This post, long in my mind, is inspired by my Good Friend, Anna Waldherr. I had gone through two of her posts on the page/category: catholic church sex scandals:
The two are given below,
(image from the post), and
Virginity and Celibacy Fascinates mankind, precisely because Everyone knows just How Difficult it is to Refrain from Sex.
In India, those who are close to a priest might ask: “How do You Sleep?” …I have been asked that.
You go to a Homeopathic doctor. He comes to know You are a priest. He asks: “What do You do for Sex?” (I know that patients are routinely asked about sexual behaviour in this treatment).
That is Why those who refrain from it, or claim they refrain from it(!) are held in such Awe, to the point of Veneration.
Yet there have been, and there Are those who gave up sex (sublimated, as some like to emphasise), for higher purposes, including religion. …Naughty man that I am, in the above I would include those who are Just Not Interested in sex for various reasons.
So far I was trying to point out that the Sex Drive is one of the Strongest.
As is my usual practice, shall speak Only of the catholic church.
We see in the Bible that ancient or even contemporary beliefs and practices were taken as a basis, but in Every case, Astonishingly New Conclusions were drawn.
The catholic priesthood and the Bible.
Christ had Not made ‘the Unmarried state’ a ‘condition’ for being one of His Apostles (by definition, chosen from among the chosen).
True, He had remained Unmarried, and people (particularly the church) will quote Matthew 19.12, the one about ‘Eunuchs for sake of the kingdom.’
Except for John the apostle, all the others are said to have been married.
(Above: depiction of Jesus healing Peter’s Mother in law. Luke 4:38-41.)
Hardly surprising in a society which considered marriage ‘Obligatory,’ vide:
‘…Male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth…” (Gen 1.27-8).
On the other side, the idea of ‘unmarried clergy’ started Many centuries after the Apostolic times. The people liked it, and the ‘church’ obliged. What the people like, the church is Eager to give.
A third element, if I may call it that, has to be considered. …THE LAITY would not like it if the church considers changes in this regard.
I state that the catholic church took up and promoted ‘celibacy,’ seeing the fascination it held for the masses.
Like a Bull dog, it is holding On to it.
All the above can be called
THE REASONS FOR THE UNMARRIED CLERGY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
As an Interlude, consider these:
Popes who were married
St. Peter, Apostle
St. Felix III 483-492 (2 children)
St. Hormidas 514-523 (1 son)
St. Silverus (Antonia) 536-537
Hadrian II 867-872 (1 daughter)
Clement IV 1265-1268 (2 daughters)
Felix V 1439-1449 (1 son)
Popes who were the sons of other popes, other clergy
|Name of Pope||Papacy||Son of|
|St. Damascus I||366-348||St. Lorenzo, priest|
|St. Innocent I||401-417||Anastasius I|
|Boniface||418-422||son of a priest|
|St. Felix||483-492||son of a priest|
|Anastasius II||496-498||son of a priest|
|St. Agapitus I||535-536||Gordiaous, priest|
|St. Silverus||536-537||St. Homidas, pope|
|Deusdedit||882-884||son of a priest|
|Boniface VI||896-896||Hadrian, bishop|
|John XI||931-935||Pope Sergius III|
|John XV||989-996||Leo, priest|
Popes who had illegitimate children after 1139
|Innocent VIII||1484-1492||several children|
|Alexander VI||1492-1503||several children|
|Paul III||1534-1549||3 sons, 1 daughter|
|Pius IV||1559-1565||3 sons|
|Gregory XIII||1572-1585||1 son|
Now let us examine
THE EFFECTS OF THE UNMARRIED CLERGY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
I remember Our Dear Father De’Cyper of Our Theologate in Ranchi telling Us:
“The vow of Chastity does not mean just being Celibate (Unmarried), but being ‘Chaste,’ [Not having (Any Kind of) Sex].”
Given that, unable to speak of times 30-40 years ago, I would say that
A mere 30% of priests (bishops and cardinals are priests) might not be having some kind of sex. In other words, 70% Do practise some kind of sex. (All ‘my’ numbers, of course!)
