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.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.