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Sex claims against US Church rise

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Nataraja, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Nataraja Gems: 12/31
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    Sex claims against US Church rise


    I have always thought of this as being primarily an issue with celibacy. When you dont act on your natural urges, they often become twisted. I dont think the majority of the abusers are homosexual, or even pedophiles, but rather they are straight men with urges that arent being met and who end up becoming monsters. Unless of course the priests urges are only that of molesting children, in which case they should implement screening, if they havent already, to lessen the likelihood of things like this occuring. I remember someone telling me that only a percentage of male-female adult rapes are reported because of the stigma...so just imagine how many child rapes are going unreported because of the bigger stigma of being the victim of abuse by a person you are taught to trust and respect and who has power over you, temporal and spiritual.
     
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  2. lwelyk Gems: 3/31
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    Exactly. I've always found the vow of celibacy kind of dumb. Sorry Catholics, I just think it's a bad idea.
     
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  3. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] There are many religious ideals across the whole range that are better in theory than ever in practice - I am afraid I hold one such view for vows of cellibacy.

    The desire for sex is natural and healthy, like most things, in moderation. I can understand the aspect of catholicism that urges this drive to be controlled until such a time as to where it is appropriate to avoid frustrating their fundamental laws to create a situation of perfect love and trust.

    There is also the aspect that often those who feel they seek redemption from outlandish urges seek solace of God in the form of joining His clergy. Or the truly monstrous that see it as an easy ticket for reasons outlined by Nataraja.
     
  4. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I must say I agree with the foolishness of the cellibacy vow. It seems that the Catholics have flat-out forgotten about much of the Bible. It's sad to see, really.
     
  5. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The vow of chastity is not the cause, nor is it the issue with the sex claims. There are hundred of thousands of priests who have successfully maintained their vow.

    I served in the Navy with a Catholic priest. He was a chaplain on one of the ships I was on. I swear, when he wore that collar off the ship he had more women around him than George Clooney. It was like a magnet to every woman who wanted a challenge. I honestly believe he could have gotten laid -- with an adult woman -- at any time, in any port. I never saw him, or even heard of him, taking advantage of any opportunity presented to him.

    To assume pressures of "maintaining the vow of celebacy" causes a priest to act out as a pedophile is allowing that individual to escape blame. It's simply wrong to blame the church for the crimes of an individual. The church is paying (quite literally) for the cover up of those crimes. I believe the individuals are completely and entirely responsible for their actions. Perhaps there is a way to screen incoming priest for these things, but I doubt it -- we would have this capability for our schools and police as well. There is simply not a test or questionnaire available which will identify a pedophile.

    I disagree completely with Nataraja on this point: A vow of chastity does not make someone a pedophile. A vow of chastity does not make someone homosexual. These issues existed before the man became a priest -- and could very well be one of many reasons the individual went into the priesthood (not to seek victims, but to withdraw from the temptation).
     
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  6. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    You've hit it T2 -- the vow itself does not make someone into a pervert.

    I also believe that maintaining that vow of self control is possible -- it has been done by millions over the centuries. That said, though . . .

    I wonder if a full time, whole life vow of celibacy is really desireable. I believe that people should be celibate before marriage and faithful in marriage, but I don't think that a lifetime without sexual contact is a healthy choice. In that sense and to the degree I've mentioned the Catholic Church should consider some changes (as in permitting priests to marry). I doubt it'll happen though.

    I'm pretty sure that the Catholics screen as best as they can, but there's no way to ferret out every deviant who comes to the priesthood, either because they think it'lll eliminate temptation or because they think it'll give them a better pool of targets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  7. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I concur with T2's post. I have nothing to add to that.
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    T2 hit it quite well, but I do have a few things to add. Sexual deviance is actually a great deal more common among catholic priests than the general population -- and understandably so. The most obvious example of this can be found with the number of priests who self-identify as homosexuals. Even if one doesn't consider homosexuality immoral -- and I most assuredly don't -- one must still acknowledge that it deviates from "normal" sexual behavior. An anonymous survey of the Friars of the Atonement (a Franciscan order of priests within the Catholic Church) conducted some 15 years ago found that a little over half of them (!) were homosexual (even the most generous numbers put the percentage within the normal population at 15%, with the real figure being closer to about 2%).

