Skip to comments.Vatican: DON'T blame it on celibacy
Posted on 03/14/2010 2:18:46 PM PDT by NYer
Rome is using this day of rest to stir a debate that never seems to rest:
The Vatican on Sunday denied that its celibacy requirement for priests was the root cause of the clerical sex abuse scandal convulsing the church in Europe and again defended the pope's handling of the crisis.Continue at the link.
Suggestions that the celibacy rule was in part responsible for the ''deviant behavior'' of sexually abusive priests have swirled in recent days, with opinion pieces in German newspapers blaming it for fueling abuse and even Italian commentators questioning the rule.
Much of the furor was spurred by comments from one of the pope's closest advisers, Vienna archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who called this week for an honest examination of issues like celibacy and priestly education to root out the origins of sex abuse.
''Part of it is the question of celibacy, as well as the subject of character development. And part of it is a large portion of honesty, in the church but also in society,'' he wrote in the online edition of his diocesan newsletter.
His office quickly stressed that Schoenborn wasn't calling into question priestly celibacy, which Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed as recently as Friday as an ''expression of the gift of oneself to God and others.''
But Schoenborn has in the past shown himself receptive to arguments that a celibate priesthood is increasingly problematic for the church, primarily because it limits the number of men who seek ordination.
Last June, Schoenborn personally presented the Vatican with a lay initiative signed by prominent Austrian Catholics calling for the celibacy rule to be abolished and for married men to be allowed to become priests.
In the days following Schoenborn's editorial this week, several prominent prelates in Germany and at the Vatican shot down any suggestion that the celibacy rule had anything to do with the scandal, a point echoed Sunday by the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
''It's been established that there's no link,'' said the article by Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi, an emeritus professor of canon law and psychology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
''First off, it's known that sexual abuse of minors is more widespread among lay people and those who are married than in the celibate priesthood,'' he wrote. ''Secondly, research has shown that priests guilty of abuse had long before stopped observing celibacy.''
Can this be true? Lower sexual abuse rates in the priesthood than in the general population?
If they’re raping then they ain’t celibate
Also, I would think the comparison of clergy to the overall population would be less relevant that a comparison of clergy and non-celibate Christians (or Catholics). One would expect more depravity among the general population than among clergy.
It’s difficult for me to understand how Christ would expect all his vicars to be celibate for life.For periods of time,like Eastern Rite priests,absolutely...but not lifelong.And I believe that celibacy is at least indirectly responsible for the sex abuse stuff because it largely closes off the priesthood to “normal” men who,being normal,wouldn’t want to spend their whole life without the companionship of a woman.
Its the celibacy.
"oh, Mr. Smith was so nice and a great Boy Scout leader...he would never hurt anybody"..or...
"Father Smith was such a great guy and the loved the kids...he wouldn't hurt anybody"...
I have absolutely no reason not to suspect that all ministries and all groups that center on children or young men have pedophiles or homosexuals in their midst....
the bigger the group is, the more likelier....
throw in the fact that some people are looking for a big payday...why attack some little group when you can claim a priest 35 yrs ago abused you...the priest is dead and all you have to do is threaten to sue or sue...the anti-Catholics are just so eager to rip the church apart....
never do I condone any horrible actual acts...
I guess if marriage would be the norm for Catholic priests, than the homosexuals would go elsewhere for their cover....the military?
Honestly, I don't see where they get the idea that priests must be celibate... especially seeing as how PETER HAD A WIFE!
ANY kind of “ministry” can attract perverts.
I would think all the more so a setup where not having a wife around is the norm.
Can't be celibate if they are after whomever. Period.
Celibacy would imply there was no sexual contact.
The Catholic Church is (and has been) under attack by homosexuals, abortionists, and others because it will not grant the power of God to the State, nor swear fealty thereto. It is the Tudor question all over, only this time the Marxists, human secularists, and others are trying to defame the Church.
When one considers the number of homosexuals innvolved in the media who attack the Church, there just might be a reason: The Church is not giving in to their agenda.
Perhaps a comparison of sexual deviancy rates between celibate clergy and non-celibate clergy would be more useful. When comparing the sexual perversion rates of clergy and the general population, you’re not eliminating enough variables (moral code, belief system, belief in God, belief that sexual deviancy exists, etc.) to determine whether celibacy alone makes a difference.
I don’t know the details of the European priest sex scandal, but in the US well over 80% of the abuse was of post-pubescent adolescent boys. To put it bluntly, the problem was homosexuality in the priesthood. Assuming the problem is even remotely similar in Europe, I don’t think celibacy is the problem. And the experience in the US certainly proves that the Boy Scouts made the right decision.
Here is the root cause, which is failure to follow the 1961 instruction, “RELIGIOSORUM INSTITUTIO”, by Pope John XXIII:
“Advantage to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”
Factor in childhood sex abuse by camp counselors, Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams ... and the list grows much larger.
As for your initial comment Its difficult for me to understand how Christ would expect all his vicars to be celibate for life
Jesus never married. Paul was not married. And, for all we know, the only apostle who ever married was Peter and that was before he met our Lord. Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: "Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband" (7:27-34). Pauls conclusion: He who marries "does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better" (7:38).
Yes, that sounds like an excellent idea.
I think the Catholic belief is that celibacy is better. But better how? And maybe it had advantages in biblical times that it doesn't now.
Just thinking out loud...
I doubt that those with "evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty" are advertising the fact. So how are those ordaining them supposed to know?
It seems to me that one of the best tests of this is: Does the man have a wife and a normal family?
Then priests of the Eastern Rite and former Episcopal priests who converted to Catholicism don't have Christ's approval for being married...and yet they're fully recognized by Rome and they acknowledge the Pope's primacy here on earth.
The most probable pedophiles in order are:
Priests are way down on the list.
So if a Father is a teacher of mid-high history, coaches the girls basketball team and is a youth minister at his church on weekends/Sundays watch out! He would be much more prone to pedophilia that any priest.
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