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« Ted Kennedy to Cardinals: You're All Bigots! | Main | Vatican: Traditional Family Under Radical Attack »

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Comments

Mark Hillingsworth

Bishop Brown clearly defies the Mind of the Church when he states "We need priests who see themselves in a wider snd more mature way, "WHATEVER" their sexual orientation. This statement, is more evidence that the memo Bishop Brown sent out supporting homosexual domestic partnership, reflects the direction he is taking the Diocese of Orange. Catholics who are concerned about this should contact Stephen Brady, President of Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc.
Web site: http://www.rcf.org Phone:(217) 632-5920/ Fax (217) 632-7054 The Catholics in the Diocese of Orange are also resposible to stand up for the Teachings of the Church. Mr. Brady has experienced great success exposing this cancer within our Church. He has made tremendous changes, Diocese by Diocese.

Joseph D'Hippolito

Stephen Brady is truly a godsend! He is a tireless worker for justice (real justice, not the "social" kind), integrity and accountability who gets virtually no support from Catholics nationwide.

Having said that, perhaps it's time for Catholics to consider the distinct possibility that mandatory celibacy is responsible for a lot of this mess. First, mandatory celibacy provides a cover for homosexuals to enter the priesthood. Second, celibacy is supposed to be a "gift;" as such, it cannot be mandated by any human authority, let alone church officials. The result is that square pegs get forced into round holes.

True, the Eastern Orthodox also have a grave sex-abuse crisis. But I believe (and if I'm wrong, somebody please correct me) that affect the celibate bishops, not the married clergy.

I'm not saying that a married clergy alone is the answer. But if celibacy is made optional, perhaps some of these problems will cease to be problems.

fedup

I agree that the celibacy requirement should be rescinded. I just read one of St. Paul's letters the other night and it clearly says that bishops should be "the husband of one wife." How did we get from this clear statement in the Bible that married bishops are desirable, to the ban on married bishops and priests (unless, of course, you're Episcopalian and the Church is in dire need of more priests)?

Kneeling 'n LavenderO

God bless Ms. Engel for having the courage to expose the evil within the church. Some have said her book will be more controversial than Michael Rose's Goodbye, Goodmen.

john chrysostom

The problem isn't celibacy. The problem is a lack of holiness. I have often wondered if Joseph is affiliated with the dissident group, Voice of the Faithful. His latest post makes me worry he may at least sympathize with that organization.

Here's the thing: most child abuse of a sexual nature is done by married men, and as Joseph admits, the Eastern church has not been immune to the sex abuse scandals (nor have protestant denominations for that matter). It seems like a non sequitor to claim that changing Church discipline on clerical celibacy would help in any significant way, given those facts.

I suppose the fantasy involved is that not having sex is bad or inhuman, and that clerical celibacy asks too much of people, so they snap and have sex with teenagers.

Most of the victims of the abuse were boys. Banning all homosexuals from ordination would be a significant step to wiping out most of the abuse (based on an honest assessment of the John Jay Report cited in the opening post).

Would allowing priests to marry stop homosexual priests from being attracted to teenaged boys?

I am appalled that anyone would suggest that if a woman were available to be a sexual outlet for a sexually deviant priest, then the scandals would not have been as significant.

Who would want to marry a man who is sexually attracted to teenaged boys (or girls for that matter)? Do people honestly think that such deviance would be mitigated by the availability of a woman as a sexual outlet? That doesn't say much for the dignity of women!

Why don't groups like VOTF call for a ban on homosexual ordinations? That would make a significant difference!

 Maria

Joseph...I'm surprised! That didn't sound like you. I've always agreed with just about everything you've said, but not this. How can you "get it" in all of the other evil actions of these wolves, but think that its celibacy. Now you actually sound like them. Where is your zeal? What happened to personal holiness? Many serial rapist have a wife at home, while they sneak out to rape. Don't get mad at me but you let me down.

JDM

Throughout much of the Catholic Church history, there seems to be an ever lurking issue with the sexual drives of those who take this vow of celibacy. Illegitimite children, homosexuality, pedophilic clergymen, etc...all these negatively viewed cases.

I don't agree with vows. I don't agree with casocks or habits or anything that attempts to stump our god-given nature.

If the problem is a lack of holiness, then holiness needs to be defined again. In my opinion, there is too much superstition, frivolty, pride, and abuse associated with some abstract ideal of sactity. I know I've been mislead by "devotion" before.

I don't blame the person, or the church, for the surge of sexual issues that have erupted - I blame a faulty ideal of service to a likely misunderstood idea of God. I suppose it might be better to do something than nothing, but we should learn from our mistakes.

Kit

Joseph,

I too have thought maybe if priests were allowed to get married that would be the answer to ridding the church of all the gay priests. As you may already know the church does allow married priests if the man was married before he converted to Catholicsm (anyone correct me if im wrong). With the way things a going though if they did allow priests to get married most of the gay priests would be demanding that they be allowed to get married too and then we would have more women wanting women ordinations.

