The following short excerpt from an article by Angela Bonavoglia on Huffington Post, perfectly describes what is truly corrupt about the actual implementation of the doctrine of celibacy. Any system which mandates immoral behavior by it's practitioners to justify and protect the legitimacy of a doctrine is manifestly an illegitimate doctrine.
In other words, by forbidding priests who choose to be sexual in mature ways that include commitment, responsibility and respect, and by protecting them from the costs of their sexual exploits, the church has effectively condoned a clerical sexual free-for-all. That heterosexual and homosexual behavior may thrive in the Catholic priesthood does not reflect anything inherent about homosexuality or heterosexuality but is rather an indictment of the hypocrisy and duplicity of an elite, closed, all-male system, that condones, indeed, demands, lying about the reality of one's sexual life at all costs.
Off hand I can't think of another institution that has allowed it's male members to get away with the amount of sexual exploitation the Roman Catholic Church has in order to maintain the ideal of it's celibate priesthood and protect the laity from scandal. It's pretty obvious to me at least, that if there wasn't this ideal, there wouldn't be any scandal from which to protect the laity. There also wouldn't be any open door for extortion and black mail and no reason to cover up for sociopathic monsters like Marcial Maciel.
I often wonder if the illusion of celibacy is so vigorously maintained because there are other forces at work in insisting it be maintained. This is kind of along the lines of those who maintain there used to be a preferential option in Intelligence circles for gay men because blackmail or the threat of exposure could keep them in line.
J. Edgar Hoover made a career out of keeping files on people and threatening them with exposure for exactly these reasons. He took great power from this knowledge and used it with a vengeance to get his way. Like Maciel with the Legion of Christ, Hoover took advantage of many well meaning, good foot soldiers who had no idea of what exactly they were enabling in their cultic leader. Additionally, Hoover was another cultic leader who had his own hidden secret double life and who managed to last in the heart of American democracy as long as Maciel lasted in the heart of Roman Catholicism.
The sexual revolution changed the parameters not so much of actual sexual behavior, but of it's transparency and acceptance. When society is no longer appalled by the exposure of sexual activity and more importantly, feels much freer in exposing it's abuses, sex no longer serves as a reliable avenue for exploitation and blackmail, or as a titillating reward. Hoover's version of the FBI, and the power he derived from it fell partly because it's power was castrated by the openness of the sexual revolution. His secrets files no longer held much real value.
The Vatican might derive some insight from studying the rise and fall of J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI. In promoting the leaner and meaner version of Catholic identity, coupled with it's insistence on maintaining the fiction of an entirely celibate priesthood, the Vatican is also promoting spiritual arrogance/elitism while leaving itself wide open to the kind of exploitation Maciel was so successful at. Hoover promoted the same notions of elitism in the FBI and American democracy paid for it.
I know that spiritual elitism sells well to the financially and culturally elite. So did Maciel. Opus Dei's St. Escriva wasn't satisfied with campaigning for his own sainthood. He also had to procure his own Spanish title of nobility which he then passed on to his younger brother, but his creds as Spanish nobility had been established. He was one of the real elite of European elite. For some reason this mattered a great deal to him, but for the rank and file he presented himself as the lowly donkey for Christ----right, and Hoover was the reincarnation of St. Michael.
I have a somewhat cynical friend who maintains the bogus sexual purity of the Catholic priesthood sells because it guarantees the Vatican can't compete on familial lines with the money it generates. Important donors know they are not supporting a competing family interest, unlike that which happened during the delightful reigns of the Medici and Borgia papacies. Now the wealthy know they are supporting an enabling institution in which their own family members can heavily influence the Vatican either by their largess, or by their sons active participation. This might not be a true hypothesis, but it's certainly a possible hypothesis.
In the meantime, the sexual activities of supposed celibate clerics offer fruit for the picking for those whose intent is hardly the salvation of Catholic souls. There's a reason the Legion felt it was necessary to have an exorcist in the room when Maciel died. The Vatican has not dealt with this particular manifestation of the smoke of Satan and they won't until they stop enabling secretive conservative cults who preach a form of Catholic elitism and rescind the doctrine of mandatory celibacy which promotes the fallacy of sexual elitism.