The Core Problem

David Link:

I’m not staying up nights waiting for the Pope to apologize for his role in covering up – and I’d say offering tacit acceptance of – child rape by Catholic priests. As alcoholics and their loved ones know all too well, you can’t offer a sincere apology for something you don’t or can’t admit is a problem in the first place. Any apology from the Pope would be putting the cart before the horse. This isn’t a tragedy just of human frailty or even of bureaucratic self-preservation and corruption. The original sin here is doctrinal.

The problem isn’t celibacy – or only celibacy – it’s the Church’s cramped and careless view of nature, and specifically sexual nature.

The Church trumpets the notion that God has ordained sex only for procreation, and that God’s nature is itself being violated by every sexual act with any other intention; and even a correct intention isn’t enough if the act isn’t within a properly consecrated heterosexual marriage.  This is nature writ very small.

In contrast, the demand that priests be lifelong celibates is a decree to those who are merely human to defy nature itself.  What was originally crafted as a supreme sacrifice to God has turned into (if it has not always been) the institutional torture of human beings that plays out in these all too predictable everyday tragedies.  Yes, some priests don’t molest children.  Perhaps the Vatican is correct that the vast majority of priests are entirely innocent of the charge.

But if anyone believes the vast majority of priests is actually celibate, they certainly aren’t a vocal lot.   Any reasoned definition of nature must include human nature, which is what most Catholics obviously believe as they mock the Vatican’s mad directive about birth control.