Dealing with the Dragon of Sexual Abuse
Pat Macpherson (Editorial, Wisdom Quarterly)
Does reducing Catholic clergy hypocrisy by removing celibacy vow make sense? Yes. Catholic priests were not always celibate. Celibacy was imposed to enrich the Vatican. Formerly, priests willed their riches and property (donated by the faithful) to their children. To prevent that, the Vatican instituted monastic rules on the priesthood.
Catholicism once had fabulous ideals -- universality, mysticism, following in the footsteps of a Jewish rebel. But that idealism conflicted with worldly concerns as the Church grew in wealth, power, and influence. Rome was not converted to Christianity. Christianity was converted to a hegemonic world empire in the style of ancient Rome.
It's called Christendom in general, the Holy Roman Church in particular. It worked. Catholicism is the largest religion in the world -- dwarfing Protestant movements. Preaching poverty, chastity, and mercy, the Church has amassed unimaginable wealth, committed unimaginable atrocities (sexual, inquisitorial, along with conquests, war, and enslavement...), and brought so much shame into the world that one is left to ask, "Why would anybody willingly remain Catholic?"
Most people born into Catholicism happily look elsewhere for spirituality, virtue, and inspiration. One has to. The Church is a humiliation. Growing up Irish is hard enough, and many of us still label ourselves "recovering Catholics." Like many of its parishioners, the Church long ago went in search of spiritual inspiration.
Almost everything the Catholic Church has as a symbol or a sacrament was appropriated from the great spiritual traditions of the Near and Far East. Egyptian, Sumerian, Akkadian, (Roman-) Pagan, Greek, Nazi/Fascist, Indian, Hindu, Buddhist -- it steals wherever it finds. Catholics are mystified by the meaning and origins of its most basic rituals, customs, and symbols. The Church remains silent or answers with simplistic nonsense that defies belief. But it's all ancient history.
A simple walk through the Vatican grounds reveals that power craves power whether it is found in art, spiritual-technology, or sacred knowledge. God would be proud if God had the slightest thing to do with the monstrosity we call the "Church."
But the institution runs so deep that surely hypocrisy -- homosexuality, rape, obscene wealth, and a staggering history of institutional human rights abuses -- won't stop it. How much the less the petty crimes of child molesting Catholic priests? The Dragon would well have to volunteer to spare the kingdom we call Christendom. (What was Seth MacFarlane hinting at in his cartoon short, "The Gay Knight"?)
The Vatican's Gay Sex Scandal
The Vatican was today rocked by a sex scandal reaching into Pope Benedict's household after a chorister was sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.
Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, was caught by police on a wiretap allegedly negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Vatican chorister, over the specific physical details of men he wanted brought to him.
Transcripts in the possession of The Guardian suggest that numerous men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood. The explosive claims about Balducci's private life have caused grave embarrassment to the Vatican, which has yet to publicly comment on the affair....
Since 1995, he has been a member of one of the world's most exclusive fraternities – the Gentlemen of His Holiness, or Papal Gentlemen, the ceremonial ushers of the papal household. In the words of a 1968 ordinance, they are expected to "distinguish themselves for the good of souls and the glory of the name of the Lord." More>>
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