>> 5 July 2009
My 7 year old niece and I were sitting in church for the very sad occasion of her cousin's funeral.
It was a sad occasion and things were taking very long.
We were waiting for mass to start and she was obviously bored. One priest was already sitting up near the altar, waiting like us.
Out of the blue, she asks me:'Can the priest have a wife?'
This is catholic church and I explained to her that no, he cannot, that he has made his oath to God and that the catholic church does not allow him to marry.
Two minutes later, she asks me:'Can he have a girlfriend?'
By now I am smiling. I say no again and explain the same rules.
She seems satisfied with that answer. It takes her 5 minutes this time to speak again.
'Can he have a boyfriend then?' she asks.
I almost burst out laughing.
The sad occasion that triggers extreme emotions, often the opposite of the one's one is supposed to feel.
The boldness of this 7 year old girl and the kind of information she is already juggling in her head.
She seemed to feel with this poor priest and probably thought he was very lonely.
And that made me smile.