Any stigma to beat a dogma. Again.
From the Daily Beast
A group of women claiming to be the secret paramours of priests have written to Pope Francis to urge him to roll back the church’s celibacy requirements.
A popular pontiff, Pope Francis receives hundreds of letters every day—but a recent one, signed by 26 women who would like his permission to have sex with their priest-boyfriends, was undoubtedly not like most of the others.
In the words of one television show, it's no good to be a member of a secret organization if you tell everybody about it.
The letter, published by La Stampa newspaper’s Vatican Insider website on Sunday, began with a plea for the pontiff to take heart and make celibacy optional for the signatories’ paramours, who happen to be priests. “Dear Pope Francis, we are a group of women from all over Italy (and further afield) and are writing to you to break down the wall of silence and indifference that we are faced with every day,” wrote the women (who signed with their first names and a last initial). “Each of us is in, was or would like to start a relationship with a priest we are in love with.” Their phone numbers were also apparently made available in case the pope would like to call the women to discuss the issue.
Giving the pope the phone numbers of women who are schtupping their priests?
As pointed out in the novel A Pius Man, large amounts of seminary time is dedicated to training future priests for a life of celibacy. Celibacy means not getting married, not being chaste that's why religious orders make a point of taking vows of chastity. Since having sex outside of being married is a sin for Catholics, it's understood that the priests are not to fool around.
This is a very big lead-up to saying that these priests are not being forced at gunpoint to not have sex, but more importantly, they're not being held at gunpoint to stay. These priests are free to leave at anytime, they just have to put in their resignations. If these women are truly having affairs with priests, they're just like every other mistress, being strung along by their boyfriends while returning to the one they took vows to.
In the secular world, the excuse would be "I'll divorce my wife as soon as [vague future event] happens." In this case, the excuse is "I can't marry you, I'm not allowed," even though that they can leave with less hassle than a divorce. The priests involved would have a good deal: their bills are paid, the health insurance is up to date and gifts from parishioners drizzle down on them in a steady trickle.
The women, who reportedly met up on a closed Facebook group, say they represent only a “small sample” of an apparently large group of secret lovers of priests. According to Vatican Insider, the letter noted, “a lot has been said by those who are in favour of optional celibacy but very little is known about the devastating suffering of a woman who is deeply in love with a priest. We humbly place our suffering at your feet in the hope that something may change, not just for us, but for the good of the entire Church.”
So, in a closed Facebook group, having no statistics, secret handshakes, or off-line membership rosters, these women are actually representative of a silent majority? One can say that my closed Facebook group is filled with assassins dedicated to overthrowing the United States, and most of our membership includes everyone in the country who didn't vote in the last election, that doesn't make it so.
The women admitted that they knew it was wrong to enter into amorous relationships with priests, and implied that, at least to some extent the priests respected their vows of chastity, but added, “in most cases, despite all efforts to renounce it, one cannot manage to give up such a solid and beautiful bond. Unfortunately, this brings with it all the pain of not being able to live it fully.”
This sounds like a teenager explaining her virginity as doing "everything but sex," and failing. Somehow, in addition to this, the priests have taken a vow to not marry, and the women have taken vows to not have sex, but, occasionally, "stuff happens." Really?
Also, they're not asking Pope Francis to let them have a relationship, they just want his blessing to come out of the closet. These women have supposedly already gone that direction, "despite all efforts."
The Daily Beast tries to give some history to it.
Priests have been celibate in the Church since the year 1100, when the Vatican made it a hard and fast rule, but it is considered a discipline, not doctrine, which means Francis or any pope after him could lift it. And, according to George Sim Johnston in the Catholic News Agency, there are already married priests in the Latin American Church. “There aren’t many, because a priest may have a wife only in one circumstance: A Lutheran or Episcopalian minister who is already married and wishes to convert to Catholicism is allowed the option of becoming a Catholic priest, on condition that his wife gives full consent,” Johnston writes. “You don’t usually see these married priests, because they’re generally not given parish assignments; they teach in seminaries or work in the chancery.”
They got a lot of things right, except for one. When Pope John Paul II was asked about this, he said that it had become a matter of tradition, and that he felt he couldn't overrule it. Yes, the Pope's are just as much bound by tradition as Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof.
Johnston continues with, essentially, what's aleady been noted
“The only other alternatives are either for the priest to abandon the priesthood or for the relationship to carry on in secret.”
The women asked Francis to essentially grandfather in the same sort of scenario. “We would also like the men we love to live their priestly vocation fully, serving the community and continue the mission they have been passionately and devotedly engaged in for a great many years,” the women wrote. “We wish to stand by their side and support them in their calling which is strengthened by the vital force of love they discovered with us.”
The problem with this is that one part of the rationale behind and unmarried priesthood is so priests can "live their priestly vocation fully," without splitting their time between a family and a parish. A family isn't quite a full time job, but being a priest is supposed to be, if they're doing it right. Imagine a doctor who's always on call, 24/7, 366 (counting leap years).
The women then reportedly asked for a private audience with Francis to lay out the scenario they and their priestly lovers endure: “This continuous giving and then letting go is soul destroying. When this enormous pain leads to a definitive separation, the consequences are no less devastating and both parties are often scarred for life,” they wrote. “The only other alternatives are either for the priest to abandon the priesthood or for the relationship to carry on in secret.”
Again, if it's so, so, very very painful .... why don't their boyfriends quit?
The Vatican press office deferred the matter, saying they didn’t discuss the pope’s “personal correspondence.” But as a cardinal, Francis (aka Jose Mario Bergoglio) was close friends with Jeronimo Podesta, a former bishop who left the Church to marry his secret lover. Francis even kept in touch with the former bishop’s widow, Clelia Luro, during the early months of his pontificate until Luro died last year.
And in an interview with Rabbi Abraham Skorka published in his book On Heaven and Earth, Francis said he personally wouldn’t marry, but it is basically never say never when it comes to abolishing the vow of celibacy from the priesthood. “For now, I am in favor of maintaining celibacy, with all the pros and cons that some with it, because in ten centuries there have been more positive experiences than errors,” Francis said. [Emphasis added]
Seriously, this is standard left-wing "Catholic" propaganda that's been floating around since the 1960s. The major problem with Vatican II wasn't that there was a Vatican council, but that it happened in a time when there were so many toxic philosophies floating around that John XXIII's "opening the windows of the church" didn't so much let in fresh air as it did nerve gas.