Katie, in theory I agree with you and your priest. Almost all of my knowledge of online success on CM has supported this, too.
But I think some clarification needs to be made about "contact." There is a difference between saying hello and being gracious, and asking to begin writing to each other and being forward.
A) It's quite alright for women to send emotigrams that encourage and lift up the men. Some examples of this are:
-- I like your pictures of the sunset and the little children. You look like a fun uncle.
-- Thank you for your terrific posts in the forum supporting the dignity of men and women.
-- Sorry to hear your Reds team lost. Better luck next year-- enjoy a beer on me. Hope it helps.
-- I'm keeping your mother in my prayers. I'm sorry to read that she is ill in the hospital.
B) On the other side of the spectrum, I don't think things work very well when a woman begins with chasing a man who has not decided he is interested in her. For example:
-- I see we live a half hour apart. We should meet for coffee sometime.
-- We have SO much in common. We might be a match. Are you open to communicating?
-- You're a handsome man. I bet you won't be here for long- at least, not if I have something to say about it.
-- How was your day? I'm wishing you all the best, and hope to hear from you.
There is a vast difference between these two categories. The first group effectively gets your face and profile in front of the man (something we have to do online-- a kind of artificial bumping into each other in a public place.) Those examples express no expectations, offer goodwill, have substance, and build up both parties. They do give the gentleman an opening to starting a conversation, if he wishes. If he does not, a simple "thank you" will be enough-- it won't feel like rejection (because a woman hasn't asked something of him) and she will know when he doesn't pursue that he isn't interested.
The second group puts a gentleman and lady in tough spots. For him, if he is a gentleman, he must respond whether he is interested or not. Right there is her problem. She has no idea if, when a gentleman responds, he is interested in getting to know her or being polite in responding. If he is not a gentleman in the first place, he will probably respond because he then does not have to do any work. She now has both roles as lady and gentleman, but doesn't know that. She will confuse his responses with that of a gentleman. Also, the second group has a good chance of leaving her feeling rejected.
Basically it comes down to your personal preference, Katie. What kind of woman do you want to be in relationship with what kind of man? For me, I have decided that I desire a man who has confidence to approach me, knows his own heart and mind, and will speak up about it. I want to be a woman open to communication that leaves people feeling esteemed and free. I have high standards for myself, and for my future husband. To a certain degree, who we are early in a relationship is who we will be later in the relationship.
It took me awhile to learn the fine art of "dropping the hanky." It's a subtle art, but it does work and it has come to feel the most natural way for me to interact with men. Be kind, open, generous, and complimentary. Some attention to a man you are interested in is very good-- we need to give them ideas sometimes. Just let him decide to pursue you.