[ Before some ‘wise’ person tells me: ‘Stop washing Your dirty linen in public,’ let me say that this article goes Much further; towards a solution, albeit old, definitely Ignored. ]
Whatever the effects of this at the Pearly Gates, I want to focus on:
The EFFECTS of The Unmarried Priesthood Right here on Earth.
…When I was in the seminary, there was this guy one year my senior, (real case, You see), – who would invariably run his hand over the bum of anybody in front of him, particularly while climbing stairs. The last I checked, he is a senior priest, a well liked ‘preacher,’ to boot.
Once ‘I’ got his attention. Here come the ‘effects.’ I almost brought up (vomited, for those without the degree).
Those who have been Molested in More serious ways would laugh at me, for citing this.
Yes, a mere touch had been / could be So Repugnant, (I took to making Serious effort to avoid his ‘attentions’). Anybody who has had these kinds of Negative (sexual) experiences would understand.
When I was at a certain ashram in North India, a group of young Nuns who had been raped were brought in for a time of peace and quiet. They were walking Zombies, fearsome examples of the ‘effect’ under discussion here.
I know at least two grown men today, who, though ‘successful’ in their fields, are literally broken inside. Every sort of Decorum forbids Us to say anything More about them.
Do We Need such ‘Effects?’
This is the Most Important point here.
The Effects, which Include seemingly unerasable Shame, unnecessary Guilt, and Anger, produce Serious side effects of their own.
In short, give Rise to Sin.
When Christ has said, “”If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18.6, NIV.,
WHY have not this Abominable law, those who brought it into being, and those who keep it so, been Abolished?
What has happened is this:
Over this issue and many others, churches have catered to the ‘wishes’ of the people, (as had Aaron with the golden calf, (Exodus 32)), and to people through the ages saying: “Give Us Pleasant things.”
Moses had been Man enough to practise what he believed in and preached, that day. Today’s hierarchy proves to the world that they Are Eunuchs (with Apologies to Eunuchs; No offence intended. Just using age old examples).
About ‘pleasant things,’ a few quotes.
‘They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.’ (Isaiah 30.10).
‘For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires.’ (2 Timothy 4.3).
(About Jesus), ‘On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”‘ (John 6.60).
Christian Hierarchy, for a Long time, has fallen prey to mammon.
Showing You a couple of pics that have interested me very much.
Those who are interested in Cricket will remember that many cricket sportsmen, esp from the Caribbean, sport thick, heavy, silver(?) chains. …These gentlemen, seemingly priests, are rolling in gold.
But who am I to comment on that? …The ‘vatican bank,’ it seems, is a Major shareholder in Beretta Arms; which produces not just hand guns, but Military Rifles.
From the picture it seems Beretta produces even (Military) helicopters and Tanks!
The lifestyle of cardinals,
bishops, and even priests is luxurious.
The money for all this comes, and will keep coming from the ‘mass,’ as in the strength of the congregation.
The church does not want to lose its name as ‘The Most Numerous.’ …Loss in these numbers would also bring a Solid dent in the revenue. The church is More worried about these things than the Wrath of its Founder and Master.
Solutions to the issue of ‘Unmarried priesthood’ in the catholic church.
The catholic hierarchy, the leaders, have ‘conveniently‘ forgotten the words at the end of their favourite quote:
“The one who can accept this should accept it.” (Matthew 19.12, end).
The authorities would say, “Of course, if You can accept celibacy come forward for priesthood.”
But the point is, WHO gave them the authority to conjoin celibacy and priesthood, when, in Every case (in All translations), Christ made it a choice?
Ergo, Here’s what I call my ‘Solution.’
- Those joining for the priesthood, and even those already ordained, cannot and Should Not have Celibacy forced upon them. If they wish to marry, they should be allowed that; without being asked to forego the priesthood.
- Married Priesthood Should be allowed in the catholic church.
- Subsequently, those who think they want to ‘give up’ sex, (among the priests), cannot and Should Not be given Any higher regard.