Friday, November 28, 2008

Priests and Sex

Authorities in the Roman Catholic Church expect the priest to repress his sexual appetite by sublimating it through ascetical means. They perceive his sexual appetite as an alien force which must be denied.

Why?

Why treat it as an alien force needing to be curtailed when it is part and parcel of a priest’s nature as created by God and in His image?

Is there something wrong with sex? Is there something about sexual intimacy that defiles a priest or renders him ineffective as a priest? If so, what is it?

Or is it women? Why do celibate male Church officials believe that sexual intimacy with a woman renders a priest unclean and unfit for the priesthood?

The Church maintains that mandatory celibacy is somehow supposed to help priests love all people more effectively. However, untold numbers of us who have left the priesthood have found this to be untrue. We who have married and who continue in ministry have found that the love and intimacy we have with our wives has not diminished, in the least, the love we can give to others. Quite the contrary, the intimacy we share with our wives helps empower us to extend love and understanding to others even more effectively.

So, why should a priest have to sacrifice his God-given appetite for sexual union and love?

It appears there is no convincing answer to this question and the Church should, without delay, repent of its sexual oppression of priests by making celibacy optional for them once again.

What are your thoughts? Is there a rational reason why celibate male Church officials forbid priests to marry and celebrate God's gift of sexual intimacy?


Do they have a problem with women?

Click on the "comments" link below to share your thoughts.

33 comments:

Henry said...

Pope’s new edict on the priesthood
by Gay News

The Roman Catholic Church requires its priests to refrain from any sexual relationship, whether heterosexual or homosexual. So one might think that the sexual orientation of an aspirant for the priesthood would be a nonissue — especially in light of the distinction the church has drawn between homosexual conduct, which is considered sinful, and homosexual orientation, which is not.

One would be wrong.
The Vatican recently issued a statement re-emphasizing that even chaste gay men are to be barred from the priesthood. Never mind that large numbers of gay priests — estimates range from 25% to 50% — already serve the faithful, with most adhering to their vow of celibacy.

“Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood,” released Oct. 30 by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, not only reiterates the teaching that men with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies are unworthy of ordination, it also urges seminaries to enlist the aid of psychologists in screening candidates for homosexuality and other “psychic disturbances.”

The Vatican’s hard line against chaste gay priests seems to be inspired by the condemnation the church justly received for its passive response to the sexual abuse of minors — most of them male — by some priests. But, as Pope Benedict XVI conceded during his visit to the United States this year, homosexuality isn’t the same as pedophilia. That statement was a rebuke to conservative Catholics, and others, who have attempted to equate the two. (Despite the pope’s enlightened comments, he approved last month’s statement.)
Obviously, the church must be free to define the qualifications for its clergy based on theological arguments that many outside (and within) the fold find unpersuasive. In this country, the 1st Amendment allows the church to bar homosexuals from the priesthood, just as it does women. But even many Catholics will be horrified by the idea of the church employing psychologists to “out” prospective priests. Nor is it much comfort that the psychological scrutiny will be voluntary. What young man who feels called to the priesthood will feel free to object?

To be fair, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States — including the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — operates under its own guidelines for the screening of prospective priests, which can include consultations with psychologists. Although the U.S. policy professes to adhere to Vatican pronouncements (and was approved by the pope), it seems to adopt a narrower definition of “deep-seated” homosexual inclination, one that allows gays to be ordained as long as their sexual orientation doesn’t interfere with their ministry.

Yet even if the U.S. church is following a more compassionate policy than Vatican pronouncements would seem to authorize, the role of psychologists in screening applicants raises troubling ethical questions, as even psychologists who approve of such cooperation admit. Aiding the church in weeding out homosexuals is hard to reconcile with these guidelines of the American Psychological Assn.:

“Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status, and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.”

If the church — or a diocese within the church — takes the Vatican decree literally, it’s hard to see how a psychologist could lend his or her expertise to the thwarting of a young man’s aspiration to serve God simply because he happens to be gay. In our view, that’s not just cruel; it’s unprofessional.

