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.
And then there are the women who have a "special relationship" with the priest. Most Catholics I talk to think that is "healthier", but when I say, "Would you sleep with your boss at work if he asked you to? Would you accept being a mistress where he does not take any responsibility, will never make any commitment, and you will always be hidden? Then they are horrified.ReplyDelete
First we have to educate the laity that such behavior is sick, sinful and evil. And that celibacy as a value, which it has for some, is about more than not getting married.
And those who say "let father get married and he will stop abusing children" do not hear how insulting that is to women who are once again viewed as sexual objects to meet a man's "need" and insulting to men by implying that any man who is not getting his "need" met is a potential rapist.
Sigh, guess I needed to get that out of my system.
Thanks again Colleen for your determination and witness.
But you are right to make those points. Until the church sees sexuality as a function of healthy equal relationships, and not as acts inspired by the devil, women and children will be used as means to an end and immature men will enable each other to act in such ways while at the same time convincing women it's their function in life.ReplyDelete
No analysis of this scenario - using J. Edgar Hoover & his 'closet' - would be complete without his 'fellow travellers':ReplyDelete
1. Francis Cardinal 'Franny' Spellman of NYC.
2. and his close personal friends:
a) David I. Walsh:
b) Roy Cohn:
c) Clendenin J, Ryan
Spellman honored the latter by dedicating the great Rose Window of St.Patrick's Cathedral to his momory.
Of the relationship between Spellman & Cohn we will say two words: sex abuse.
...and leave you to connect the dots.
Anon Y. Mouse
@coolmom: In my youth I dated a woman who had an affair with a married man at work. When I found out I couldn't date her again. However, I have thought about her motivation often, over the intervening years. There are some who prefer a relationship that cannot go anywhere. You're right about the issue of insulting women. If you want an example of LC/RC thinking about the relative blame put on such a relationship according to gender see:
...revere the man and condemn the woman as a whore.
I don't like to go off-topic but I'm like a magpie bringing shiny objects back to the nest.
Did you see this article analyzing Levada's comments on the relative impossibility of celibacy in the modern world?
Angela Bonavoglia author:
Cardinal Levada Blames Celibacy for Clergy Sex Abuse
p2p the quote that begins this article is taken from the article on huffpo you linked.ReplyDelete
anon, there are some serious dots to connect in your links. The first thought that struck me is that abortion and gay marriage have become the new communist evil bugaboo.ReplyDelete
It was amazing to see so many similarities between Spellman and communism and some of our current crop of bishops and abortion.
And that was quite the gay circle surrounding Hoover and Spellman.
And some priests as well may prefer a relationship that cannot go anywhere.ReplyDelete
As the connection between homosexuality and pedophilia is severed - and let us hope that IS going to be severed - the focus should turn to priests who prey on women. And that is predatory! For unless they are ready to leave their priesthood behind, as so many have, in order to pursue a sexual relationship, they are subjecting someone to a life of secrecy. And that very secrecy itself breeds ever increasing hypocrisy, greater expenditures which must also be secret, and so on.
It's the institutionalized secrecy, hypocrisy, and cover-ups which are categorically anathema to the catholic church's claim to being a spiritual beacon. Under cover of those three things alone much evil can occur. Add in the authoritarian nature of the church and you have a lethal potion. This is not the kind of "cup" which Jesus spoke of!
I don't care how often they promote the image of fewer cases coming to light in recent years. For it often takes years and years before children grow up and realize what's been done to them and how their lives have been stolen as a consequence. And without transparency we will never know for sure.
Trust - that's what's been destroyed.
Once it's gone, it's very hard to retrieve.
Oops! Thanks for pointing out my error.
How did that happen? I'd better be more mindful.
Hey kids, blogging and burgundy don't mix.
p2p Don't feel bad. I can remember one night I had been into the Shiraz one too many times and posted something to the NCR. When it came up the next day it convinced me NCR does not really monitor comments----and I so wished they had.ReplyDelete
"anon, there are some serious dots to connect in your links."ReplyDelete
Indeed they are; but these cannot & should not be ignored, due to their vast connectivity.
"The first thought that struck me is that abortion and gay marriage have become the new communist evil bugaboo."
BINGO! You win the door prize:)) Precisely.......
