At It Again

March 31, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Oh please, is there no respite from this sort of thing?  Over on Pharyngula is this little bit on the Vatican’s newest attempt to recruit an ideal priesthood, this time free of gays.

Now, the Catholic Church has done screening for centuries.  They actually work hard to dissuade people from attempting to be priests because they know how difficult the various vows are to keep.  I don’t doubt for a minute that some of this screening is responsible, in kind of an unfortunate “unintended consequences” way, with the number of child sexual abuse cases that seem rampant more in the Catholic Church than in any other.  You screen for people who have “normal” sexual proclivities and eliminate the ones who probably won’t be able to maintain celibacy, you end up with (probably) a higher percentage of those who exhibit a lower than average normal sex drive (however you decide to define that), but may have a higher, shall we say, alternative proclivity…

Anyway, that’s just my opinion.  But apparently the Vatican has decided there’s something to looking at alternative sexualities as a deal breaker, but for goodness sake the question still needs to be asked, just what is it they find so offensive and, we assume, dangerous about gays?

By and large, the Catholic Church, for all its faults, possesses one of the more sophisticated philosophical approaches to life in all its manifestations among the various sects.  As a philosophy teacher of mine said once, “they seem to have a handle on what life is all about.”  Despite the very public embarrassments that emerge from the high profile conservative and reactionary elements within it, the Catholic Church probably has the healthiest worldview of the lot.  (I was a Lutheran in my childhood and believe me, in the matter of guilt the Catholics have nothing on Lutherans.)

But they have been electing popes who seem bent on turning the clock back to a more intolerant and altogether less sophisticated age, as if the burden of dealing with humanity in its manifold variation is just too much for them.  They pine for the days when priests could lay down the law and the parish would snap to.  They do not want to deal with humanity in the abstract because it means abandoning certain absolutes—or the concrete—in lieu of a more gestalt understanding.  It would be hard work.

And they have an image problem.  I mean, if you’re going to let people be people, then what’s the point of joining an elite group when there are no restrictions of the concept of what encompasses human?

But really…this is just embarrassing.

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Category: Culture, Current Events, ignorance, Noteworthy, Psychology Cognition, Religion, Sex

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

Comments (2)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    I know some guys who were in the seminary 20-30 years ago. Incidentally, none of them went on to become priests (I guess the temptations of the female flesh–they all married women–was too much). Several of them told me, however, that about 1/2 of the seminary class was clearly gay. Now combine this statistic with the fact the Catholic Church is DESPERATE for more priests. And consider that many gays (other than the fact that they are supposedly hell-bound immoralists) would make excellent priests. I do know of several priests who are undoubtedly gay, one of them is a highly accomplished fellow in a highly visible position of authority. So it goes.

    The Church's new initiative reminds me of the military kicking the highly competent gay Arabic language translators out of the military at a time when they were desperate for translators. What one does with one's organ in private in one's off-hours is apparently much more of a concern than national security.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    So the Catholic Church is going to work hard to weed out any priests who "look gay." Under the guidelines, potential priests who "appear" to be gay must be banned. Since the church wants to start a witch hunt, let's consider whether the Pope himself "looks gay." Let's start with his shoes and then let's consider the basis for SO many witch-hunts: the reaction formation. Think of Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, and here's a whole lot more. It's the biggest and reddest flag of all to start a witch-hunt. It's almost a guarantee that you yourself are a witch.

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