Jack

So now we are as a church going to accept homosexual priests into the priesthood because the Bishops, they themselves by most account 50% gay, are for it. And one wonders why the sacrament of marriage is in such shambles over these past 40 years in the Catholic church as well as the lack of outcry over abortion-because as homosexuals, and many openly at that, why should they care?

The church will soon loose her 4 Marks as one who was here 100 years ago would not recognize her today. She is really no longer visible and is becoming sort of like the UN who has no power, throws out a blurb every now and then and then people go on with their lives. The church, in allowing pedophila and the changes of Vatican II to flourish and to become "modern" and more like the world-instead of demanding the world become more like her, as she did for her first 1900 years or so, has compromised her teachings to the point that one does not take her seriously. A return to a sacred liturgy that promotes the worship of God instead of Man, a strict catechism and canon law and clergy that demand respect will be the only solution

Until then, we shall seek and pray for a Pope as St Pius X to restore sanity and try and seek out tradition and faith in a church governed by the wolf

God bless

Jason

Celibacy has nothing to do with this, unless your definition of celibacy is not having sex with underage human beings. There are opportunities all over the place for discreet sexual contact, so there is no need for anyone to violate a child because they can't take celibacy anymore. Talking in this way is also a slap in the face to 98% of the incredible priests out there who take their vow seriously. If you molest or have sex with an underage person, you are a criminal. Unfortunately, the case is that the priesthood gives sexual criminals healthy access to trusting children. I won't even go as far as to say it is a homosexual problem, because that casts all homosexuals as criminals. This is a criminal problem. Keeping homosexuals out of the priesthood may accomplish something, but keeping out and kicking out criminal deviants will be the 100% solution. Our society seems to think that the answer to lower standards is to just lower the standards. Sad.

JDM

It's not just a criminal problem. If the fruit is bad on the tree, it isn't just a bad fruit problem. There's an issue with the actual system - not an issue confined to the person alone. Maybe not even stopping at the system, but a situation which involves society in general as well. Homosexual priests aren't the "problem" - they are the result.
Needless to say, the criminal acts are only ripple effects to be expected.

I am always appalled when I read of statements which desire for the Catholic Church's former days of "power." The "demanding the world to become more like her" attitude will never work for the church again. Open and civilized communication is where the Catholic Church is at now, however uneventful that may sound.

Jason

JDM,

Are you saying that the "system" of priesthood creates sexual criminals? If you are saying that, what evidence can you show to back that rather extreme charge up? Hopefully I am misreading your comment but I don't think so. I think the main point being overloooked here is that a criminal act is being commited when you have sexual relations with someone underage. Normal people who get "horny", excuse the crass term, don't go out searching for underage partners. If you are someone who is willing to destroy a young person's life by commiting a sex act with them, chances are you would do that whether a priest or not. You seem to think that striving for an unreachable ideal, pushes people into these crimes. Give me a break.

JDM

Jason
It is an extreme charge that I have. Good. Taking vows are extreme measures.
What a normal person does when he/she is sexually excited is not my concern, but we know what some priests are able to do. Priest have kids around them all the time.

I am not hating on the poor priests. I believe that they are responsible for their misbehavior, but may not be the entire cause of it.

The supernatural life of a religious needs to be evaluated. They have ideals/vows which are man-made and subject to corruption. They do snap and commit crimes.


Jack

One of the most clearly defined sacrament in sacred scripture that Our Lord clearly called as sacred is marriage between a man and a woman. His first miracle was performed at Cana, a wedding feast. A priest is supposed to be acting in the likeness of Christ, taking vows and receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders.

How can a church, and Pope B16 and the Bishops sidestep this immoral issue as they have to date, and not done away with the homoesexuality in the priesthood. I would rather have 50% less priests than there are now, as Our Lord said that many are asked but few are chosen anyway. It is not quantity but quality. Are these Bishops concerned that if the layperson has to spend an additional 5 minutes on the communion line they will stop going to church, as most have anyway?

This should not even be a discussion, and for these corrupt Bishops to be moving around these pedophiles as Cardinal Law did, and then rewarded with a cushy job in Rome by JPII "the great"-one should be ashamed

Joseph D'Hippolito

For the record, I am not a member of VOTF (or the K of C or any other Catholic organization). I also do not believe that a married priesthood is a panacea; a married priesthood poses its own problems (not the least of which are financial and emotional support) that the Church does not currently have the means to deal with.

But I don't think we should be so blind as to pretend that mandatory celibacy might not be factor, especially if it gives overt homosexuals a cover.

Obviously, a bigger factor (as Jason and Jack alluded to) is the lack of discipline and accountability that priests and bishops enjoy -- and that nobody seems to want to do anything about. And that's not a new problem.

John Chrysosdom comments, "I am appalled that anyone would suggest that if a woman were available to be a sexual outlet for a sexually deviant priest, then the scandals would not have been as significant."

John, there would still be scandals, though of a different nature. Back in Italy, my grandfather went to a minor seminary. He chose not to become a priest because of the bad clerical examples he saw: priests who were provided with prostitutes.

