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enforced celibacy among Catholic clergy - August 27th 2018, 10:41 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of rape or abuse, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

In light of the Catholic Church going through yet another giant sex scandal, it seems pretty apparent that changes have to be made from a legal, structural, and doctrinal perspective. The church engaged in a massive coverup regarding at least a thousand instances of pedophilia by at least 300 Pennsylvania clergy. A bishop also said that Pope Francis knew about it in 2013. I think it goes without saying that anybody who had a connection to this should be given up to authorities. It sucks for me to say that because I'm Catholic, and I really liked Pope Francis and had a lot of hope and respect for him. But a criminal's a criminal, and if he helped cover it up, he's gotta go too. If he actually did it, I'm sure they can find someone better. All you have to do is give up pedophiles to the police and continue doing modest social reforms. Not a very high bar.
With that said, I thought about something yesterday that I think might be significantly contributing to the pedophilia problem. Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy which says that they can't get married, have sex, or have 'impure thoughts'; they can't watch porn or even think about people sexually (or that's a sin). Essentially, it's enforced asexuality. This reminds me of gay conversion therapy. Gay people attempt (or are forced) to try to be straight. This practice has been thoroughly debunked as pseudoscience. Not only is there no evidence to suggest that sexuality can be changed, but trying to change sexuality can severely mess people up, contributing to all sorts of mental and sexual problems. My theory is that these priests, who are mentally tortured by trying to bury their sexuality, will look for any sexual outlet they can get away with while avoiding trouble. This leads to them picking defenseless targets like children that can be coerced into silence.
I don't know, I think dropping the whole celibacy spiel would significantly help solve the problem. There doesn't seem to be any inherent value to enforcing celibacy anyway; religions all over the world allow the clergy to marry and they don't seem to have these types of problems.
Any thoughts?


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Re: enforced celibacy among Catholic clergy - August 29th 2018, 05:10 PM

I don't see the point in enforcing priests to be celibate, so I'd have no problem seeing that being abolished.

While I do agree that celibacy could be a factor in the sexual abuse of minors in the catholic church, I feel that it also runs deeper than that.

Excuse my ignorance, but why can't a priest break the vow of celibacy with a consenting adult? I understand there would be a huge risk in getting caught as well as it being drilled into you that it's a 'sin'. Not only breaking the celibacy vow, but abusing a child and keeping them silent in the name of being sexually deprived....just seems like too much. Knowing that it's wrong sexually, morally, legally, spiritually and causing damage to the minor is such a high price to pay. I just can't get my head around the lies they would have to tell themselves to lose their inhibitions and go through with abusing minors. Then again, you can say that about any abuser.

It also doesn't help if the church covers up the abuse. It goes the other way too in that pedophiles could be attracted to become priests because not only will they be respected, gain trust and authority as well as have access to young people, but they have seen that abuse can be covered up.

Either way, it would be interesting to see if the celibacy vow was abolished, whether that would affect the rate of abuse within the church.


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Re: enforced celibacy among Catholic clergy - August 31st 2018, 02:33 AM

Yeah, don't get me wrong, there are several factors that are allowing this problem to exist. For example, the church often conducts sexual assault investigations internally, which usually leads to them moving predator priests to different diocese(s) where people don't know of their crimes. They also refuse to let priests talk to police about any sins that were confessed to during the sacrament of Reconciliation; So, if one priest confesses to molesting children, the priest who heard it is bound by church dogma to keep it silent. This ALSO helps predator priests meet each other.
I could think of about 10 other things that should be changed as well, honestly.


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Re: enforced celibacy among Catholic clergy - September 2nd 2018, 04:07 PM

I mean, the fact that they enforce celibacy probably means that some of the priests who have the urge to harm young boys are forced to push that down and not talk about it. I don't know if the celibacy is the reason they molest children as most people that molest children are sick and a lot of them do it for power. However, it's possible that some of these people know the thoughts are wrong but instead of getting help from a therapist they push it down. From my understanding the only way someone can get help for this is by seeking therapy. Not that I look into treatment for pedophiles too often.

That being said, I feel the biggest reason that this continues to occur in the church is because they don't acknowledge that it's an issue and they don't force the priest who do it to face any consequences. When something is allowed to continue without consequence people will continue to do it. I suppose they probably think they are above the law and protected because of the church and when someone feels they are above the law/protected from consequences they will keep doing it.


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