Skip to comments.The Good Catholic's Response to Bad Priests
Posted on 04/03/2002 10:49:38 AM PST by Antoninus
The Good Catholic's Response to Bad Priests
Claudio R. Salvucci
April 3, 2002
Our sex-obsessed culture has deluded itself with the ridiculous Freudian error that every sexual thought or fantasy not acted upon is a repression.
So muddled with lust have we become, so enslaved to our own self-gratification, that too many of us can no longer even conceive of a life lived in virginal purity. We see no dignity in it, only a condition to be pitied.
So some are suggesting that the Catholic priesthood, in the face of all the recent scandals, accept those ideas and make a grudging concession to human lust.
And that is exactly wrong.
It was precisely by conceding to lust in the first place that the priesthood got into this awful mess.
One curiously omitted question emerges from all of these so-called pedophilia scandals: Why do an estimated 80-90 percent of the victims of these molestations happen to be teen-age boys? True pedophiles tend to prey on pre-pubescent members of the opposite sex - not same-sex adolescents, which characterizes a different disorder called ephebophilia.
Many of us obedient Catholics, so ready to grant priests and bishops the benefit of the doubt, are now slowly becoming aware of a vast gay network quietly tolerated in the seminaries, the priesthood and even in the highest levels of church hierarchy.
Two respected and highly acclaimed books: Fr. Donald Cozzens' "The Changing Face of the Priesthood" and Michael Rose's "Goodbye! Good Men" frankly admit that the priesthood is "becoming a gay profession." Our local Catholic radio station, WISP 1570, recently featured a hard-hitting show describing how seminarians encountered difficulties for being "too masculine." St. Sebastian's Angels, a networking Website for gay priests, was only recently shut down. An anonymous priest interviewed by the Boston Globe described the sexual propositioning, harassment and intimidation he faced at the hands of a gay subculture in the seminary - "and I know guys who left because of it."
So what is to be done about this problem?
Some American bishops have adopted this idea that having homosexual inclinations doesn't matter in the seminary, that as long as the candidate lives in celibacy, there's no sin in the orientation. That is of course theologically true, but is it psychologically wise?
Suppose, analogously, we were to take a priest with the normal male attractions, and drop him right smack into a convent of nuns: eating, working, bathing, and sleeping among the opposite sex, 24 hours a day. Well, that would be sheer madness, utter insanity. Of course, we hope he wouldn't do anything to violate his chastity, but meanwhile we've vastly multiplied his near occasions to sin - the opportunities for sexual temptation to be enflamed and acted upon.
That is exactly what we are doing when we ordain gay men.
Folks, the monasteries and rectories are barracks in the army of Jesus Christ; housing men with a divine mission for which they need to be focused, clear-headed, and free from distraction. Just as in the military, a community of strong men provides the best environment for that condition to be met.
When homosexuality enters this system, the whole thing becomes utter bedlam. Suddenly, the opportunities for sex are numerous and immediate. Perhaps that is why the priesthood is said to be sought by some homosexual men.
Certainly, not every homosexual priest will act upon his temptations, but what right do we have to put him in danger of doing so? Do we have no healthy respect for the weaknesses of human nature?
There is only one solution here, and it is this: the seminaries must refuse Holy Orders to those with same-sex attractions. Not just for the overall good of the priesthood, but for the good of their own souls. For it is no act of charity to let a man become a priest in this life, only to be tempted into damnation in the next.
Claudio Salvucci of Bristol reminds Catholics that the best thing to do for priests - good or bad - is to pray for them.
An archive of Salvucci's columns may be found at: The I, Claudio web site
There was a mass exodus of priests after Vatican II to marry. After going to all the expense of educating and training them, they left, as did lots of nuns.
Perhaps the church erroneously thought that homosexual priests wouldn't cause the scandals that heterosexual priests got themselves into with women.
I would rather have maintained the ideal of celibacy but now I have come to believe that allowing more married priests would increase the pool of worthy men from which to choose.
I think this is true in part.
I think there was tremendous underdiscernment of the effects on the priesthood of allowing ten thousand heterosexuals to be forcibly separated in only a few years. This did two things-it greatly increased the proportion of gay priests as a fraction of the whole, and, it decreased the inhibitory effect on them of living and working with a substantial number of straight men.
But this begs the question of why the hierarchy reacted in this way. Many married priests tell the story that they were on the street, homeless and jobless, within 24 hours of announcing their situation.
This is quite a contrast to the situation of the gay child abusers.
Why do the bishops act as if the sin of heterosexual marriage by a priest is so uniquely horrible? I think it's because they truly feel sickened and horrified when a priest marries a woman.
Why they don't feel this way about gay child abusers, I don't know.
But I cannot bring myself to pray for any predator hiding like a wolf in shepherd's clothing. God will deal with those, and I hope the civil authorities do, too.
If the priest is married, his wife can care for the child.
This dilemma doesn't seem to be a problem for the married doctors I know.
We have married priests in the Church today: Anglican converts, three of whom are pastors of very large parishes in Ft. Worth.
That's far from "part-time."
You haven't heard the worst of it.
In two dioceses I know of, bishops are taking back men who left the priesthood to marry outside the Church (technically, "living in sin" their entire marriages), have divorced their wives, and have asked to come back.
If a priest was laicized, however, he can never come back to the ministry.
This is one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard of, yet it is happening.
There are many things about the church's prioritizing sins I just don't understand, frankly.
There was a pretty lady in my RCIA class. She was there to try to come to grips with her divorce. She had been married to a priest. He went back to being a priest without her.
Now that isn't so uncommon and at the time I thought his first duty was probably to the church. Years later I am having slightly different thoughts. HE NEVER TOLD HER HE HAD BEEN A PRIEST. That was deceitful and grossly unfair. Uh oh. I'm being grossly unfair as I only heard her side of the story.
She did go on to marry someone else and probably never became catholic.
I don't know if your perception about the churchmen being more threatened by men who wish to marry females is greater than their fear of the havoc that homosexuals can cause. Why do they insist on protecting these priests even after they are removed from parishes? It really sends the wrong message, to me at least. Marry a woman and start from scratch. Cause trouble by abusing parishioners and you get retirement pay for the rest of your life. What's wrong with this picture?
All I know is that I get more upset about certain things that the church seems to gloss over sometimes. It all depends on one's vantage point I suppose.
I've been preaching this all along. But you won't see the media touch this. When this finally hits the mainstream, many eyes will be opened and even the Boy Scouts will be exonerated. This whole issue is about homosexuality.
BTW, when statistically looking at the perpetrators and not the victims (pedophiles typically have more victims, i.e. Goeghan with 130) one sees that the percentage of ephebophiles and pedophiles is 98% ephebophiles compared to 2% pedophiles.
It makes no sense. (Same with coed dorm rooms on campus). Why on earth would we create such huge sexual temptation for people by placing them in such close quarters 24 hours a day?
Has this friend of yours ever read anything written by the Pope? I've seen nothing in his writings to suggest that he doesn't like women. In my opinion, he not only likes women he RESPECTS us as well!