There are priests, bishops and cardinals that are able to suppress or supplant their sexual desires through service to the Catholic Church. This is their Spirit Path, and we support those that can take that journey. There needs to be a choice that allows priests and nuns to marry, have children and continue to serve as spiritual leaders in the Catholic Church.
The admission of Cardinal Keith O’Brien that he has had homosexual relationships, and the continuing scandal of Catholic priests that are also pedophiles should finally lead to a reversal of the prohibition of marriage by priests in the Catholic Church. Although seldom mentioned, marriage should also be allowed and encouraged for the nuns if that is where their heart leads them.
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is looking more and more like an effective way to clean house in the Vatican of those that participated in covering up the scandals involving priests in pedophile relationships, as well as priests in heterosexual relationships that were done out of wedlock for the priests. Most of the heterosexual relationships among priests and parishioners involved adultery.
It is obvious that sexual desires and procreation are in the natural order of every species. An attempt to somehow elevate the priesthood above the desires of human nature is a slander against the natural order established by the Creator. Sex between loving partners is an affirmation of their commitment to the relationship, and does not reduce their spirituality.
It is absolutely certain that the denial of normal sexual desires has had an extremely adverse effect on the Catholic priesthood, and the scandals now extend from the parish priests to the highest levels of the church hierarchy. Some have participated in unholy acts with children and consenting adults, and others have helped hide the activities by moving priests to other locations, and intimidating those that have complained.
Spiritualists do not condemn homosexual relationships that involve the love and respect given in any marriage. If the relationships are based upon love and respect for all involved, they are not considered to be the business of the church. The Golden Rule applies in all relationships. The commitment of one person to another to love, honor and cherish the relationship is the key test of the validity of any marriage.
If the denial of sexuality of any person leads to pedophilia, that cannot be excused or condoned. This is what has happened time and time again with the Catholic priests around the world. There have been attempts to shift the blame from the priests to the children by saying that the priests were seduced. This excuse is not allowed for teachers involved with students, and it does not apply to priests with their young charges.
It would be better to shift the blame to the archaic and inhumane dogma that attempts to deny sexuality based upon “a higher calling”. Hello, that calling cannot be met by priests that still feel sexual desires to the extent that they are willing to sacrifice those in their charge to meet their own needs. They are being inappropriately human.
One of the hallmarks of religions is their inability to change as the world changes. As one of the larger religions in the world, the Catholic Church has a hierarchy that is dominated by old men that are dogmatic in maintaining the traditions carried over for centuries.
Those traditions are not working, as shown by the scars on many young children and the declining number of priests and nuns. The church proclamations regarding birth control are ignored on a global basis, and it has undermined the overall respect and authority held for the leadership of the church.
The world has changed. The church must change, too. Pope Benedict XVI has paved the way for a major overhaul of the hierarchy. The next Pope has the opportunity to allow marriage and encourage responsible birth control. This will help to rebuild the respect for the church and help to end the majority of the scandals related to sexual misconduct.
May God help those that would serve the Catholic Church at all levels to recognize the need for these changes.