In any case, something is obviously rotten with the system. Priests and bishops have acted as if they can get away with anything, and have been doing so for centuries. Honest Catholics must look at everything -- and, I mean everything -- to root this corruption out from our midst.

Loyolalaw98

The previous poster who put the origin of this problem at a "lack of holiness" was right on the mark.

The clerical system as a whole is still reeling from decade after deade of change. One might question whether the sexual scandal is the problem or a symptom of a larger problem.

One should remember too that we only know about the pedophelia scandal beacuse the clergy involved broke the CIVIL law. The clergy who have active sex lives, gay or straight, with other adults are not caught in that "legal" spotlight.

The starting point for a solution to these issues is found in the rich history of "genuine" reform that the Church has gone through over the millenia. I highlight the word reform to juxtapose genuine reform from the supposed reforms of VCII.

First, we could look to someone like St. Augustine. When confronted with unruly and disobedient clergy in his diocese, he restructured the clerical life of diocesan priests to make them live in community. He took personal responsibility for their actions. Regrettably novel thoughts given the episcopacy today.

Second, why not involve the laity? We seem to be the group that most wants and needs holy clergy. If Pope Pius X could set up lay "committees of vigilance" to root out the modernists, why couldn't a similar structure help root out the "filth" of bad clergy?

Finally, on a pessimistic note, should we expect anything if the leadership of the Church, especially the Holy Father, does nothing?

Years ago on his first visit to America, Pope John Paul II was quizzed by American reporters on the plane coming over. They kept peppering him with statistics about the levels of disbelief among American Catholics. The Holy Father laughed and the reporter askled him why? JPII responded "You Americans must understand that Christ's Church is not a democracy."

He was right. Our Church is not a democracy, it is a monarchy, and unless our Sovereign, or in this case his Vicar the Pope, rules - no one else can do it for him.

Kevin in Dallas

The problem is not celibacy, the problem is holiness. If allowing priest to marry is such a wonderful idea, then why is the shortage of priest in the Greek Orthodox Church much more severe than in the Latin Church? The problem for the Church isn't so much the sexual abuse itself, but rather the way in which the Bishops have handled the abusers once discovered. By discretely reprimanding the offending priest and then quietly moving him to a different parish, the Bishops have neglected the rest of their flock. The dioceses have become vulnerable to civil lawsuits and the offending priest is able to prey on victims in a new parish. The Bishops have sacrificed their whole flock in order to save one "errant" priest. The Church in this country has to become more discerning as to who can become a priest. Having a fewer number of priest who are of high quality is much more important than just having a high quantity of priest of questionable quality.

Tony

Are Homosexual Priests A Gift To The Church?

Sure! Like a loaded cigar.

Joseph D'Hippolito

Our Church is not a democracy, it is a monarchy, and unless our Sovereign, or in this case his Vicar the Pope, rules - no one else can do it for him.

And if the Pope is misfeasant -- as JPII was concerning the clerical sex-abuse crisis -- then what are faithful priests and laypeople supposed to do?

This is why Catholics must take canon law into their own hands, as I've suggested concerning Brown in Orange County, Calif. They must force Rome to act. Rome is plagued by isolation, lethargy and self-importance. When they see that the "good little Catholics" are no longer sheepishly compliant, they will act (if only to save their pathetic hides).

Unfortunately, the whole "church-is-not-a-demoncracy" cliche is nothing but a dodge to keep the laity and clergy from asserting their legitimate, canonical rights against corrupt episcoparchs. It's institutionalized arrogance designed to keep such episcoparchs isolated, arbitrary and unaccountable.

It's also unbiblical, for the NT says that the redeemed will rule with Christ once the Second Coming occurs.

If the faithful have to bring every single suspicious priest and misfeasant bishop to canonical trials, then so be it. That might be the only way of preserving the Church. It's obvious we can't rely on our "shepherds."


JDM

"This is why Catholics must take canon law into their own hands, as I've suggested concerning Brown in Orange County, Calif. They must force Rome to act."
-Joseph

Take canon law into their own hands? And what? Throw the book at Rome? (The 1982 JPII version, I'm sure)

Rome is doing what it can in this troubled world. But what can Rome do? Christ established a church for souls, not a military.

What I see is not a corrupt clergy, but a poor system. Rome is still running on DOS in a high-speed world. For heaven's sake, what is the hierarchy's accumulative age? That age might go good for reason, but not action.

I'm not trying to sound like a secret anti-Catholic. I'm just trying to make sense of it all.


>What I see is not a corrupt clergy, but a >poor system. Rome is still running on DOS in >a high-speed world.

Uno, Dos, Tres

Maybe the Vatican should be running on the Trinity?

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse

Rome has little more authority over the Weaklands and McBriens of the church than it does over the Kisslings and Kerrys. One cannot force obedience, but request it, and if it is given, then all is well.
The deviance and defiance of those within the Church are just symptoms of dead or diseased branches, ones that need pruning for the health of the rest of the branches on the Vine. So, let us pray for a good pruning, just don't be surprised if you get a little snipped here and there.

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