Our Screwed Up Priests

A disturbing report on NPR finds little evidence within the Catholic church over the years to prevent "treated" child-rapists from returning to work with kids. But what struck me was a psychiatrist's analysis of what's really going on:

One of the biggest challenges in treating priests, Lothstein says, is that they don't have the same kind of sexual experiences -- or history of talking about such experiences -- that an ordinary adult may have. "Many of the priests tend to be psychosexually immature," he says. "They've never taken a course in healthy sexuality."

He says some of them have gone into minor seminary at age 14 and developed "a sense of self without having appropriate lines of dating, meeting other people, experimenting with touch, kissing, ordinary sexuality."

If celibacy is a mature choice, it can be a wonderful act of self-giving. But when mandatory for all, it prevents many healthy men from entering the priesthood, offers a cover for those terrified of their own sexuality and thereby creates a priesthood dominated by the emotionally immature. The hierarchy cannot grapple with these obvious facts of life and human nature. Because it would require re-thinking the dogma in their bunker. And thinking is not allowed in Benedict's church - at least thinking not done by the Pope.