Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

"Now there is a loss of trust in the church..."
Beliefnet ^ | March 23, 2010 | Deacon Greg Kandra

Posted on 03/23/2010 3:45:22 PM PDT by NYer

The New York Times this morning printed an essay from German author Peter Schneider, who raised some pointed questions about the Church in the pope's homeland:

23opedimg-articleLarge.jpg

Pope Benedict should also recognize how precarious the Catholic Church is in Germany. Like Americans, Germans have already had to cope with a general loss of trust in public institutions. First there were the bankers, with their insane bets and bonuses. Then the politicians, who couldn't stop the bankers. Now there is a loss of trust in the church.

But unlike in America, religion in Germany is already weak. In the former Communist east, only 2 percent of the population go to church on Sunday; in the western states, the number is 8 percent. Some dwindling congregations have had to sell their church buildings.

So far the church is benefiting from the breadth of sexual abuse scandals. Victims are also coming forward from Protestant institutions, from secular boarding schools and elite academies, from children's homes. Many critics argue that any closed institution where male educators have charge of male children runs the risk of sexual abuse.

Conservative Catholic bishops go further, saying that the sexual abuse committed by their priests is a general social problem, traceable not to the church but to the sexualization of society, to the zeitgeist, to the sins of the 1968 generation. The truth, they suggest, was that the evil had struck in all sectors of society. Others have warned of the dangers of a witch hunt, and some have even highlighted a new form of political correctness.

But the figures available so far show that the problem is especially severe in the Catholic Church. Alois Glück, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, has urged consideration of the "church-specific conditions that favor sexual abuse," which many have taken as a call for the church to reconsider the matter of its priests' celibacy.

This is yet another difference between the Irish and American scandals and our own. Ireland and America are deeply religious places; if priestly celibacy is not as well understood there as it once was, it is nevertheless respected.

Germany is not only a secular country, but a sexually liberated one as well. Many Germans find the Vatican's demand of priestly celibacy completely alien, and we recognize it as a historical, rather than holy, tradition, going back to a decree by Pope Benedict VIII in 1022. Indeed, in a poll conducted last week, 87 percent of Germans said that celibacy is no longer appropriate.

It's not hard, then, for us to draw the conclusion -- fair or not -- that the church's problems are rooted in celibacy. Much more so than in the United States, the German debate is about the fundamental structure of the Catholic church: Must a person be chaste to exercise the office of a priest? Does this condition not attract sexually disturbed and pedophiliac men, who count on cover and understanding in the bosom of the church?

How Benedict handles the issue in the coming weeks will determine not only how well the German church endures, but whether it can survive in its current form at all. None of the victims has yet sought reparations, but sooner or later, the church will have to offer compensation. The American church has paid $2 billion to abuse victims since 1992; can the German church afford the same?

Read the whole thing right here.



TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: b16; benedict; benedictxvi; bxvi; catholic; germany; pedophilepriests; pedophiles; pope; priests; ratzinger; scandal; vatican

1 posted on 03/23/2010 3:45:22 PM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Catholic Church

With one central authority figure, the Catholic Church is now on the radar screen for all the media and journalists.

2 posted on 03/23/2010 3:47:37 PM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Many Germans find the Vatican's demand of priestly celibacy completely alien, and we recognize it as a historical, rather than holy, tradition, going back to a decree by Pope Benedict VIII in 1022. Indeed, in a poll conducted last week, 87 percent of Germans said that celibacy is no longer appropriate.

Rome better listen and change -sarc

3 posted on 03/23/2010 3:51:19 PM PDT by frogjerk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Like Americans, Germans have already had to cope with a general loss of trust in public institutions. First there were the bankers, with their insane bets and bonuses. Then the politicians, who couldn't stop the bankers. Now there is a loss of trust in the church.

The author lost me with this paragraph. It re-inforces the propaganda that a free market is bad. The author is qualified to discuss the church and its member lack of trust in the church. To somehow link how Americans feel about the church/gov't/bankers with how Germans feel about their institutions is ludicrous.

Write about what you know...and NO MORE.

