Friday, March 26, 2010

On Pedophile Priests

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They're in the news again.

What is a rational person to make of these scandals -- are they corrupt perversions of Catholicism? A symptom of society's ills?

Or do they tell us something about the Church-- something unpleasant, something that we suspect and fear might be true?

I think it's time we stopped being squeamish about this issue and shone some healthy sunlight on what's actually going on.

The hallmark of a spiritualist philosophy like Catholicism is hatred of the material -- wealth, success, the body in general and sex in particular. The Church creates the pedophilia problem through two mechanisms: unearned self-esteem and repression.

The most glaring question is "why is it always BOYS"? Where are the priests molesting little girls? After all, despite pernicious myths, heterosexuals comprise the vast majority of sexual abusers. So why are the altar boys the ones that are always fleeing for their lives?

First issue: Unearned Self-Esteem. The priests in question are obviously homosexuals of SOME stripe. Why have they gone into the priesthood? The answer lies in the church's own teachings about homosexuality. They preach that it is evil and so any true believer who nevertheless grows up gay is going to have both a spiritual dilemma and an existential crisis. He will hate himself, and he will be unable to "come out" to a Catholic family. He will overcompensate and become an ever more fervent disciple of Christ. He will need a cover story as to why he does not have a girlfriend or a wife. A celibate priesthood is tailor-made to absorb gay catholics. By becoming priests, they become sources of PRIDE to their family, not shame. They are relieved of the burden of feigning heterosexuality, and they may believe their souls have been saved from everlasting torment. Looking in the mirror at their vestments, they feel a self esteem they had lacked as closeted and miserable gay teens.

And life is good for a while.

Second issue: Repression. Hatred of the body is unnatural and self-destructive. Celibacy is perverse and unwholesome. A lifetime without physical contact or intimacy will ultimately warp a personality. Sexual desire does not go away with self-denial, quite the opposite. I suspect many celibate priests are obsessed with sex and sexual fantasy and sublimate it into overeating or self-injury or other compulsive behaviors.

And sometimes they just can't take it anymore.

A child is an attractive sexual partner to such people not as a child per se, but as something that can be controlled, intimidated and silenced. Their fear of exposure as homosexuals is so great, and yet their need for human contact so dire, that many seem to express their sexuality only with those who can be strictly controlled and manipulated. I suspect that prostitution and perhaps bestiality are also common for the same reason. (I read a story recently on a Vatican male prostitute scandal HERE)

I think you can see from this brief sketch how the unnatural, pernicious and inhuman teachings of Catholicism (in particular) create unnatural, pernicious and inhuman behavior in its practitioners. And is that such a surprise?

The solution? The abandonment of priestly celibacy, of the perverse hatred of sexuality (specifically of homosexuality), and an alignment of religion with reason and human nature. Let people live and love in a guiltless, natural, honest and honorable way, and you would stop creating pedophiles.

It ain't gonna happen.

In order to see the beauty in sex (or in wealth) the church would have to abandon it's spiritualism, embrace reason, and espouse an ethics of rational self-interest rooted in the nature of man. It would have to be the opposite of what it is now. Think about this and the implications it has for the rest of the church's teachings.

I see organized religion as far more disturbed and "sinful" than the philosophies and lifestyles it typically condemns. I give it absolutely no moral credibility.

Religion has demonstrated time and again its incompatibility with human happiness. In its zeal to twist the natural into a guilty secret, it looses a horde of pathetic and victimized neurotics upon our innocent world.

--Richard GleavesBookmark and Share

4 comments:

  1. You are extremely insightful. Good post.

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  2. "In order to see the beauty in sex (or in wealth) the church would have to abandon it's spiritualism, embrace reason, and espouse an ethics of rational self-interest rooted in the nature of man. It would have to be the opposite of what it is now. Think about this and the implications it has for the rest of the church's teachings."

    if this were the underlying problem then there would be no pedophilia outside the church and this simply isn't the case.

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  3. Anonymous-- are you saying the rest of the culture is healthy on this issue? I don't think so.

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