our view

Catholic soul searching


Whether or not the pope of the Catholic Church could be prosecuted for alleged cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests is irrelevant. We should not be concerned with who is held responsible for these horrible acts to children in the past. The way it looks, there are many to blame — too many. Maybe the pope is one of them; maybe he isn’t. Much time and money could be spent determining this. Meanwhile pedophile priests will continue to prey on children. Rather than point fingers, we need to determine the cause, and quickly.

The real question is, why do so many priests become pedophiles? Or, maybe more appropriately, why do so many pedophiles become priests?

A man who attended the seminary told us he knew several young men who desired to become priests in hopes to address what they felt — or were told in their upbringing — were sexual deviances. Many were homosexuals who, out of guilt, prayed for forgiveness and hoped a life of celibacy would “heal” them of their “inflictions.” Most did not make it through seminary school, we are told, and chose other paths. But some did and continue to do so. Those with other “inflictions” prayed for healing, too. The priesthood has been a magnet for young men who don’t fit the Catholic “norm” to search for healing. The “healing” doesn’t seem to happen, and the lives of many children have been damaged as a result.

The Catholic Church’s requirement that priests be celibate is the cause. Requiring these healthy young males to refrain from sexual activity has and will continue to result in sexual deviance. The Catholic Church argues that most priests have been able to uphold their vows, but in recent years it has become overwhelmingly obvious that too many others simply can’t. Human beings have natural sexual urges that need satisfied, in one form or another. Denying men this need may meet the church’s requirement for self-inflicted pain in efforts to “carry the cross,” but at what price? The end result can no longer be denied.

The Catholic Church has some soul searching to do. We should not be concerned with the pope’s immunity or resignation. (He will be immune, and he won’t resign.) We should be concerned with the Catholic church’s denial of the root of the problem — sex. CV

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