Father Jerome Lloyd was supposed to be carried along the rope on the back of a circus performer in scenes reminiscent of Frenchman Charles Blondin in 1859.
Blondin made it across a high-wire suspended 160ft above the Niagara Falls with his manager on his back.
Unfortunately, Father Lloyd's stunt had to be adapted at the last minute after professional tight-rope walker Chico Marinhos was unable to lift the 12.5st priest.
Father Lloyd said Zippos Circus performer Marinhos was unable to stand up once he was on his shoulders as he had nothing to lever himself up with upon the Big Top.
Father Lloyd, who was raising money for charity, said there was nothing else they could do other than for him to walk across the rope himself by holding on to Marinhos' shoulders as he crossed it in front of him.
He said of the stunt in Hove, East Sussex: 'It did actually feel fine. I wasn't really at all nervous as I'm not scared of heights.
'The only thing I was concerned about was that I would make Chico nervous.'
Father Lloyd, 43, a missionary priest from the National Catholic Apostolic Church, carried out the stunt wearing his traditional soutane and saturno.
He was raising money for the Sussex Beacon charity, which provides specialist care and support for people living with HIV.
In June Columbian Marinhos carried out another of Blondin's stunts by walking the high-wire and cooking himself an omelette halfway across.
Zippos Circus is at Hove Lawns in Hove until August 23.