From: http://www.gayguidemiami.com/inthenews/religion/popes-edict-priesthood/

Conrad said...

The church’s insistence on mandatory celibacy for priests does have a rational explanation, and it is this: the church is being irrational! Maybe that sounds corny, but it’s true!

It is irrational to impose a restriction that was once in order, but whose reason for existence (a cleric’s prerogative of passing a benefice on to his heirs) has ceased to exist.

It is irrational to uphold the biblical concept of women being “unclean” after menstruation and after miraculous life-bestowing childbirth, or declaring a man unclean following “an issue of seed,” and therefore unfit for presiding at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

It is irrational to allow fear to displace reason in determining policy. The church recognizes sex as a potential evil to be feared and tightly controlled to forestall dire imagined consequences.

It is irrational, and arrogant as well, to maintain the patriarchal assumption that Man is superior to Woman and that the priest must be male in imitation of Christ, when they essentially hold that the priest par excellence was Mary, the Mother of God, who made Christ present to the world, as the priest does at Mass.

All too often, people are helpless in the face of irrational governance acting out of fear. Unfortunately, that is where we sexual beings find ourselves in relation to the church, which feels the need to maintain control by demonizing sexual activity, demeaning women and gays, and safeguarding its clergy from the corruption that (they implicitly maintain) infects those who exercise and receive their God-given gift of sexual love.

Conrad said...

PS
What the Church needs today is someone who can harmonize its creed with what today's philosophers of good will have figured out about our nature and our world, as Thomas Aquinas did back in the 13th century. There is such a man, Charles Curran, who used to be tenured at Catholic University. But they canned him for his views about sexual morality.

Anonymous said...

i think that the problem of celibacy is it rests on the assumption or tradition of spirit and matter being torn apart from the blessed whole in which they are interwoven. woman is considered material, corporeal and fallen... an earthly non paradise element which would be a mistake to belove such a tainted material . In truth esoterically all is deeply saturated with gods love and with the love and mercy of god. an embrace betweem man and woman may be secularized or blessed union according to the pupil of the beholder . such beholding something as beautiful and valuable or valueless and a problem ...this shows you the esoteric maturity of the speaker .
which if we are willing to embrace within love the entire human development ....
we might have a place in our heart for many stations of belief .
i have loved a catholic priest for many years often feeling concealed even from my self and am seeking prayers and guidance .
i think the chalice of love benefits from the kind gaze of the entourage and can scarcely survive
unkind words and thoughts .
my priest when he is sent far away by the archbishop for three years at a time is gracious about me loving perhaps another person in the interim as he cannot care for me at times ,this is a complex blessing and i try to accept Gods lattices and
embellishments .
my priest is african and would be a traditional priest of his community and tribal elder had the catholics not colonized his west african nation
he has been a kind person to me and we have formed a hidden bond
which is both precarious and strengthening

i send my love and support to the women to love priests and the priests who have opend their heart to women

blessings

mary

pat said...

A man is a man, no matter how you dress him up

Anonymous said...

I think a lot has to do with Maneachaism (I'm sure I've spelled that incorrectly). Material is bad and spirit is good - to simplify it. Flesh vs. spirit, body vs. soul, etc...... Look at St. Augustine - his teaching on sex and sexuality STILL influences the Church today - a necessary SIN for reproduction? Please...... So, he goes from one extreme to the other and the Church "suffers" for the rest of their existence? Since when was sex bad in God's eyes? Sacred, I thought....... So, then we have Holy Orders ABOVE marriage - celibacy and continence ABOVE sexual relations within marriage! Since when was sex an impediment to being holy? "Be fruitful and multiply.....and fill the earth..." Out of the mouth of God! And it is my understanding that Jewish priests where married? To be single as a Jew was looked down upon, was it not? Sure, love has many expressions, but it seems to me that Godly Love is creative, and I mean that literally. When love enters the co-creative begetting of children, are we not as human beings entering into the realm of the sacred and of God? Could there be anything more "Godly" than that? Isn't the PHYSICAL sign of sexual relations EXTREMELY SACRED precisely because it incarnates? God PHYSICALLY begot His Son - WE beget children - connection here? The ministering that married couples do seems far "higher" than anything else that WE could possibly do...... Could there truly BE anything more profound in following God's example in co-creating?

