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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why don't you just arrest me now?

Louise Haggett of the Center for the Study of Religious Issues [which doesn't appear to be a very big organization as it has no web site and posts all of its reports to the website of Rent-A-Priest which was also Haggett as was the organization Celibacy is the Issue, so you can see that the author is far from unbiased in addition to being woefully unqualified, sources identify her as a "former Catholic doctrine teacher" - whatever that means] has published a book called "The Bingo Report" in which she concludes "the longer a priest remains in the priesthood, the more likely he will struggle with mandatory celibacy both biologically and psychologically, and the more likely he will act on his struggles and become deviant or criminal in his actions."

When one is governed more by agenda than by evidence, it's always helpful to paint with a broad brush and why not cast aspersions on a whole class of people while you are at it.

Do I struggle with celibacy? Of course I do. If I didn't it would mean that I wasn't truly human. We are all drawn to intimacy, especially to the intimacy of marriage. Just because I entered religious life doesn't mean that I left my sexuality at the door. Human beings are sexual and naturally seek out one another. The Catechism states:

Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

Therefore, there would indeed be something wrong with me if I didn't struggle with vows of chastity as I also struggle with vows of poverty and obedience. This doesn't mean that I act out in these struggles that violate my vows but as Fulton Sheen has reportedly said after commenting on an attractive woman, "Well, just because I'm on a diet doesn't mean I can't look at the menu."

But to say that the longer that I am a priest the more likely that I am to become an abuser or a devient is to say that remaining celibate is impossible counter the evidence of millions of priests over the past thousand years. It's becoming more and more clear that those who are promoting married priests are not really pro-marriage, they are just anti-celibacy.

2 Comments:

Blogger shana, sfo said...

Sadly, most of the 'anticelibacy' types are also those who consider humanity as mere animals, unable to control their sexual urges.

Should families consider a widowed Grandma suspect because she isn't remarried? Granny could turn criminal at any moment by this line of reasoning.

Or maybe, like Freud and Kinsey, Louise is projecting her own sort of illness upon others?

shana, sfo

1:03 PM  
Blogger boinky said...

SHHHH....don't tell anyone, but this is merely statistical juggling...
you see, if you study ten years, maybe 10 priest fall...if you study 20 years, there may be 15 priests who fall, and if you study 590 years, you might come up to the number 20: which means statistically the number increases with each year.....As for celibacy, critics ignore the fact that we married people also have times we are celibate...
When women are highly pregnant, or are exhausted from work...
Or when we are separated because the men work away from home...
And what about couples who have one partner sick or dying?

As for Freud: modern Psychiatrists dropped him years ago...

6:02 PM  

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