November 17, 2012
W's previous articles
If you'd like to recommend other items for this file, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
link between compulsory celibacy and sexual abuse
24, 2013: Child abuse link to celibacy
Victorian abuse inquiry testimonies
15, 2012: Look East
While we should be careful not to confuse correlation with causation, one compelling question cannot be avoided - why do Eastern Catholics and other churches with married clergy rarely encounter claims of child sex abuse?
15, 2012: Bishop Geoffrey Robinson (Eureka Street)
For example, there has been a bland assertion in places that obligatory celibacy has not in any way been a cause of abuse, but few people believe this assertion and, as a negative fact, it could never be proved.
Unless and until obligatory celibacy is put on the table for discussion, the question will not go away. The question is not whether it has been the total cause or even the major cause, but whether it has been a significant contributing factor. Personally I find it impossible to deny that it has been such a factor.
14, 2012: Bishop Geoffrey Robinson (ABC)
I am not suggesting that the preference for celibacy is the sole or even predominant cause of abuse, but I believe it has made a significant contribution, both directly and indirectly. It has certainly been a major contributor to the other massive problem the church has not yet begun to face: the sexual abuse of adult females.
Actually, celibacy itself is not the problem, but obligatory celibacy. A celibacy that is freely embraced out of a passionate love for God and people is not unhealthy. But a celibacy that, sometime after ordination or final profession, becomes unwanted, unaccepted and unassimilated, is both unhealthy and dangerous, for it is a celibacy without love. It then contributes to unhealthy psychology (such as depression), unhealthy ideas (like misogyny) and unhealthy living environment (like loneliness).
March 12, 2010: Hans Kung - Sex abuse requires rethinking of mandatory celibacy
2005: Bent out of shape by clerical celibacy
The Bingo Report: Mandatory Celibacy and Clergy Sexual Abuse
See also: The evil of compulsory celibacy