jesus worthy, from my priest.

What I got was “Maybe you should try eating more salads.” FUCKING SALADS.

My own spiritual guide told me to go eat more salads because the root of all my problems was connected to my weight.

That’s the kind of doucebaggery that you would expect from some fraternity bro at Sigma Alpha Epsilon, not a church.

I needed something to justify his behavior. How could it be that the person that I was led to believe was the middleman between men and God called me out on my weight? I concocted an elaborate back-story to this priest to make me feel better about my size 8 ass.

I imagined him as the timid priest who was always one below everybody else at the seminary. When all the other priests were on their last Hail Mary, he was barely starting his fifth. All the other priests laughed at him, and prodded him to his breaking point. Finally, he just became that one asshole priest.

When creating the backstory didn’t help, I resorted to concocting a plan to get back at the priest.

*Side note: Yes, I know I’m going to hell.

I turned to what I know best—social media. Yelp was my go-to site to begin with. What else do businesses hate more than unsatisfied customers? I rated the church one-star with a long comment on the rude staff that worked there. Don’t you hate it when workers don’t have customer service? With such bad reviews, the church will fall into the domino effect of having fewer patrons and ultimately fewer sponsors.

My next target—LinkedIn. As an active member, I chose to remove my affiliation with this church. All the exposure and free advertising that the church garnered from me is stripped away like a diabetic boy with cake.

I relished in knowing that the social media presence of the church has been somewhat tarnished by one disgruntled patron. I felt accomplished for a millennial with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon. I mean, it’s not like I was Tom Hanks in the Da Vinci Code, but I was pretty damn close. I’ll be by your side, Dante.

Bettina De Mesa, California State Fullerton

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Bettina De Mesa

California State Fullerton

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