Monday, May 18, 2009

On the plus side, he wasn't raping little boys.

This guy. decided celibacy wasn't working out for him so he got a girlfriend. Sounds reasonable to me. I mean breaking vows is a weak and cowardly thing to do but he didn't hurt anyone. Considering the well documented alternative, having an adult partner should be encouraged among priests who can't keep it in their pants.

Of course as you can imagine the church doesn't see it this way. A few hundred kids getting raped is really a small price to pay, in exchange for their inflexible dogma that priests can't get any. As long as it looks like people believe their lies the church doesn't care about actual people getting hurt at all. For example when this poor little girl was brutally and repeatedly raped. The church had no problem with her being raped. The rapist has probably already been forgiven and insured a place in heaven. The Church was instead pissed that she was given an abortion rather than being forced to die giving birth to the twins the rapist impregnated her with.

Just a few more examples of why humanity needs to outgrow this silly God myth. The sooner we close the book on this prehistoric crap the better off we will be.


Leigh said...

I always thought the celibacy thing was eally weird. I mean, I kind of get it, making yourself pure for god, etc. But, really? I mean, humans are born to screw, sooner or later, in a healthy adult, the urge to have sex will win out.
Let them marry for God's sake. They're human, let them be human.

Ryk said...

RAmen. Or better yet let them stop being Catholic or any other religion for that matter.

Jennifer said...

I completely agree that the celibacy requirement is idiotic (well, the whole damn religion is idiotic, but I'll try to stay on topic). I think the blanket unwillingness of the Catholic Church to even consider updating these requirements can only be described as childishly stubborn.

BUT (you knew that was coming)--
I think it's vital to clearly delineate the relationship between the celibacy requirement and the (relative) prevalence of pedophilia within the priesthood. You say, e.g. "A few hundred kids getting raped is really a small price to pay, in exchange for their inflexible dogma that priests can't get any."

I'm not sure if I'm interpreting you correctly, but it sounds like maybe you're suggesting that child rape is a *consequence* of being deprived of normal adult sexual relationships. If that's the case, I think you've got it backward. There are plenty of people in the world who can live out their entire lives with little to no sex without resorting to pedophilia. Pedophilia is not a 'sexual preference', it is a pathological fixation. It is not an 'outlet' that any sexually normal adult would choose, even in the longest dry spell.

Thus, I would argue that the celibacy requirement may *select for* people with odd sexual proclivities, who probably wouldn't have a sex life that could be considered within normal limits even if they didn't join the priesthood. This would include pedophilia and any number of other dysfunctions, but pedophilic tendencies are given privileged outlets because of the unfettered access to children (in a pedagogic or custodial role) that this job requires.

I don't mean to overgeneralize here--there are most certainly many priests with perfectly normal sexual impulses who simply chose to suppress them for what they consider is a higher calling...or if they don't suppress them they're just more discreet than the Florida dude. However, I think the celibacy requirement can and does provide some cover for men who wouldn't seek out normal (i.e. between consenting adults) sexual relationships even if they hadn't joined the church.

Of course you also have to consider the legacy effect here--abused children often grow up to be abusers themselves. How many offenders through how many generations has the quiet epidemic of sex abuse within the church spawned? It's chilling to contemplate.

Ryk said...


Sorry I didn't see this earlier. As regards pedophilia you are correct, however many if not most of those who prey on children are not pedophiles. Many are opportunity offenders who will take advantage of anyone for their own gratification. They do not choose children out of any paraphilia for children but because they make the easiest victims. A priest given incredible power and an assortment of children under his influence,can easily select the most vulnerable, groom them,break down their resistance and molest and rape them, sometimes for years.

There are in fact pedophiles who do not molest children. While I abhor anyone who hurts a child I do not hate pedophiles for their preference. Those who truly do not molest children, are in fact taking a moral stand. Not indulging their desires because they know the harm it would cause. I think the term pedophile is improperly used regarding child molesters. The term pedophile priest should be done away with and replaced with "child raping priest" because many are probably not actual pedophiles.

Jennifer said...

Ryk, I don't really disagree with anything you said. It's perfectly true that a good proportion of those who molest children do not meet the DSM diagnosis of pedophilia. That's not to say they're completely normal dudes (psychologically speaking), by any means (see, e.g.

This is sort of beside the point of my original comment, though, which was to try to pin you down on the relationship between celibacy and child molestation. As I stated, I disagree with your implication that the former begets the latter.

Coincidentally, as I wrote this out, the story about Alberto Cutie (the priest in your original post) joining the Episcopal Church came on the news. He's freeeeeee! (well, sort of)

Ryk said...

Actually I am very happy for him. I find it hard to bitch about episcopalians. They are my type of Christians. When some bible thing conflicts with what they want they are just "Ahh fuck it" Married priests? Of course. Womens equality? sure God likes that. Gay rights? well uh sure God likes that too. Basically if the Episcopal church likes it so does God. I am pretty down with that. They may still be worshiping an invisible sky daddy but at least their cool about it.

As to the celibacy/child abuse thing. I am not sure. It does seem like common sense that it isn't related. What you said about the church attracting that type is certainly more reasonable than blaming it on celibacy. However I still wonder. It seems to me that enforced celibacy is like enforced dieting, or enforced sobriety or anything else. The more you are denied what your body craves the more attractive that craving becomes. The "forbidden fruit" angle. Voluntary or even incidental celibacy may be harmless, but I think enforced celibacy could be a cause of sexual deviency. Look at prison enviroments. Admittedly inmates aren't a psychologically reliable test group, but if we assume normal ratio of hetero to homo orientation, prison culture shows a lot of straight guys having man on man sex or engaging in man on man rape. The rape can be explained by existing antisocial behavior psychology but the attraction to men by native heterosexuals is a function of enforced celibacy. I think a similar process leads to sexual abusiveness in priests.