Optional celibacy (and maybe the Church will actually get more vocations to the priesthood and religious life because there will be more families and children born from having a married clergy)!

Henry said...

Anonymous,
To control a priest's sexuality is to control them at their deepest level. It is dehumanizing to the priest but keeps him in total submission. It is all about control that has been given a spiritual facade.

Gerard said...

The comments given betray a severe lack of understanding or a willingness to understand about sex as well as celibacy and the priesthood itself.

Not one mention of grace, not one mention of giving something up for love of God and no other reason. Not one mention of sin, or misplaced "appetites" vs. sacrificial love.

From reading it seems many of you are are simply sex-obsessed addicts who think sex will fill up the missing intimacy that God alone can fill.

Blaming the Church and attributing a series of false accusations will not raise the lower view of sex that many you display. The Church protects and cherishes sex by making it sacred and for it to be sacred it must be put in boundaries where it's not abused or perverted.

I seeno understanding here of the intimacy of the Priesthood with the Divine. Which by the way, the lay faithful can get a glimmer of if they too develop the virtue of "Chastity" (ever heard of it?)

Of course some are so sure that "God is calling me to change.." (ie God wants me to have sex when I want,as much as I want and with whomever I want.) Sorry Charlie, that ain't God talking. That's just the reaction of an addict unable to break the addiction. The alcholic would use the same rationalization if it enabled them to drink.

It comes down to this, is sex your god or is God your God? Celibacy is mandatory in the Latin rite, priesthood is not mandatory. Perhaps those priests were mislead and never had the call or they like many cheating husbands didn't do the work to stay faithful to their spouse. Marriage is about more than sex and some couples can't for whatever reasons. That doesn't mean they don't love nor are they lacking intimacy. One avenue is cut off from them and that allows deeper intimacy and greater bonds to be formed.

The question that needs to be asked is are the needs of the relationship not worth the sacrfice of an orgasm to them?

Henry said...

Gerard,
I plugged my nose as I published your comment.

Why are you so obsessed with sex? Marriage is about a relationship of mutual love and understanding, which demands the ability to give one’s self to the other in many more ways than sex. Priests who have transition from the priesthood and married, did so because love. What you describe is a prostitution of marriage and reflects the thinking of one who looks upon women as sex objects. My guess is that you are in the seminary or thinking about going in. I don’t think you are a priest because most priests would know better. You seem to be sitting on a sexual volcano and view celibacy as a way to keep it from exploding. Your thinking reflects the mentality of so many entering the seminary today and is why mandated celibacy must become optional in order for the priesthood to attract more mature and integrated people.

Henry said...

Gerard,
You have my email. Let's carry on our discussion there. You have equated God with the agenda of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, which is to say, you are a Catholic fundamentalist. I know this is difficult for you to believe, but God does speak directly to the hearts of his people. The Catholic Chruch is not the intermediary.

Anonymous said...

New seeds of Contemplation
I have been struggling with leaving the priesthood for at least three years. It began with an assignment move that I did not want, ask for or agree with. I have found a terrible lack of consideration, compassion and or respect from the bishop, most priests (including my own brother who is a priest). In the three years since this happened a total of four priests have asked me about and are even willing to talk with me about it. Because of being jerked out a ministry that I had loved, the work that I was good at a support group among teachers, parents and staff people. It was a hostile move and the way it was done made me even more angry. I am angry at the bishop, the priests of my diocese and now even myself for allowing myself, that I was so stupid to be ordained believing that the Church cared about me and would respect me.

