I wanted to ask some opinions here about some encounters I recently had with two Priests. To begin with, I'm going to speak in general terms so as not to identify the individuals or Church they come from.
To begin with, my wife and I were recently asked if we would be Kum and Kuma (Godfather and Godmother) to another young Serbian couple we know. The couple who was already married had no Godparents (long story) and wanted to know if we would Christen their daughter. We agreed and were very excited.
They belonged to a different Parish than we did and this specific Parish had two Priests. I knew one of them, but didn't know the other.
About two weeks before the Christening, I went to the Church with the father of my God children to chat with the Priest (as he had suggested).
When we met the Priest, I greeted him in my customary way - kissing his hand. My friend, who is sorely lacking in his belief in the Church (and other things for that matter), does not kiss the hand of the Priest when he greeting a Priest.
Naturally, I disagree with what my friend does, but what surprised me was the Priests reaction. He looked at my friend and said... "Do you see how you are supposed to greet a Priest... you have a lot to learn and maybe your Kum will teach you".
It was said, with a bit of anger and A LOT of pride. It didn't seem right to me. Am I wrong? Although I totally disagree with how my friend greeted the Priest, to me it appeared that the Priest pride was hurt by not having his hand kissed and something about that rubbed me the wrong way.
The second issue happened with the second Priest at the Parish, immediately following the Christening.
As Kum, I wanted to pay for the Christening and the Church policy/procedure is that there are no set fees for a Christening, just donations. I was told to give a donation both to the Church and the Priest.
I had prepared two envelopes with what I think was a very generous donation to the Priest and the Church. I approached the Priest, gave him both envelopes and thanked him.
After about 10 minutes, the Priest walked over to me and said... "Listen, the old man at the front that opened up the Church also needs to get paid. Did you give him any money"?
Do which I responded, "no".
The Priest continued...
"Well, he opened the Church up for you and it is normal for you to give him twenty dollars".
I went to the back of the Church and thanked the old man and gave him $20.
Now, $20 does NOT break the bank, it does not even dent it, but again, something about the entire thing rubbed me the wrong way. Not only was the Priest telling me I need to "pay" the old man, but he was telling me how much I was to pay him.
In addition, I really think my donation to Church and Priest were quite generous, so I was taken a back a bit by the suggestion. Any thoughts? Am I wrong again?
Just wanted some outside thoughts. Thanks.