4 posted on 03/23/2010 3:52:23 PM PDT by mlocher (USA is a sovereign nation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

“...Indeed, in a poll conducted last week, 87 percent of Germans said that celibacy is no longer appropriate...”

I can only offer my own observations from extensive travels in Southeast Asia and meeting various Germans - not only do they not believe celibacy is appropriate, they are trying to prove that the exact opposite is true!


5 posted on 03/23/2010 3:52:48 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded, my brains fell out.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

How can they lose what they never had?


6 posted on 03/23/2010 3:53:15 PM PDT by Tax-chick (It's a jungle out there, kiddies. Have a very fruitful day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Voluntary lack of sexual relations with women makes men pederasts. Makes sense to me - rolls eyes.


7 posted on 03/23/2010 3:53:34 PM PDT by frogjerk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Why Benedict, why now? I feel that the Catholic Church is going to face a MASSIVE hit from liberals. They have to destroy the church to promote their agenda. I see it in my dear elderly friends who align themselves with the worst leftists thinking they are following peace-loving Jesus. Dupe the weak.


8 posted on 03/23/2010 3:56:55 PM PDT by NoExpectations
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: mlocher

I don’t get that either. How does free enterprise relate to this issue? Not at all, imho.


9 posted on 03/23/2010 3:57:16 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NYer

One question I have: Are priests allowed or encouraged to masturbate? I only ask this because if godly sexual relations with a woman are not allowed, is anything allowed that is sexual for priests? And, if not, does the Catholic church have any priests that have had their testicles removed to help further curb desire?


10 posted on 03/23/2010 3:57:28 PM PDT by ConservativeMind (Hypocrisy: "Animal rightists" who eat meat & pen up pets while accusing hog farmers of cruelty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PGR88
You gotta love pollsters. Only about 7% of Germans go to church, but 87% of them have an opinionn on the way priests live their lives.

Typical.

11 posted on 03/23/2010 3:59:29 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

bookmark


12 posted on 03/23/2010 3:59:42 PM PDT by T Minus Four ("You do not have soul, you ARE a soul. You have a body." C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Well, I’m no Roman Catholic, but this plea from a “sexually liberated” culture is crap. If the Roman Catholic church can find a way to exit celibacy, let it be by their own reasoning and volition, not by pressure to conform to a godless society.


13 posted on 03/23/2010 4:01:54 PM PDT by Chaguito
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk
Voluntary lack of sexual relations with women makes men pederasts. Makes sense to me - rolls eyes.

I think the argument is that, by limiting the priesthood to men who will abstain from sex with women, the rule of celibacy attracts disproportionate numbers of pederasts to the priesthood. I'm not saying I agree with the argument (I'm not Catholic and haven't thought about it enough to draw any conclusion), but the argument has a greater surface plausibility than your re-casting of it.

14 posted on 03/23/2010 4:03:23 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Chaguito

Well said. Thank you!


15 posted on 03/23/2010 4:04:35 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Post-christian europe is a mission field. It has to be approached that way. Catholics and evangelicals alike need to understand that and either work to reclaim it or watch the lights go out over europe.

Preach Christ and take back the lost ground.


16 posted on 03/23/2010 4:06:01 PM PDT by marron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk

It’s a nonsensical argument.


17 posted on 03/23/2010 4:08:22 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: NYer

It is no longer adultery and fornication that are innapropriate. (”Who are they hurting?”), now it’s celibacy that is innapropriate. Now REALLY. Who is THAT hurting?


18 posted on 03/23/2010 4:08:24 PM PDT by TradicalRC (Secular conservatism is liberalism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TradicalRC

The secularists will do anything to destroy the Church and belief in God in general. This is but one way that they believe will accomplish that goal.

Instead of all Christians uniting against this threat, there are those who welcome this opportunity to destroy Catholicism.


19 posted on 03/23/2010 4:11:51 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind
One question I have: Are priests allowed or encouraged to masturbate? I only ask this because if godly sexual relations with a woman are not allowed, is anything allowed that is sexual for priests? And, if not, does the Catholic church have any priests that have had their testicles removed to help further curb desire?

I think a lack of releasing stored sperm in the epididymis results in nocturnal emissions, and "wet" dreams. It's the body's way of making room for more.