    There's a simple reason for this, of course. A devout catholic usually believes that homosexuality is abhorrent to God and that he could be punished eternally for acting on his desires. For such a person, hiding behind the cloth becomes a very attractive option (the survey reflected this, as well). Priests afflicted with pedophilia* may feel compelled to hide behind the cloth for essentially the same reason. Of course, homosexuality isn't an incurable mental illness, so gay priests don't have any more trouble sticking to their vows than straight priests do. Pedophilia, on the other hand.... That said, it has also been discovered that an alarming number of priests who have abused children were, in fact, abused by a priest as children themselves.

    * It goes without saying that homosexuality and pedophilia aren't even in the same ballpark. In fact, they aren't even the same sport. A more appropriate metaphor would place homosexuality in Wrigley Field and pedophilia in NFL 2K8. They are both sexually deviant behaviors, but the similarities stop there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
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  9. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I was going to suggest something much along the same lines as Drew – that perhaps some priests are using the priesthood as an attempt to “protect” them from their homosexual or pedophiliac desires. Although it could just be a matter of percentages – the ratio of homosexual/pedophiliac priests to straight ones might be the same as in society in general, but cases involving priests gets more press because of the hypocrisy involved.

    Although I must say that I disagree with his referring to either as a “sport”. :p
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I think the tendency of gay devout Catholics to choose the cloth as a way to escape torment about their own sexuality is fairly well established. The question is whether the same would apply to pedophiles, and I'm not 100% sure of it. It's a possibility (in my opinion, a strong one), to be sure, but the fact remains that homosexuality is a sexual orientation and pedophilia is a mental illness that is often considered incurable. I wouldn't mind being wrong about this one.
     
  11. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Not wanting to derail the thread here, but last I checked, there wasn't really any solid proof about homosexuality being "just" a sexual orientation and pedophilia being "just" a mental illness. Until recently, and in many less culturally advanced parts of the world, homosexuality is still considered to be a mental illness and criminally deviant behaviour. The Western world's perspective on it hasn't really changed because of any major scientific breakthroughs in finding out what the deal with homosexuality is, but rather because treating it like an illness wasn't politically correct any more and because the gay community became much more open and vocal - and consequently influential.

    Now, pedophilia will probably (hopefully!) never gain anywhere near as much public acceptance as homosexuality because most human beings have an ingrained fear for the well-being of their own and other children, and anything that could even just potentially harm them is considered bad. But if it wasn't for this factor (or if somehow, say in the next 100 years, our society came to the conclusion that sex with children is not a crime - and given that the current trend is that children half way through primary school having sex is nothing special any more, this might not be such a stretch of imagination then as it feels now), I'm quite certain that nothing would stop the pedophile community (I wouldn't be surprised if it was significantly larger or at least as large as the homosexual community) from slowly gaining social acceptance and eventually the full rights that the majority enjoys, exactly like the homosexuals.

    The Dutch already have a pedophile political party, so don't for a second think that what I wrote is impossible. For the moment, most pedophiles seek anonymity. But you can bet that at some point, that will change - they will rise up and demand their "rights" as well. Also note that I'm not in any way equating homosexuality and pedophilia, I'm only saying how one could easily go exactly the same route as the other eventually as long as certain conditions will be met. You could say that only yesterday, homosexuality and sodomy were still crimes in much of the Western world. Once the turnaround started, it was amazingly fast to gain enough public acceptance to decriminalize it, despite it being considered criminal for centuries before.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
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  12. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    But it wasn't Tal, homosexuality have been going up and down and for most of history what I can piece together it has been one of those "secrets" everyone knew. Our current or what many see as "old" view of sexuality is really quite new and was a result from the victorian age. The average person throughout history has been quite a bit more openminded about sex and sexuality than even our western world. Homosexuality as well, it might not have been something you advertised openly but neither does it seem to have been such a big thing either. As for pedophilia, well, that is a quite new phenomenon. Not that it didn't happen before but that it is viewed as something abhorrent. Quite common throughout history and it is first now that society actually do something about it except turning a blind eye.
     
  13. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    It has been in most of the Western world, at least officially... to what extent it was sanctioned and who got sanctioned is another story, of course. Pedophilia is one of those secrets everyone knows as well... it happens everywhere, but it is far better hidden than homosexuality.

    Exactly the fact that pedophilia has also existed and has mostly been shrugged off throughout human history means that it's not impossible for it to regain that position.
     
  14. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    And yet...