Most people simply tell me that priests get moved all the time and so why do I think I shouldn't have to be moved. I always tell them that it still sucks and o matter how many times it happens it doesn't mean it's right or healthy. I am convinced that my move had nothing to do with any sort of concern for the school, facutlty students or parents...least of all me. It was all about making the highly paid head of the school happy who didn't necessarily like me challenging him over certain issues that I felt were not reflective of a Catholic school i.e., the handling of staff and discipline just to name a couple. This incredible betrayal I faced at the hands of those I had trusted and committed my life to at first made me furious. Then realizing how I had been taken out of ministry I loved and had given my life to, not to mention taken away from a great circle of friends and a healthy support group led me into deep deep depression.

I have grown negative and am hyper alert to the hypocracy that the Church displays over and over again. The new sacramentary is the leastest unwelcome intrution into my priesthood. It is a horrible translation and it is another example of how inconsiderate the Church is toward the people and priests. Currently I harbor feelings of little respect and confidence in the administration of the Church. I find most things of the diocese laughable. I refuse to go to any meetings and workshops as I feel they re all a bunch of nonsense that rarely addresses any real concerns and are only about making priests fall in line or to somehow get that warm and fuzzy feeling about things. I really doubt that the bishops now a days really care what priests think...they certainly don't ask....i.e., the new roman missal.

Given all of the anger, the depression I am dealing with and the lack of concern for me. I am beginning to think seriously about leaving this life which I have found so terribly disappointing. I am dreading having to face the lay people that I truly love and respect, but I am not doing them much of a service by being this priest who has this attitude. I also think it is bad for my health...I can't see any relief for this depression and can't imagine myself really being happy in this role.

Anonymous said...

The other part of the priest celebacy thing that no one brings to the conversation is the idea of Natural Law. It seems like the Church uses it when it is convienant and forgets in other cases. What is more natural than a man's relationship with a woman? Gerarld you got pretty personal and mean in your post. Your ideas of discerning God's voice is "interesting". When Thomas Aquinas tried to square Aristotle with Christian faith he was rejected, harassed and accused of all sorts of things before his thinking was accepted. It is so interesting what the reactions are when people discuss the idea of priests wanting to actually continue being a priest as a married man (a very naturaland holy way of life). It is almost the same kind of venom one hears when Catholics are talking about abortion or even the New Roman Missal. Fasinating.

Anonymous said...

Hi Xyrnne...
I will pray for you as you make your decisions. I am the loving companion of a "tortured soul" who could not figure out whether to stay or go. To watch him go through years of being moved around, dealing with loneliness, and having to deny himself of all of the beautiful dimensions of a relationship with a woman - it broke my heart. I truly believe that he would have been more effective as a minister to his people IF he was allowed to also have the loving support that comes with a good relationship. That type of love and understanding can only strengthen one's ministry. He is laicized now, and we have a once in a lifetime love. I pray that you find peace and healing from your depression.

Anonymous said...

The thing the Church forgets is that God created woman in his image too. In fact God did not declare the creation of mankind good until he created Eve. God gave women his heart. They are His crowning acheivement and perhaps that is why so much hatred is directed towards them because evil cannot stand God. By denying priests access to a women's heart they are denying him access to understanding God in a way they can never do on their own. Those priests that figure that out and are brave enough to explore that aspect of love-congrats. Loving a woman is not wrong,and any institution that says it is, is in my opinion not bearing the image of God.

Henry said...

Anonymous,
What can one do but bow and wave incense? Thank you for your wisdom.

Of course, women have their shadow too. But there is a sacredness within the feminine. Males cannot produce the miracle of life. Perhaps we are finally finding a theology that is at the heart of this patriarchal fear of woman.

From Wikipedia: Woman: "(Werman meaning "male human". Man or mann had a gender neutral meaning of "human", corresponding to Modern English "one" or "someone". However in around 1000AD "man" started to be used more to refer to "male human", and in the late 1200s began to inevitably displace and eradicate the original word "werman")."

Mandated celibacy was imposed as a law in the Church by a male heirarchy during this very time.

Anonymous said...

Laws were designed to control behaviour, but Jesus stated there were only two commandments, to love God with everything you are and to love others as yourself. This is a radical statement because love is a choice, it involves free will. You cannot force someone to love God or others. In essence Jesus was saying if you love God and others there is no need for laws because love will never behave in a way that would harm or hurt another. However, no religion can sustain itself trusting people to be willing to love, instead religion becomes all about laws; rules, to control behaviour since they can't control a person's heart. Instead of preaching the Good News that love will free us from the need for laws, instead of preaching love and allowing love to control our behaviour the Church was built a theology based on laws instead of love. God loves. It is not his idea a man be forced to be celibate. If he freely wants to be as a way to express his devotion to God and can handle it, Jesus said that is fine, but forcing it, demanding it, that is a man-made rule designed to control behaviour, so it is in direct oppostition to Jesus command to love God and others. It doesn't love God because it is against his will to force celibacy and it doesn't love others when it denies a human being, priests and nuns the right to pursue marriage and service to God, denys them free will.

Anonymous said...

As the early church grew and expanded away from its Jewish foundations,more and more converts to the Christian faith were from pagan religions. It was only natural over time, many early Christian pratices were paganize or pagan rituals were Christianize depending which way you want to look at it. One of those things were Christian love feasts, Christians gathering for a communal meal to celebrate and worship God. At some point in time the new leaders of the Church turn it into ritual, based on pagan practices and deemed the ritual to be holy and sacred, a sarcament. Suddenly, not every Tom, Dick or Jane could break the bread and raise the cup, it had to be a someone who was holy, someone who was worthy to do it, hence the priesthood as we know it was born. But what made a priest holy? His ordination, again based on a pagan idea, that pagan priests were special because they were given special powers from the gods, Christian priests were now too, consider special, given special graces from the Holy Spirit to preside over the sacraments. Another way to make these men holy was to further to separate them from regular men by adopting the Greek idea that all things spiritual was good and all things earthly was bad. Suddenly sex was bad, and priests were asked to not have sex with thier wives before saying mass. Over time they were asked not to have sex with their wives ever, and eventually they were told not to have wives at all. My point, and I'm sorry for taking so long to make it, is celibacy is a pagan idea, not based on Christianity, Christ taught. If anyone would like to read more about the paganizition of the early Christianity, I recommend reading "Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola and George Barna, published by BarnaBooks. I have no relationship to the authors or publisher, I just think many might find it interesting to discover how pagan the roots of many Christian practices today are. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Of course a priest would be better off being able to love a woman and share that intimacy, physically and emotionally - the complementarity enables growth and maturity!!!!!!!!!!!! This is something that is sooooo important for people to experience in FREEDOM!!!! How many times have I heard from my own priest-friend his "need" for growth and intimacy, only to see him struggle and suffer time and time again because he's "given his life for this" and so he needs to "fall in line" in order to "survive", both in THIS WORLD and in the NEXT. I've experienced it from him over the years and it pains me to see such needless suffering!! It angers me that he (we) must go through this craziness! And then there is the whole idea that priests have to be careful in ALL WAYS with people because it's like they're always under the microscope with how they interact with both genders!

And yes, women hold a special "power" within them - something that men simply do not possess - bearing and nurturing life from their very bodies places them VERY CLOSE to the Divine and THAT IS THREATENING to men, generally speaking. All that "witch hunting" over the centuries - women are "suspect", blah, blah....

Is it any wonder why a man would be so powerfully drawn to a woman???? She is "sacredness" indeed, Henry!

Anonymous said...

I fell in love many years ago with a young man who was about to enter seminary. When he went to his spiritual director for counsel he was told that he could not "honestly discern" his path with a "young lady waiting in the wings". He was counseled that in order to make an "objective" decision he had to cut off contact with me and focus on seminary. I felt that he either needed to remain in seminary and also stay in touch with me and take his time making a decision (he was years from having to take vows to the deaconate and I was willing to be patient), or I thought he should take a leave from seminary as well as from me. But how is it objective to cut himself off from friends, family and me - the woman in question while immersing himself in seminary 24/7? We have maintained a friendship but it's difficult - he's made clear he still has feelings for me, as I do for him. I respect his great knowledge and his right to choose whatever life and boundaries feel right to him, but I can't help feeling he's brainwashed to think that having a woman in his life is "bad". Just being friends with me makes him feel guilty though there's nothing the least bit immoral about our friendship.

I think celibacy is a weapon of control, and use is made by the church even of the frequent failures of priests to live up to it. The church knows for most men it is not sustainable, and so the man is in a position of being a failure, needing to be forgiven, being weak - the church thrives on the failures of the institution of celibacy and uses those failures as ballast to steady their ongoing game of subordinating and repressing the priest. Much like abusive partners do, the church makes the priest feel constantly that he is not worthy of his vocation, that it is greater than him, that he must keep asking for forgiveness and continue to humble himself over and over and over again. He is nothing, the Church is everything. Cutting him off from a woman he loves is just one more way to prevent him from feeling he's worth anything.

Anonymous said...

Having been raised Catholic,I was shocked when it hit home to me that because I fell in love with a man who later became a priest, I had become a pariah in my own church. How I behaved in my own relationship with my faith and God, with my family and friends, community - with the man I loved - was irrelevant. Because I had feelings of love for man who became a priest, I went from good Catholic girl to some slutty temptress, the incarnation of evil. It's insane. I loved this man in part because of his faith, and fell for him before I knew he planned to enter seminary. I loved him because he's worthy of love, because we are naturally drawn to one another, because there was terrific emotional, spiritual and chemical attraction between us. We never had sex but three decades later I still love him. Yet pro-celibacy priests would reduce these deep feelings of love to some sleezy sex party image instead of recognizing that God gives us the capacity to love. I now realize how arrogant celibacy is - why would God design men and women as one another's partners, yet expect celibacy of priests? We're saying, "OK, God, you designed us to go together, but to honor you we're going to improve on your design and pretend that women aren't relevant to the preisthood." Ugh.

Henry said...

Anonymous, your rationality makes you a problem to Catholicism and its control of priests. You are too intelligent to continue within the irrationality of Catholicism and be sucked into the world and mentality of the Roman Catholic priesthood.

The best way to understand a priest is to look at him as a temple eunuch. That is what he has been employed to be. Its irrationality becomes apparent to anyone trying to look at it from a rational point of view. The system will never change and so you must move on to where rationality is the modus operandi.

One could call priests temple prostitutes because that is what they really are. They are willing, and some even eager, to give themselves to whatever their Masters desire, often without reservation and without doing the hard work of examining what they are really doing. I should know. I was one for many years. My main concern was myself and my economic and social well being. I was a prostitute. Yet, like most prostitutes, I was held within a system that was extremely difficult to leave. For most priests, it is impossible and they find peace within the system. Not prostituting themselves to the point of the loss of integrity, which is more and more difficult these days. But they are good people doing what they can within the parameters established for them. Living in another world in inconceivable and that I understand. Were it not for the love of another person in my life, I may still be there. The thought of it is frightening though and I'm so very thankful to have left.

Anonymous said...

I have been divorced for many, many years. I am a
devout Catholic lady, and I do not believe in the
annulment process...It is just politics so people can have their "second time around" fling! I took my vows
for better or for worse, and my husband got a girlfriend
and that was the "worse". So that does not mean because he was bad that I should not keep my vows.
So I, Thank God, have lived even before my marriage a
celibate life, and since I have been divorced, I still am
celibate. So priests can do it too. AND stop flirting!!!!
With the ladies and teasing ladies, as I have seen at retreats...Keep their vows pure, Holy Orders is a sacrament, as is Matrimony! Hands Off Helps ALL to
Keep their Hearts and Minds On Our Lord!!!

Anonymous said...

Preists should be allowed to marry and have sex. It is the life God intended for all of us. On this planet only the Roman Catholic Priests are banned from a sexual union (nd of course the nuns) Even animals in God's Kingdom enjoy their sexual freedom. The Catholic Faith need to control the priests and if they are in relationships they cannot contol them. It is sad because they will be judged by God when the time comes. God gave us the beauty of sex; the preiests convey these messages to their parishioners, but yet they are not able to enjoy. Our fair God is not happy that choices are taken away. New smenarians should talk first to ex-preists before making a committment to become a Caholic priest. Go to the Anglican church instead and tell the Catholic Bishop why you are doing so. Catholic priess cannot love God more than they do, but they ould end up hating the church.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above people who indicate that a priest is better able to love without celibacy. I am a priest and have recently begun a relationship with a woman. I find it has enhanced my ability to relate to and love those to whom I minister, not diminish it in any respect. Celibacy is a form of slavery as far as I am concerned and should be abolished by the church.

Vincent Bagul said...

It is sheer stupidity of the Catholic Church to forbid priests from marrying. If a marriage is evil, I, a married man from India, consider celibate state as evil. It has forced many Catholic Priests to commit sex acts in private and to spoil many women's lives. The best remedy would be to boycott receiving sacraments from unmarried priests.

Anonymous said...

I don't wish to offend any priests who are kind and upright men. There are some priests who are very hurtful. Moving them every 3 to 4 years provides them with opportunities to be with more partners without the women finding out about each other. I am struggling with how to deal with the hypocrisy, the lies,the level of deception. I was told that being a priest and forgoing marriage and family is a way to make a sacrifice for God yet how is sex without responsibility a sacrafice? Isn't that what the average or typical man wants to have and yet priests are somehow more righteous than everyone else? I am not trying to be offensive against men,simply want to make a point. I am hurting. I have left the church and struggle to have any faith left at all. I feel nothing when I pray. Furthermore, I don't think I can be forgiven at this point. Yet somehow celibacy is or the appearance of celibacy is still looked upon as a great and necessary thing... if it even exists.

Henry said...

Sorry to hear that you were hurt anonymous. Narcissism in the priesthood is often manifested in sexuality that has little empathy for others. A spiritual facade, and often a cassock these days, cloak many emotionally sick men. Law suits seem to be the best way to get their superior's attention. Remember how precious you are anonymous, forever loved by a God who is love itself. The only forgiveness you need is your own. God's mercy is infinite.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response to my post. I appreciate your kind words. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I considered myself to be a very devout Catholic and still practice my faith but I have seen the other side with the hierarchy of the Church and how they turn on you if you question anything. I had an incident that involved my family (rather keep it confidential) and lost complete faith in many in the Church. I know these are human's and our only trust should be in Him. However, there was one priest that was very kind and good helped me through a lot, I know he loves me and I love him our relationship is very complicated. This has been going on for several years now thru innuendos etc. we both know how we feel. We have never done anything physical other than long touches etc (not in private areas) but he and I of course feel guilt for anything, I don't understand the celibacy requirement anymore either. He comes alive when I'm around when he does his homilies and I'm there I see how happy and he is. We have many things in common and it's so very hard. I often wonder should I just walk away but we have a great friendship too. Sometimes his hot and cold behaviors just drive me crazy though. I just wish we could have an adult conversation lay everything out on the table and go from there. I am not even asking him to leave the priesthood but I would at least like to know where I stand with him.

Iam said...

I think marriage in the priesthood should be optional, just like it is in society in general. If the hierarchy is worried about their pocketbook, they can have the priest and "spouse" sign a prenup, just like others do. There are many lay people who perform works of service that exceed what a priest does. I don't see a problem if regular people can work and perform community service, that it would be any different for a priest to perform his priestly duties. All baptized Catholics are priest, profit and king. An ordained priest is no different. We are all a priest forever. So, by allowing priests to marry, it takes away the stigma that society experiences over the matter in general, not just the stigmatization of the priest. Besides, I don't believe it's a creed that a priest cannot marry, it's just the norm, and an agreement between the priest and his bishop.

Anonymous said...

Do priests who love women and are called vocationally to do so subject themselves to double lives? Are their hearts perpetually divided? Must they consistently lie to themselves and others all the time?

They are in a place of holy responsibility and power. If they divorce themselves from their truth, then demons must spiritually influence them all the time.