20 posted on 03/23/2010 4:19:10 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Lurking Libertarian
I think the argument is that, by limiting the priesthood to men who will abstain from sex with women,

Actually, it is to abstain from sex with anyone. If celibacy is not for you, do not join the club. Christ tells us not only to turn from sinful acts, but also sinful thoughts.

I understand that you were merely clarifying the plausibility of an argument, however if one is serious about truth, one ought to look beyond surface plausibility.

21 posted on 03/23/2010 4:27:37 PM PDT by TradicalRC (Secular conservatism is liberalism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

No masturbation is a selfish act and is therefor sinful. The point of celibacy is not just to have priests refrain from intercourse, but sexual release in general, given it distracts the priest from god.


22 posted on 03/23/2010 4:31:42 PM PDT by boynamedsue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett

I was somewhat surprised to learn that semen is not produced at a constant rate. Secretion is enhanced by desire, fantasies, etc. That means that males who do not engage in lustful fantasies have less need to release the stuff. It is perfectly possible to live without sex. However, I do think that there is no scriptural basis for celibate clergy.


23 posted on 03/23/2010 4:38:23 PM PDT by hellbender
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: hellbender

Not semen, but sperm cells.

It’s approximately 1,500 sperm cells produced every second, in a healthy male.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/03/100318-men-sperm-1500-stem-cells-second-male-birth-control/

Those cells can’t remain in the epididymis, for too long. The risks include elevated chances of testicular cancer.


24 posted on 03/23/2010 4:49:32 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Not only true in Germany but all over the world.


25 posted on 03/23/2010 4:53:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk
Glad you rolled your eyes, because the larger number of sexual molestetors are teachers and ministers from other denominations.

Sexual Abuse of Children by Protestant Ministers

Report: Protestant Church Insurers Handle 260 Sex Abuse Cases a Year

Abuse by Protestant Ministers of Every Denomination

Child Sexual Molestation by Various Protestant Clergy

Baptist Predators website

"Yeshiva" of Brooklyn also Guilty of Child Abuse

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sex Abuse by Teachers Said Worse Than Catholic Church

WHEN BOYS ARE MOLESTED BY TEACHERS AND OTHERS IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY


26 posted on 03/23/2010 4:55:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Glad you rolled your eyes, because the larger number of sexual molestetors are teachers and ministers from other denominations.

NOT helping the case given I read thread after thread and post after post that there is only ONE church.... and the oldest church, the most member-ed church... This is not equalizing outcomes.

27 posted on 03/23/2010 4:57:34 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett

Sperm cells are a tiny fraction of semen. Sperm cells are readily reabsorbed by the body. It is not the buildup of sperm which creates sexual desire, but that of seminal fluid from the seminal vesicles and prostate, which is strongly influenced by stimulation, either physical or mental. No one ever died from sexual abstinence.


28 posted on 03/23/2010 4:58:52 PM PDT by hellbender
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

You wrote:

“One question I have: Are priests allowed or encouraged to masturbate?’

No. No one is. Masturbation is sinful. Protestants generally allow it much like they allow contraception and other sinful sexual practices. Still, some Protestants believe the truth instead: http://www.religioustolerance.org/masturba6.htm


29 posted on 03/23/2010 5:03:20 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: hellbender

I am not sure about that. Do you have a link?

I was aware nocturnal emissions are primarily the body’s mean’s of emptying the epididymis (no semen stored here).

Retained sperm increases testicular cancer risks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3072021.stm


30 posted on 03/23/2010 5:03:25 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind
does the Catholic church have any priests that have had their testicles removed to help further curb desire?

Not an expert, but I think eunuchs can't be priests.

31 posted on 03/23/2010 5:11:49 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of.-- Idylls of the King)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett

i do know that sperm cells are a tiny fraction of semen, that it is the buildup of the other constituents which increases desire for release, and that those other constituents are secreted in response to sexual desire or fantasies, which may be unconscious (e.g. dreams). I think most males are intuitively aware of this; ie. thinking about sex will increase secretion and therefore desire. I have read links on this, but don’t know of them offhand.


