Child sex abuse link to celibacy

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MANY Catholic priests take a flexible approach to celibacy, tolerated by church leaders, and some believe sex with children or men does not count, a former Melbourne priest said on Wednesday.

”An enormous number of priests struggle with celibacy,” Philip O’Donnell told the state inquiry into how the churches handle child sex abuse.

”There’s a tolerance for imperfection in celibacy, and that may have led to a lessening of outrage at sex with children.”

He said he had no training about celibacy in the seminary and that many priests were ill-equipped. ”Chosen celibacy is a gift, but mandatory celibacy is for many priests a millstone,” he said.

Mr O’Donnell declined to speculate on what percentage of Catholic priests, who must vow to be celibate, were sexually active, but another Melbourne priest has separately suggested it is about half.

Asked by committee member Andrea Coote whether priests believed only sex with women counted as real sex (breaking celibacy vows), and that homosexual and child sex did not, Mr O’Donnell said: ”Sometimes.”

He said another priest told him the celibacy requirement would never change because so many priests were gay and it was ”great cover. No one asks me why I am 50 and single – they assume I am celibate,” the priest told Mr O’Donnell.

Written By: Barney Zwartz
continue to source article at theage.com.au

21 COMMENTS

  1. I’d like to see a UN resolution declaring Stato della Città del Vaticano to be a “failed state”

    Then send in the boys to arrest Ratzinger

    Stick him in a cell ready for a trial at the International Court of Justice [Hague] for crimes against humanity

    Seize ALL the assets of the RCC worldwide & put them to good use

    After that get really tough on the rest of the the lying church hierarchy

    The only downside would be lawyers cashing in

  2. In reply to #7 by asyouwere:

    Correct me? Doesn’t celibate mean unmarried? Chaste, I think means no sex?

    The original french definition is just that, however the meaning has extended as this dictionary definition suggests:

    celibate |ˈsɛlɪbət|
    adjective
    abstaining from marriage and sexual relations, typically for religious reasons: a celibate priest.
    • having or involving no sexual relations: a celibate lifestyle.
    noun
    a person who abstains from marriage and sexual relations.
    ORIGIN early 19th cent. (earlier (mid 17th cent.) as celibacy): from French célibat or Latin caelibatus ‘unmarried state’ + -ate2.

  3. yes, but when anyone, least of all a child, is quite clearly, unwilling, unhappy, or frightened, who in their right mind would insist on sexual gratification? clergy are supposed to be better than the hoi polloi when it comes to dealing with the suffering of others. and, in any case, when children are involved, even “consent” is irrelevant because children will just comply, and then just blame themselves. australians used to be called a weird mob; clergy are a weird and dangerous mob.

  4. As a practitioner of celibacy (I’m building an orgone laser), I can say it is very unhealthy. It has it’s benefits and is very compelling, it causes profound changes in consciousness that I’m glad to have, but it has its costs. I would love for it to be a scientifically understood topic. To practice celibacy because of a Dark Ages edict is irresponsible and a health risk. Like psychotropics, it can give benefit and insight, but also cause madness.

    After a spate of pedophile charges came out a decade ago on the US East Coast, I watched a panel of priests discuss the topic on a CNN show. One of the priests actually said something to the effect of ‘I understand people are concerned over priests breaking their vow of celibacy.’ Nobody was concerned with that. The priest was demonstrating madness and it went by without comment. I was enraged, but no one on the show even addressed this crazy-talk.

    If a person isn’t gay, gay-sex is kind of like glorified masturbation, wanking as a team sport. I can dig this logic. It’s like being on a pirate ship or in prison. If kids are included in this, it shows deep systemic madness. The whole institution is infected. It is like saying those not afflicted with pedophilic compulsion are cultivated into pedophiles. O’Donnell mentions how the Cloth is a great beard for homosexuals, but it has long been a port of call for pedophiles. The reputation of pedophilia and the RCC goes way back before any charges were pressed.

  5. In reply to #7 by asyouwere:

    Correct me? Doesn’t celibate mean unmarried? Chaste, I think means no sex?

    If the rule was that priests could not for any strong sexual romantic bonds, so as not to distract them from God or misspend any of their energy, it would make more sense.

    If the other priests see that one is becoming too attached, they could pressure them to either commit to the relationship or to their mission. If priests didn’t face any prejudice for doing so, and they could return later without being punished, they might have a priesthood that was wiser and more well developed.

  6. The thought that vulnerable children in catholic orphanages are left in the care of priests who are sexaully deprived is terrifying. These children have no-one to turn to and can be abused with impunity by paedophiles and other perverts who are blatantly protected by church secrecy and confidentiality. Normal legal and police protection does not seem to apply. Numerous cases in the USA, Australia and elsewhere are well documented. The idea of eternal damnation, fire and brimstone etc is used to brainwash children by the church so it is unlikely that any child, even in catholic run faith schools, would dare to expose an abuser when threatened with such consequences.
    The Jimmy Saville case in UK has highlighted the extent to which sexual deviants in ‘normal society’ are able to ‘harvest’ children in orphanages, hospitals etc under the guise of charity…. much to the surprise of many including the British Police and the BBC.
    Simple common sense would therefore suggest that urgent investigation of all catholic institutions where children are involved should be undertaken and that government social welfare supervision of these should be introduced as a priority.

  7. As is true of most, if not all, subjects that religious institutions try to address, sexuality is a very complex issue. And again: as is true of most, if not all, explanations that religious institutions put forth are so utterly inept that they make reason stare.

  8. Is there anything less moral and more vile than the RCC?

    Sex with men doesn’t count as breaking the vows, but they oppress homosexuals at every opportunity.
    Sex with children is OK, but not with a consenting woman? Really? Their invisible friend really thinks this?

    And the church turns a blind eye to sexually active priests?
    They either believe you’re going to hell or they’re not catholic!

    I really don’t understand this mentality. Nor can I understand those that want their church to update it’s ideas.
    If they are only ideas then of course they must be updated; but then if they are only ideas they deserve no special respect or protection, they should never be put forward as “truth”, there should be no reason to accept bishops in to public debate just because they are catholic, etc …
    We all have ideas. We all update them. I don’t get a special place in society or tax exemption because of it … or do I need to start being a vile hypocrite with no morals and illegal sexual desires to get such favours?

    Truly Yuk!

  9. This part is a bit much:

    …another priest told him the celibacy requirement would never change because so many priests were gay and it was ”great cover. No one asks me why I am 50 and single – they assume I am celibate”

    So, you’re gay yourself, but you’re happy to participate fully in a system that discrminates against gays, and under which single men of age 50 are viewed with suspicion in case they might be gay?

    What about those that don’t have the “cover” of being a priest?

    In the UK at least this is known as the “I’m alright Jack” approach.

  10. Church needs to lift the ban on masturbation, the least of all evils.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the Church can lift the ban on things like contraception, homosexual sex or masturbation. Aren’t those “infallible” teachings? Even if a pope wanted to – and I doubt any pope would – it would undermine a fundamental tenet of the faith (papal infallibility). Therefore, any such change would actually undermine the Church even more.

  11. In reply to #9 by Net:

    yes, but when anyone, least of all a child, is quite clearly, unwilling, unhappy, or frightened, who in their right mind would insist on sexual gratification? clergy are supposed to be better than the hoi polloi when it comes to dealing with the suffering of others. and, in any case, when children are involved, even “consent” is irrelevant because children will just comply, and then just blame themselves.

    Not only that, but RCC priests, while publicly barred from sexual activity by their church, will be hearing all the sordid confessions from sexually repressed, guilt ridden sheeples, on a regular basis!

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