Just watched PBS’ excellent long-running Frontline — the only televised news magazine that’s still good at this point (thank God for PBS), the episode entitled Secrets of the Vatican. Well done as always. The rampant sex abuse and the ensuing regulatory of cover-ups through the church’s history was shocking, even though like most I was already quite familiar with the rumors.
Besides the fact that the Vatican/ Catholic Church is an extremely powerful & wealthy global empire disguised as a “religion” and has committed innumerable atrocities since it’s formation. After all, what is “The Catholic Church” but the thinly disguised Roman Empire post-the fall of Rome but with a new name? There’s that. And that’s a different story. The argument of whether or not a very profitable corporation that has amassed so much wealth and power through the centuries that it’s considered it’s own sovereign nation-state and country should be allowed to be called a non-profit tax-exempt religion is definitely debatable. But to many it IS still their religion, which we need to respect, no matter how difficult it feels to those of us on the outside.
BUT…If they do really want to “reform” and begin anew to cleanse their soiled reputation as they now claim, then why not let priests get married in order to rid the organization of the primary problem that seems to be causing most of these sex abuse problems? There is absolutely nothing in the bible that states emphatically that this new religion’s leaders need to be unmarried or celibate. And if there is, or they believe there to be, as with many things in that ancient tome, one is sure it can be “up for debate” due to issues of translation.
This inability of priests (and nuns for that matter) to be able to express their God-given natural human desires for love and intimacy seems to be the obvious missing piece in the solution they are looking for. EVEN if it is “the world’s largest closet of secretly gay men” as some insiders claim, wouldn’t it be better for them to just slowly reveal that and still let them marry or at least partner up? All that sexual mental and emotional repression cannot be good for them. Frankly I don’t see how they’ve made it this long. It’s no wonder that there has been so many frequent and rampant sexual abuse incidents reported in modern times. In addition there are reports that the institution is literally on the verge of bankrupcy in the human resource department — i.e. there aren’t enough people volunteering to become priests globally to fill all the vacancies cropping up all over the world. But is it any wonder? Who in their right mind in this day and age would volunteer to be celibate, both physically and emotionally, for the rest of their lives? Anyone who WOULD volunteer for such a thing should surely be suspect. It just isn’t natural.
Having been raised catholic, I understand the ideology that originally created and is still currently used to justify and sustain this primitive law and practice: the priest is meant to be so fulfilled by the “love of God alone” that the position affords him the ability to transcend his human need for love and intimacy from other human beings. But this ideal, despite how noble and valiant, obviously didn’t work in practice. It’s akin to forming a hypothesis before a science experiment begins and then refusing to accept the conclusion and change that hypothesis once the experiment was completed. It’s denial.
There are hundreds of million of people all over the world who still cling to this original form of Judeo-Christianity as their main religion, perhaps simply because it was the first formal incarnation of the once-new religion or perhaps for no other reason than they were born into it and thus it has been thoroughly indoctrinated into their psyche. Perhaps some who still practice Catholicism are intelligent and well thought out individuals who really do believe it is the way the truth and the light for them spiritually. Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that it still possesses a very large following of believers. Some people love all that ritual and pomp and spectacle that this particular faith tradition offers, regardless of how completely opposite it is of the original teachings of the man and ideas the church was founded on, i.e. Jesus of Nazareth. (Surely Jesus would never don such ridiculous costumes and carry himself in such a hideously ornate and materialistic fashion as today’s popes cardinals and bishops do.)
But because of this very large and present mass of people who still long for their spiritual fulfillment through this institution it is in the Church’s best interest to do its best to atone and make amends for its transgressions throughout the centuries of human history and reform itself in order to continue to provide a spiritual outpost to these people. They obviously have a lot of work to do in this area. Newly elected “Pope Francis” appears to understand this need. But even he probably sees the suggestion to transform the church’s law that forbids priests from marrying a pretty tall order I’m sure. But the question is, can they afford NOT to? How much longer in the modern world we live in can this organization continue to burden itself and it’s clergy with such an outdated and unrealistic rule?
Many Catholics and non Catholics alike will point out that the Catholic Church does a lot of good and charitable acts around the world, from feeding the hungry and housing the poor to providing grief counseling to those in need or spiritual peace and solitude to those with heavy hearts. Though these services are now being more than adequately provided by other religious groups AND non-religious groups in the private sector — NGOs and non-profits abound in the modern world, there is still more a need for these services than we can presently fill. So it is easy to justify the organization’s existence. But not if the cost is greater than the benefit derived by society, e.g. a continued battle with allegations of sexual abuse of and misconduct with children.
This is simply inexcusable. And these men who are guilty of such crimes should be tried and punished according to the law; suspension from their positions or losing their titles is simply not enough. If sexual repression is the primary cause of such acts, which one assumes it is, then let us force upon the Catholic Church the importance of making this change sooner rather than later.
Even if a large majority of them turn out to be gay, as it appears they might be — we don’t often hear of abuse of young girls for some strange reason, but almost always young boys, so be it. The world is now ready to accept these men for who they are. Yes the “problem” is obvious: the Church, as it likes to be called, officially labels homosexuality as “sinful”. But isn’t being blatantly dishonest and deceitful even more sinful?
It certainly won’t be an easy transition. If it is suddenly revealed that tens of thousands of heretofore “holy men of the cloth” come out of the closet and admit to being gay, the Catholic church is going to face a major PR and marketing crisis. They will lose a big chunk of their followers at the outset of such an announcement. But why? Because it is they who started this false rumor that homosexuality is a sin to begin with. But so be it. They started it. They can end it. And eventually they can help cure a major ill in our global society. Sexual orientation prejudice is an aspect of human consciousness that has no place in the modern world. Perhaps the only way to completely rid ourselves of this wickedness is through an organization as large wealthy and powerful as the Catholic Church. They can simply “ordain” it to be no longer true or valid an argument. Now THAT would be real service to others and certainly make more of a positive difference in the world than anything else this waning institution could possibly do.
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone