2012-08-26 From Anon, USA
re Minnesota Video (and see
response by John W, below)
Thank you for publishing the video. This video is really about Catholic laity (including quite a few nuns and a few active priests, and quite a few former religious) raising their voices to express their views. The video has been out about a week, and we have 12,700 hits.
John, I owe you a message regarding your question of the subject you consider "taboo." But, let me add a subject I think the church and many around the church consider taboo, and that is the topic of, are many priests and bishops sexually living double lives or lives that lack, to some extent, integrity? And, if that is the case, why are we having those people guide the rest of us on sexual ethics? Let me explain (and, of course, you may have very different opinions and observations on this):
- My understanding is that RCC priests make a promise of perpetual continence. My understanding of the definition of this, in lay people's talk, is that it means no voluntary impure thoughts, no masturbation, no sexual expression with any other person, and, of course, no wife or children.
- To me, that seems to be an unrealistic and impractical standard to which to hold the 400,000 men in the world who are RCC priests.
- It's my understanding, that because of the impracticality of this standard, RCC priests tend to each come up with their own definition of what this means in their lives (who wouldn't?)
- But, each priest coming up with their own solution is NOT what the laity thinks is going on. The laity thinks that if an RCC priest makes a promise, he pretty much keeps the promise, and that the church wouldn't ask something that is not doable or realistic.
- This creates a sense of a "double life" for many priests, and it is a problem because of the lack of integrity, the lack of simply, as I say in business, "say what you do, and do what you say." I can also see how this situation would create a sense of entitlement -- "different rules apply to us."
- And, it is the people who are struggling with the above who we, the laity, are allowing to "make the rules," on our own sexual expression. How nuts is that?
Any system that includes an element that lacks integrity must be changed. It does not matter that the system has some benefits. The piece that lacks integrity is wrong on its face. In addition, systems that lack integrity are not aligned, and they tend to create damage. While I do not blame perpetual continence for the sex abuse scandals, I believe the sense of entitlement along with sexual immaturity, among other factors, did help create the abuse.
I'll add something else: the data about gay priests in the U.S. is that a best guess is that about 30% to 60% are gay. While I doubt anyone knows the % for sure, the experience of many Catholics is that gay folks they know who are likely gay have gone into the priesthood. It is understandable that the % of priests who are gay would be high because, in the past, with the significant disadvantages gay folks faced, it is understandable that, instead, they would have chosen something laudable like the RCC priesthood. So, just for talking purposes, let's say that perhaps 50% of RCC priests and bishops are gay. And, we know that in the US the RCC hierarchy and many priests are extremely actively and politically campaigning against gay marriage. You what this means? At least to some extent? The gay people are hurting the gay people. And, the gay people who may be living double lives and may be living lives with less sexual integrity are campaigning against the people who want to live aligned, open lives. How dysfunctional is that?
You can print the above if you like, but without my name, if you wouldn't mind. I think it is time the RCC priesthood and bishops "come out of the closet" in a lot of ways.
Comments by John W:
Thank you dear US reader for your post. Thank you for the calm and respectful tone of your post. Such posts will always be published on this website. Many of the issues you raise about the priesthood are well covered in two books by Donald Cozzens:
Celibacy Shows how celibacy is a very special gift which many/most
priests don't have
The Changing Face of the Priesthood Excellent treatment of several elephants in room (compulsory celibacy; homosexuality etc)
John, I owe you a message regarding your question of the subject you consider "taboo." But, let me add a subject I think the church and many around the church consider taboo.
.....well, dear sweet reader, I think you still owe me a message!..... because raising another (very important) taboo question doesn't answer the original taboo question (in this article addressed to another US reader)