Catholic Church Rocked Again by Sex Scandal

Seriously, do we need any more evidence that the absurd celibacy culture in the Catholic Church is responsible for the ceaseless scandals involving predatory and inappropriate sexual behavior? From the Guardian:

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the UK’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has resigned as the head of the Scottish Catholic church after being accused of “inappropriate acts” towards fellow priests.

News that Pope Benedict had accepted the cardinal’s resignation as archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh came after the Observerdisclosed a series of allegations by three priests and one former priest.

O’Brien has denied the allegations and had been expected to continue in his post as archbishop until mid-March, when he was due to retire at age 75.

However, in a statement released by the church on Monday, it emerged that the pope had accepted O’Brien’s resignation a week ago, on 18 February.

In the statement, O’Brien apologised to any people he had let down and said he did not want the controversy to overshadow the election of the new pope.

Until there are some seismic shifts in the Church’s attitude towards sex and celibacy, this is going to continue forever and ever. To deny sexuality is to deny being human, meaning priests are required to suppress fundamental parts of their personality. And evidently, this suppression doesn’t last forever. Quoting the Bible itself (Luke 8:17): “For nothing is hid, that shall not be made manifest; nor anything secret, that shall not be known and come to light.” Perhaps the Church might want to start looking at the meaning behind the teachings in the Gospels, rather than dressing up in silly hats and forcing priests to pretend they’re straight….

UPDATE: I’d like to respond to a reader’s comment about me equating homosexuality with pedophilia in this blog post – not something that I intended to do at all. Here’s my explanation: I’ve done a fair bit of reading about the topic (in part because I was the victim of a sexual assault as a teenager myself). One of the biggest reasons priests molest young boys is because they are incredibly sexually immature themselves. This is in part due to sexual repression from an early age (and in many cases sexual abuse) that leads them to be unable to develop relationships with people their own age. It works the other way around too of course – sexually immature straight people would just abuse children of the opposite sex. I’m pretty sure that had many of the priests been allowed to embrace their sexuality from an early age, they would not try to engage children in sexual acts in adulthood. I am in no way blaming homosexuality for crimes against children.

  • JozefAL

    “Perhaps the Church might want to start looking at the meaning behind the teachings in the Gospels, rather than dressing up in silly hats and forcing priests to pretend they’re straight….”

    Ben. Please rewrite your final sentence. Given the way so many anti-gay bigots already believe that gay men are all pedophiles (no matter how many millions of studies show that hetero men account for well over 95% of all child molestations) and that all the molestations in the Church are because of “gay priests,” the LGBT community certainly doesn’t need for them to latch on to a “liberal” blogger’s words validating their beliefs.
    I trust you didn’t intend for your comment to come off the way it did, but seriously, it needs a revision.

    • Christopher Foxx

      What JozefAL said. It’s not just prejudicial and feeds homophobia, It’s inaccurate. Priests don’t fondle and rape altar boys and other priests because they’re gay. It’s because, as you correctly note, Ben, because they’re repressed. And it’s other males that are most easily available.

      Prisons would be another example. Based on the sexual activity in them, are we to conclude that most felons are gay and lesbians? Or is it that folks go for any port in a storm…

    • Benthedailybanter

      Hey Jozefal, I get where you are coming from, but let me explain my reasoning here. I’ve done a fair bit of reading about the topic (in part because I was the victim of a sexual assault as a teenager myself). One of the biggest reasons priests molest young boys is because they are incredibly sexually immature themselves. This is in part due to sexual repression from an early age (and in many cases sexual abuse) that leads them to be unable to develop relationships with people their own age. It works the other way around too of course – sexually immature straight people would just abuse children of the opposite sex. I’m pretty sure that had many of the priests been allowed to embrace their sexuality from an early age, they would not try to engage children in sexual acts in adulthood. I am in no way blaming homosexuality for crimes against children. I’ll add this as an update to the article.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Ben, thanks for the update. However, with the “sexually immature straight people would just abuse children of the opposite sex” you’re still suggesting that priests who abuse male children are gay. If I hear you correctly, you’re suggesting that if they were heterosexual they’d abuse females. I argue that that isn’t true.

        They have repressed sexual urges and they take whatever outlet is available. For priests, typically, young boys are more readily available than young girls. Similar things happen in prisons, on sailing ships (no cabin girls available) or anywhere where the sexes are separated.

        Because it’s boys that were abused, the priests must not be heterosexual is a faulty conclusion. Boys were abused because they’re what’s available.

      • JozefAL

        Thank you for the update. As I wrote, *I* knew you honestly didn’t intend your words to come off the way they did, but we should always be aware that it only takes one homophobe, trolling the internet, to find a comment, take it completely out of context, and then tout it as “proof” supporting his bigotry.
        However, I also have to agree with Christopher’s comment that your words DO lend themselves to a reading that the priests abusing male children are gay.