Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now We Know

. . . [C]elibacy cuts to the heart of what is wrong in the Catholic Church today. Despite denials from Rome, there will be no halting, much less recovering from, the mass destruction of the priest sex abuse scandal without reforms centered on the abandonment of celibacy as a near-universal prerequisite for ordination to the Latin-rite priesthood. (“Near universal’’ because married Episcopal priests who convert are exempt from the requirement. “Latin rite’’ because Catholic priests of the Eastern rites are allowed to marry.)

No, celibacy does not “cause’’ the sex abuse of minors, and yes, abusers of children come from many walks of life. Indeed, most abuse occurs within families or circles of close acquaintance. But the Catholic scandal has laid bare an essential pathology that is unique to the culture of clericalism, and mandatory celibacy is essential to it. Immaturity, narcissism, misogyny, incapacity for intimacy, illusions about sexual morality — such all-too-common characteristics of today’s Catholic clergy are directly tied to the inhuman asexuality that is put before them as an ideal.

A special problem arises when, on the one hand, homosexuality is demonized as a matter of doctrine, while, on the other, the banishment of women leaves the priest living in a homophilic world. In some men, both straight and gay, the stresses of such contradiction lead to irrepressible urges that can be indulged only by exploitation of the vulnerable and available, objects of desire who in many cases are boys, whether prepubescent or adolescent. Now we know.

– James Carroll
Celibacy and the Catholic Church
The Boston Globe
May 16, 2010

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Thoughts on Celibacy (Part I)
Thoughts on Celibacy (Part II)
Thoughts on Celibacy (Part III)
Celibacy and the Roman Catholic Priesthood
Authentic Catholicism: The Antidote to Clericalism
Vatican Stance on Gay Priests Signals Urgent Need for Renewal and Reform
"Spiritual Paternity"
More on "Spiritual Paternity"
Homosexuality and the Priesthood
Let's Face It: The Catholic Church is a Gay Institution
Report: Homosexuality No Factor in Abusive Priests
Blaming the Gays
Donohue's "Blame the Gays" Tactic Refuted by John Jay Study Researcher
The Journal of James Curtis - Part 6: Father Brandon
The Journal of James Curtis - Part 8: A Swimmer's First Time

Recommended Off-site Link:
Should Celibacy Be Reconsidered? - The Boston Globe (2004).

Image: Jon Krause.

1 comment:

Mareczku said...

James Carroll made a lot of good points. It is sad to read though.