    :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  15. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Drew: The term "hiding behind the cloth" has such a sinister connotation. I believe, at least for the homosexuality issue, men realize early enough they have different attractions than is acceptible by the church. These devout men have the options of either living a life they will not enjoy, living a life of sin, or entering the priesthood with the hopes that devoting their life to Christ will enable them to overcome their "temptations."

    I don't see this as hiding behind the cloth -- these are men who are trying to live their lives according to the commandments as they know them and taking a path which gives them the least temptation to stray. Actually, quite a noble sacrifice in my book. I believe the majority of homosexuals who enter the priesthood (or convent) do so to prevent continuing down a path they view as sinful. Some may stray from that path, but no one expects perfection (predators are an entirely different subject).

    It is also possible men who have sexual feelings for children start down the path to priesthood for the same reasons.

    There may be some who are predators -- whether they were predators when they entered the priesthood or continued down the path after a few years is an interesting subject and one the church should extensively explore.
     
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  16. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The last option is what I was trying to get across in my second-last post. As usual, T2, does a better job of it.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    I did not intend to imply anything sinister. Other than that, I agree with your post in its entirety.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I'm not sure how forcing priests into taking a vow a celibacy (which has been standard operating procedure in the church for about seven centuries now) means that Catholics have "forgotten about much of the Bible"). In fact, if I remember correctly, the requirement for celibacy in the priesthood predates the King James translation of the Bible, which is what most people view as the "official" version today.

    One thing I will agree with is that removing the celibacy criteria may do a lot to help out the Catholic Church. Certainly priests fondling or sodomizing altar boys is a major problem, but another problem within the Catholic Church today is a shortage of priests. While I think the Catholic Church does make efforts to ensure that the priests aren't pedophiles, the process certainly isn't perfect. Since they don't have nearly enough people entering the seminary (the shortage of priests didn't happen overnight, it's been developing for years) may mean that they've long since passed the point of being overly choosy.

    However, given that over 90% of the general population gets married at some point, it seems to me that requiring priests to be celibate (which also obviously means they cannot get married) automatically removes 90% of the population from the potential pool of people entering the priesthood (do not overlook that you also must be male to be a priest). I'm sure there are tons of straight guys out who would be willing to enter the priesthood, if such a committment wouldn't mean they couldn't have a wife or a family.
     
  19. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    One, the only thing I can think of in the Bible that even hints that priests should be celebate is when Paul says he wishes that all could be as he (at the time, celebate), but that marriage was provided for those who couldn't. This is also the only time in all his letters that he says that this is his idea, not God's. If anything, that right there would strike it out as a requirement for me. On top of that, this is hardly the only area I see the Church drastically deviating from the Bible.

    Two, I do not believe that celebacy causes sexual perversion, however I do believe it exacerbates the situation. Sexuality isn't a clean-cut field, like genetics. Like most aspects of human psychology, it is increadibly complex and posessed of many different spectrums. What we consider 'healthy sexuality' exists within certain ranges on all these spectrums, allowing for wide variation in things like height, weight, body features, coloration, etc. At the extremes of several of these spectrums are what we call fetishes, things that are seen as bizzare and abnormal, but not necessarily unhealthy: obsessions with feet, with hair, with obesity, etc. At the extremes of other spectrums are what some of us, for some reason or another, call perversions, and deem as unhealthy: homosexuality, bestiality, etc. Pedophilia and rape likely exist as extremes of even these, being similar to homosexuality as both they and homosexuality are to reagular 'healthy' sex. Many cases (though not all) further compound the problem with childhood trauma, frequently of the sexual kind for pedophilia. The abused becomes the abuser and frequently tries to mimic the manner of abuse. This also explains why there are so many pedophiles in the priesthood: the problem naturally balloons. Those who are abused by priests seek to mimic their abuser, consciously or unconsciously. They may even, consciously, believe that entering the priesthood will help them combat these urges, but it actually makes the temptation all the stronger.

    All these issues could be helped, though not at all cured, by a 'healthy', 'normal' sexual life, but celebacy denies that. On top of that, the pressures of the priesthood and the teachings of the Catholic Church (largely anti-psychology, though not 100%) deter those that would seek additional help.

    The Church compounds the error, but does not cause it. The problem is naturally reinforcing itself.
     
  20. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    What would make sense: to not allow priests to have sex before marriage.
    What doesn't: celibacy.
     
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