32 posted on 03/23/2010 5:15:01 PM PDT by hellbender
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I guess the author wasn’t paying attention when Pope Benedict XVI was first elevated. He said that he wanted to re-evangelize Europe, because the Church had become unimportant to Catholics on the continent.


33 posted on 03/23/2010 6:25:07 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

The NYSlimes should also be looking into the secular teachers. The DoE states the rate is beyond 10% but they won’t - of course as they get funded by the foundations who want us gone.


34 posted on 03/23/2010 7:28:02 PM PDT by bronxville
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett
The risks include elevated chances of testicular cancer.

Reference?

Somebody on a message board like this once claimed that lack of sexual release in Catholic priests caused prostate cancer. I looked up the stats and found that Catholic priests had a slightly (very slightly) lower risk of prostate cancer than the general male population.

35 posted on 03/23/2010 7:39:10 PM PDT by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind
Are priests allowed or encouraged to masturbate?

No sexual activity outside of licit marital intercourse open to the transmission of life is permitted by the moral law, therefore: no.

And, if not, does the Catholic church have any priests that have had their testicles removed to help further curb desire?

That would be the sin of mutilation, which is also objectively gravely evil.

36 posted on 03/23/2010 7:41:50 PM PDT by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Campion
Reference?

Already posted. See #30.

37 posted on 03/23/2010 11:33:41 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Lurking Libertarian

The priests I’ve met in recent years don’t strike me as straight or gay but just terribly confused. And (this is just me talking) it seems like people who are sexually confused might find some comfort in a rule that makes the decision for them.

It seems like when I was a kid, all the priests were big Irish men who looked like longshoremen. Now, unless they come from overseas, they are all small and soft.


38 posted on 03/24/2010 5:57:28 AM PDT by MrRobertPlant2009
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: NYer

The explanation begins with the fact that so few Catholics attend Church, not with priestly celibacy. Germany is a nation of non-Christians or indifferent Christians. It is “sexually liberated,” meaning that it is pagan. Letting priests marry will solve nothing. Anglican priests marry, yet England is more pagan every year.


39 posted on 03/24/2010 2:00:17 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MrRobertPlant2009

Something in what you say. Not big necessarily, but physically tough. I had a priest who hung out a lot at the K of C hall, and he like to mow the lawn—to pay for his beer her said. He would have his shirt off in the Texas sun and he looked like a welterweight boxer, complete with broken nose. Said he got it as a kid fighting on the street.


40 posted on 03/24/2010 2:03:21 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS

There seemed to a lot of those “Fightinest’ priest in the Diocese” types that came up in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. A lot of them were positively ancient when I was a kid but they seemed like dock workers who moonlighted as Priests. You don’t see a lot of those types anymore.

(Note: I don’t want to blame the molestation problem solely on some stereotype priest that I just created out of thin air, beause there is plenty of evidence that this problem goes back decades. It’s just the Priesthood once seemed a “manly” profession. I’m not sure that is the case any longer).


41 posted on 03/24/2010 2:26:09 PM PDT by MrRobertPlant2009
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: MrRobertPlant2009

Well, Jocks are as likely to be homosexuals as nerds are. The old Nazi Party had lots of “Butch” types, who positively hated the artsy-fartsy types. But, as I believe, the seminaries had such a large number of candidates they had no hestitation in weeding out the ones who just wanted “ to be with guys.” Certainly when I was growing up I heard a lot more about priests who liked women/or the bottle than about “fags” although there were some. IMHO, the old minor seminaries were not a good idea, because it was a bad thing, I think, to be segregated from girls at too early an age, although, it helped that most of them did have sisters.


42 posted on 03/24/2010 2:44:50 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: NYer

The church is not Jesus and I hope people don’t lose their faith over the pervert priests and their surpervising enablers. This is as big of crisis as the church experienced when swindlers selling forgivness/passes to heaven. It is a disgrace.

Bernard Law served as a madam in a whore house. Many others have done the same. I can’t forgive any of them and I have my doubts that Jesus is going to have them near him.


43 posted on 03/24/2010 5:07:39 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson