Monday, September 27, 2010

Sexual deviancy amongst the clergy

In an article entitled 'Celibacy of the clergy' found in the Catholic encyclopedia an attempt is made to defend the churches position that priests and those in the higher orders are to remain celibate, the reason given for this in a nut shell is that a celibate priest will dedicate himself completely and wholly to those things of God. It states that for a clergy to have a wife and family would not allow for him to fulfill his duties in the service of the Lord since his mind is also preoccupied with that of his family and if it came between putting his family or the church first that he would always choose family. With a family his service to the Lord would not be a way of life but rather more like an occupation.

In this short article I am going to state my position on this view and although in the article from which the churches position was drawn it has been refuted somewhat I intend to prove that it is a valid argument nonetheless. One of the reasons I believe that the Catholic church is plagued with scandals of sexual misconduct is that it seeks for its clergy to suppress what I like to refer to as their "natural instincts". I firmly believe in the theory of evolution and accept the fact that we are in fact a part of the wild kingdom, and upon being so we are genetically coded with certain instincts that are not unique but rather common to all species of life on this planet. Those instincts are that of survival and the propagation of our species or race. Natural selection teaches that a species must do both and not only that but that they must also have the ability to adapt to subtle changes in their environment to survive. Those species that fail to adapt end up going extinct.

The principal means through which one is to propagate the species and in so doing thus increase the survival rate of said species is through the act of sexual intercourse, although this should be done responsibly. Even the biblical God is said to recognize this fact when one of his principle commands to Adam and Eve and others in the scriptures was to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:27,28 27. God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.28. God blessed them, saying to them, 'Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.' (New Jerusalem Bible) In the old testament the tribe of Levi was designated by God as the priests of the tabernacle and they all had families and stayed true to the initial commandment God gave man. Paul in the new testament was the one that stated that not all can bear the burden of being celibate but recommended it as a better way to serve God wholly. Here it is in Pauls words: 32. I should like you to have your minds free from all worry. The unmarried man gives his mind to the Lord's affairs and to how he can please the Lord;33. but the man who is married gives his mind to the affairs of this world and to how he can please his wife, and he is divided in mind.34. So, too, the unmarried woman, and the virgin, gives her mind to the Lord's affairs and to being holy in body and spirit; but the married woman gives her mind to the affairs of this world and to how she can please her husband.35. I am saying this only to help you, not to put a bridle on you, but so that everything is as it should be, and you are able to give your undivided attention to the Lord. 1Corinthians 7:32-35 (New Jerusalem Bible)

What the church fails to emphasize is that this in and of itself is not a commandment but rather Pauls own opinion on the matter he makes this clear: 25. About people remaining virgin, I have no directions from the Lord, but I give my own opinion as a person who has been granted the Lord's mercy to be faithful. 1 Corinthians 7:25 (NJB) Man is an instinctual animal and the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to rationalize things, to think things through. Before fornication was declared a sin man was doing it all the time, and even after it was a sin man continued to do it even unto this day. As a matter of fact taken in its cultural context the so called sin of adultery was loosely defined since in those days bigamy was not considered a sin. Many of the patriarchs and other figures in the bible had multiple wives and even concubines.

It is my contention that the suppression of the sexual drive is one of the many leading causes of the sexual misconduct that plagues the Catholic church and also Protestants as well. Although protestants are allowed to marry, there are very strict rules as to who you can marry etc. Of course there are also other psychological factors that may contribute to these problems but I think that suppression is the main catalyst.


  1. Anal sodomy? Surprise! Just google The First Scandal Adam and Eve.

  2. Thanks Robert, I will look into it.

  3. I agree with you about suppressing one's natural instinct leading to sexual misconduct. What I find really fascinating though, about the Catholic Church, is that so many of their clergy's natural instincts take the form of pedophilia. If a normal man takes a vow of celibacy and falters, then it stands to reason that he would break his vows with a woman. This does happen from time to time, however, it seems that more often than not these clergymen break their vows with children.
    I think that heterosexual and homosexual clergymen can leave the church more easily to enter into relationships because that is an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Pedophiles have no where else to go, as our society will not recognise this as an alternative. Then there is the fact that they are in a powerful authoritative position and use it as a means of exploiting the vulnerable- children.
    What are your thoughts?

  4. I think it all comes down to easy access. A priest or clergy of any religion because of his status is put in a position of trust. Most people don't think twice about leaving their children unattended in the hands of the church or clergy. The clergy on the other hand uses his position of authority to intimidate a child into sexual relations etc. But it is also one of those things where they don't expect the child to speak because "no one would believe you" seems to be the apparent mantra of the clergy.