Now I Understand . . A Little

Just about every time I learn that another Catholic priest has been accused of sexual misconduct, I spend some time checking out the allegations. While some such charges turn out to be false, the great majority of those I have investigated appear to be valid. Often, it turns out that the accused priest had a history of sexual misconduct and had been bounced around from one diocese to another for years.

Have you ever wondered how it can be that a priest who has a history of sexual misconduct can still be on the job? I have. I came across an essay, written by someone I consider to be a responsible member of the Catholic priesthood, that provides some insight into how Mama Church takes care of her own.

It should come as no surprise to readers here that the way it works involves smoke and mirrors and nuances of word meanings. The essay opens with these words:

Some people might take a much broader, theological, psychological or sociological approach to the problem of homosexual priests and bishops. I prefer to stay on the more specific but lethal problem in the indefensible practice of placing homosexual priests into living situations and associations with other men - thereby creating a double moral standard for heterosexual vs. homosexual priests.

The essay is a brief logical explanation of the inherent conundrum concerning that problem. – Rev. James R. Haley, The Real Story About Celibacy , “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,” Copyright 1996-2006, The Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc.

Haley explains the priestly vow or promise of celibacy and compares differences in its effect on heterosexual and homosexual priests. First the “straight” man:

Mr. X, a heterosexual man, can only become a priest if he makes a vow of celibacy – if he vows to remain unmarried to a woman.

With his priestly vow of celibacy per se he does not, as is frequently believed and wrongly reported, make a vow to refrain from sex. But since he vows to remain unmarried, he is required by his Catholic faith to refrain from sex. He must remain chaste – he cannot have sex because, according to his Catholic faith, sex outside of marriage is morally wrong. -- Ibid. [My emphasis]

John makes the vow and does his best to live a chaste life. Perhaps he will be successful in his effort to keep his vow or, every now and then, succumb to his desire for a willing female partner. If found out, he could be in for a difficult time. The former pastor of a Catholic parish near my home got in trouble that way. As might be expected, he was transferred to that parish after having been found to be playing patsy with a lady in his former parish. He continued his philandering ways in the new parish and was sent off to his order's mother house for a time to get his wanton behavior under control. When he returned, he soon became involved with another woman of his new parish. After two of his former lovers filed paternity suits against the Archdiocese, the priest was defrocked and went off to Europe for a time. I am told that he is back now and working as an administrator in one of the Archdiocese's service agencies.

That priest got in trouble because he violated his vow of celibacy with a number of women, eventually creating scandal in the eyes of the Archdiocese. But what about the homosexual man seeking to enter the priesthood?

Mr. Y, a homosexual man, can only become a priest if he makes a vow of celibacy - if he vows to remain unmarried to a woman.

He does not vow to remain unmarried to a man because, according to his Catholic faith, he can never marry a man - he cannot vow to give up what he cannot have in the first place.

Therefore, Mr. Y's priestly vow of celibacy is an easy, ludicrous and utterly pointless promise for him to make since he does not want to be married to a woman. (It wasn't so easy, ludicrous or utterly pointless, however, for Mr. X.) With his priestly vow of celibacy per se he does not, as is frequently believed and wrongly reported, make a vow to refrain from sex. He makes a vow to remain unmarried. But since he has vowed to remain unmarried to a woman, and since he cannot validly “marry” another man, he is required by his Catholic faith to remain perpetually chaste - he can never have sex. -- Ibid.

What happens when priest Y is discovered to be sexually active with men? Compared to priest X's experience, the homosexual vow-breaker gets a slap on the wrist.

However, in Mr. Y's case, unlike Mr. X's, such imprudent and immoral living arrangements, associations and behaviors could not be said to violate the spirit and intent of his utterly pointless and ludicrous priestly vow of celibacy - to remain unmarried to a woman - to remain personally, emotionally and intimately un-associated with a woman. -- Ibid. [My emphasis]

Father Haley had a lot more to say concerning this issue. The essay was not very long and, I believe, was well worth reading. Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Faithful website has been closed, beaten down by a dozen years of striving to "fix" what was and still is wrong with Roman Catholic Church by exposing the oft-times filthy and degenerate behavior of Catholic relilgious, clergy and their superiors. The site's founder wrote a heart-felt explanation of his reasons for closing the site. I implore everyone who reads this post to take a few minutes to see what it took to drive this honorable Catholic website into the dust. Just click here to read it. I'll close this post with a few words from that letter:

'One of the disturbing aspects of my work has been to learn that most 'Catholics,' because of corrupt bishops and clergy, have no sense of sin or scandal, or the sacred. They speak of abortion and homosexual activity as if it harms no one.... '

Today I am even more convinced of what I wrote back then. The recent horror of watching the University of Notre Dame honor America's abortionist-in-chief, Barack Obama, and the accompanying silence from the Vatican, demonstrates convincingly that the conciliar church is corrupt from top to bottom. I cannot in good conscience commit financial resources to 'rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic' in the conciliar church. For this reason, I have decided to dissolve RCF.

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