Have you ever told a friend something in confidence, expecting that your friend wouldn’t share that with anyone, and yet what you shared ended up being told to others? How did that make you feel? Were you able to trust that person after the breach of confidentiality? Confidentiality in our Cursillo groups is of utmost importance if our small groups are to be effective.
It was recently brought to our attention that confidentiality isn’t always being maintained in our community’s Cursillo groups. This lack of confidentiality creates an environment where the members of the group are not sharing because they can’t trust that what they share won’t be passed along to others. The result is ineffective grouping and damaged friendships. If members of a group can’t trust that what they share won’t be spread to others, what’s the point in having a Cursillo group?
One person tried to explain that sharing close moments was somehow ok. It is not ok without permission from the one who shared the close moment. Changing or omitting the names in someone’s sharing and then repeating it, breaks the confidentiality. Telling the story but changing a few or even many things, breaks the confidentiality.
Gossip can creep into our lives, taking various forms. Have you ever heard a petition presented by a member of the congregation that provided sufficient detail that you felt uncomfortable when you heard it because you knew who was referred to in the petition? Wouldn’t a simple “For a special intention” or offering the petition in silence have been more appropriate to protect the identity of the person for whom the petition was offered?
Please, let’s respect one another by not sharing information that should be confidential, no matter the form or forum. There exists a very hard line that we do not share anything from our grouping. Please, do not cross that line.
When we each lived our Cursillo weekend, at the beginning of the weekend in the rollo room, we were told that what was to be shared and discussed in the rollo room should not be shared with others. The expectation of confidentiality is crucial for effective witnessing and table discussions. The same confidentiality applies to our small groups.
If this is happening in your group, follow the directions in Matthew 18:15-17. Talk to the person. If the behavior does not change, have the entire group talk to the person. If you’re not comfortable with such a confrontation, consider discussing this article or the topic of confidentiality with your group. You could print this article and bring it to your group as a starting point. It may take time for the person to change their behavior.
It takes time and effort for our groups to grow and be a place where all issues can be freely discussed. We need to be able to trust all members in our group. Our Cursillo groups, when effective, help to advance our ongoing conversion. Together, we can work to support one another by giving everyone the courtesy and respect that they deserve. We need each other. Don’t let your group down.
Tom and Diane Repucci