I wonder if the Catholic Church understands that spiritual reality considering all the abuse. Does the Pope know his priests are susceptible to dark angles due to a state of soul separation?

Since the Church forces men called to the priesthood to be in conflict with his vocation of marriage, all of us must now suffer in silence. That lie creates secrets which create institutional sin. Institutional sexual sin no less!

How much chaos the Church has created! How terribly devilish this all seems to be especially in light of all the sexual abuse scandal. The bodies and hearts of children are what is being sacrificed on the altar along with the Eucharist. How corrupt can one institution be?

Unknown said...

Thanks for all the comments. Reading these authentic messages from your experiences has saved us from reading celibate propaganda/ biased thought.
I'm currently age 20. I'm at the end of my first year in a Catholic Seminary (Diocesan). It's midnight, I've just finished my year's assessment and now I can finally read about the reasons AGAINST celibacy(which we are NOT taught in the seminary).
At age 18 I first considered joining the seminary. Since then I battled with celibacy and marriage Top reasons why I'm considering leaving the priesthood (I apolgize if these interconnect with eachother):
(1)Natural law, hardwired for a mate, biology, etc: Non/Physical intimacy, Love is hard to avoid, (as expressed in above comments). You may be the most charasmatic, brainy and handsome priest on the planet, who may attract a million ladies, although deep down, you earnestly long for a mate and constantly think about it. Our emotions that yearn for love are just too strong.
(2)Creates a culture of lonely, inexperienced and unrelatable men: I don't have much scienftifc knowledge to back up this claim, but, basically, imposed celibacy (espeically on the naive priest, who is not that convicted/ humble in his celibate vocation) restricts men from experiencing the unknown of married life. It distorts their psychology and alienates them from, yes, mostly - "normal" married people - as they can't entirely relate or empathize, eg: Celibate, no family, no household experience vs married, children and houshold exp. Think of all those priests who are awkward, unrelateable and struggle to understand you — especially imported priests who lack understnadning of your culture. (It would be good if someone could clear this up/expand on it).

Yocuz said...

(3)Ultimately better for most men: I think (most) priests would flourish (with) a wife/companion. Sure, the odd scholar, ascetic or effeminate may flourish without a wife, devoting themselves entirely in one area of life, eg:studying, fasting+ praying, or not even desiring a wife. Although for most men, being a herald of the Gospel whilst living with a family is more fulfilling, sensible and manageable. Celibate priests come home from a long day of hardwork, close relationships and jump in their bed with no one, and naturally decide to fantasize of a woman they met during the day that they could cuddle up to, under thier blankets. However, married men come to home children jumping at their feet and later jump in bed with their loved one. I've spent a lot of time thinking about forming a relationship with a woman — and that's normal. I'm sure most priests have done the same. I believe many priests felt/feel guilty to leave the priesthood or surrender their conviction because of serveal reasons eg: fear or toughness.I believe this decisons to stay and "brave it out" can be ignored but leads to rotten fruit eg: loneliness, depression anxiety, no enthusasim, emptiness and so on.There's that saying among priests : "FOMO", which means "Fear of missing out."
(4) Unecessary sacirfice: God was sick of the animals sacrifices in the OT (Isaiah 1), and ended them on the cross. Jesus directs us to life, not suffering - in most cases, I believe. The odd mystic can be asked to endure suffering for people, eg: accounts of stigmata, weird diseaes, basically a voice tells them they will suffer greatly - and they have the choose to endure it. eg kids of fatima or Anneliese Michel - for the hope and salvation of others. But for most of us regular folk, (and thomas Aquinas would agree) we are called to live a flourshing life on earth - God created everything and "saw it was good." it's good to have a family, kick the soccer ball with your kids and have the odd part - (Jesus partied - he wasn't totally ascetic like John the Baptists etc, he was more human, reasonable) Although, we stand up for justic, which at times, leads suffering, eg: the wittness of martyrdom when necessary, although we don't look and hunt for uncessary suffering.
I could provide more examples But I'll stop there for now.