"It was amazing to see so many similarities between Spellman and communism and some of our current crop of bishops and abortion."
True. Not much has changed, except in minor details. Generally you just insert new variables into an old script.
"And that was quite the gay circle surrounding Hoover and Spellman."
mmhm......of course what makes it evil is the clandestine nature coupled with high power personas. The result of this mix, historically, is sex abuse/sexual slavery/young male concubines. Boys & young men used as the playthings of the rich, powerful & closeted.
Let me paint a very ugly picture for you, and allow you to connect the dots:
Take a private yacht, vast amounts of police cooperation/official silence (those pious Irish Catholics on the force....), and ready access to literally hundreds of boys in orphanages, reformatories, residences, etc.
Do the math. And you know exactly which two persons I am pointing at, both now long dead.
A certain Prelate whose 'voracious appetite' extended far beyond Broadway chorus boys....
Anon Y. Mouse
Why was it necessary to so publically disgrace (and thereby utterly discredit) Spellman's former private secretary, Msgr. Eugene Clark?
At age 80 it would have been far easier to simply retire him quietly. The adultery may have been real, but the scandal obviously contrived. A complete set-up. They knew he was cozy with the woman for years. Thus.....
That he was a presenter on EWTN = an at least 'friendly' status with Opus Dei.
My view is that he was too much of a potential liability, considering what knowledge he may have been privy to about his former boss.
Anon Y. Mouse
That wouldn't surprise me in the least. It dovetails nicely with what Paul Shanley let out about Boston's Cardinal Cushing's chancellory before Shanley went strangely silent. If I remember the story correctly, Shanley intimated that's where he earned his NAMBLA stripes---as a pre seminarian.ReplyDelete
The other thing that struck me when doing your homework assignments were the connections these guys had to the CIA's MKULTRA projects.
It was from working with a woman with MPD who claimed to be part of this project that I started to put some really really sick dots together. Childhood sexual abuse coupled with Satanic ritual was the preferred method in which to 'split' off personalities.
Now much later, I tend to think personalities weren't always split off. Sometimes other 'personalities' were added. This is why I am convinced the Legion knew a whole lot more than they are telling when they made sure they had an exorcist at Maciel's death.
"The other thing that struck me when doing your homework assignments were the connections these guys had to the CIA's MKULTRA projects."ReplyDelete
...you get a gold star on your homework:) I was hoping you would come to this conclusion; and it is inescapable.
In this light, you need to consider a certain EWTN star...a greyrobed friar who started his own mind control cult....er.....order....who claim to be a psychologist, yet has never been licensed in the mental health field. And has had to be reminded of this by judges in courtroom settings.......
This certain friar, masquerading as a psychologist, was the point man who advised many US bishops to return abuser priests to parish duty. Thus knowingly enabling them.
There is close connectivity between MK-Ultra & certain child care institutions under NY/NJ Catholic auspices which that certain Cardinal & this particular Friar.
Seriously. The Friar has great connectivity with persons involved in that "Program".
It is curiously coincident that the closure/renaming/restructuring of many such institutions linked to the Archdiocese of NY occurred in the late 70s through mid 80s.
...in the wake of the public exposure of "The Program". Just in time for our 'friend' to establish his new order with the help of Cardinal O' Connor......
Anon Y. Mouse
Here is your 'moment of Zen' in re a certain Friar. The point is not the book itself (though this is damning enough):
Just follow the trail.....you will find Thetford to be quite 'interesting'.
Can you expound on this a bit?
"Now much later, I tend to think personalities weren't always split off. Sometimes other 'personalities' were added. This is why I am convinced the Legion knew a whole lot more than they are telling when they made sure they had an exorcist at Maciel's death."
This becomes interesting in that Maciel is alleged to have some CIA link. But I am more interesting in you idea that 'personalities' were added, rather then only split off.
I am aware of the concept that 'pre-NAMBLA' training can & is given to certain junior seminarians. At the very least, this is applicable to those seduced/raped by priests at a very young age & then sexually groomed to be abusers. Boys used to procure other boys for their own 'use', and/or that of their priest abuser(s). This may dovetail into the ritualistic aspect.
And Cushing's chancery was a holdover from O'Connell's (who had a very 'interesting' reputation), who mentored both Cushing & Spellman.
Anon Y. Mouse ,.