Skip to comments.Celibacy and Priesthood by Lea Part Three
Posted on 10/13/2011 2:29:59 PM PDT by count-your-change
Historian Henry Charles Lea, after documenting the clerical excesses of the fifteenth century passes on to the Reformation in Germany. Luther was only one of many reformers and the sale of indulgences to wayward priests proved to be fuel for the fires of the Reformation.
There is a section devoted to Calvinism, to the Council of Trent in it's deliberations and efforts at reform, to the clerical abuse in the New World.
In the concluding chapter, The Church Today, (of pre WWI) Lea's comments would fit seamlessly into today's headlines as he says speaking of the Catholic church's struggles with human nature:
"Perhaps its success might be greater if it exerted its powers unreservedly, but such is its dread of scandal that rather than incur the risk of publicity it prefers to shield the criminal. If the punishment cannot be secret, there must be no punishment and no admission of priestly weakness". pg. 358.
Lea work has been criticized as muck raking and full of "blunders", in the first case by the Catholic Encyclopedia and in the second by a Jesuit writer, Thurston in the late 1930's. But the conclusions of Lea's work are confirmed by events today and commenting on these events, (the sexual scandal involving Catholic priests with its enormous financial and spiritual costs) Richard Sipe suggests that the financial and sexual corruption today is the equal to the time of the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent. Sipe refers to Thomas Doyle's conclusions in the same vein.
Richard Sipe is a former monk and a psychologist. Lea is a disgraced and highly impartial “historian.” If the OP has an opinion on celibacy, then he has an opinion on celibacy. On the other hand, making sequential posts giving, at best, one to four lines from, what was it? Oh yes, a two volume set, is a tad off the reservation, isn’t it?
Also, where is the evidence for the very brief propositions? In the article from whence the posting comes? Nope. At the risk of sounding unkind (which truly is NOT my intention), don’t you think it better and more appropriate to find online articles you may post from, or at least, quote enough of the item/books/et cetera to show that which is proposed by it’s underlying evidence?
For instance, exactly how are “the conclusions of Lea’s work” “confirmed by events today?” Also, Mr. Doyle’s “conclusions,” which are only mentioned in the last sentence of your post. Specifically, what are those conclusions? What bearing do they have? Why did you mention them in the last sentence, but not list them, or the reasons for them?
I realize that I may come off as something of an over-anxious proofreader, and I apologize in advance for that. But, honestly, perhaps you might do better taking the time to present more than the barest edge of the poorly-cooked steak, or at least wait until it’s medium-well.
if you are asserting that the Catholic Church operates today as it did during the peak of the pederast priest scandal you could not be more wrong.
There is a commission whose recommendations are being followed to the letter regarding immediately reporting this criminal behavior to the authorities and removing the priest from his priestly duties so he has no possibility of contact with the public.
The height of the scandal was I believe in 1969 and the reported numbers have dropped rapidly every year since then.
I don't believe that the Church is out of the woods yet however they certainly have been on top of it for the last 10 - 12 years.
As an aside when I volunteered to help with R.E. I was fingerprinted and had a criminal background check performed before I could go anywhere near kids. This is SOP in our diocese, if not all others.
So this post sounds like a rehash of old (1969) news by someone with an attitude against celibacy, otherwise why the title?
“Anyone who speaks to the subject of priestly celibacy today should first become familiar with this two volume work”.
Yes, I suppose I could’ve searched out web sites and posted from them but I prefer to have a book in my hands when I comment on it if at all possible and hence I encourage others to do the same thinking of your questions.
It's one thing to quote a web site that says so and so and quite another to have the author's work in front of you.
In my own defence I stated at the first that I was referring to the second volume unless otherwise stated and gave the exact place where Sipes’s made his comment in the source.
I disagree (naturally) about the poorly cooked steak, you just got a sliver from the deli loaf.
And it's free no matter the taste!
“So this post sounds like a rehash of old (1969) news by someone with an attitude against celibacy, otherwise why the title?”
There’s a good question in there. The title lets anyone looking at it have an idea of what follows. I suppose something less brief would’ve been better but the title is the least important part of any post after all.
1969? Nope. Background for 2011.
Face it, there are those who are downright giddy that children were victimized by sinners masquerading as priests. It serves their agenda. We must count them among the victims and pray for them