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THE CHAINS OF CELIBACY

Catholics say you can give up the lawful gifts of God in order to love God better. They are good but you sacrifice them for the love of God.  One example is clerical celibacy.  The priest supposedly is made to be celibate and responds to this invitation.  But how can the Church then speak of the priest refusing a gift of marriage to choose a gift of celibacy?  Marriage was never an option if he was made to be on his own!

The doctrine that priests are giving up God's gift of marriage is only a cover up to make it look like that priests feel marriage is great and not dirty or beneath them.

The Catholic Church does not allow priests to marry. But married Anglican priests who go crazy and convert to Roman Catholicism are allowed to be ordained provided they donít sleep with their wives. This clearly suggests that sex is evil and unholy.

The Bible argued that ministers of religion should be the husbands of one wife and have families (1 Timothy 3). The reasoning was that the man who has experience of family life would be more suited to governing the family of God.

Paul said that we have the right to take a wife like Peter and the other apostles did (1 Corinthians 9:5).

The Catholic Church seeks to justify this defiance of scripture by saying that the apostles permitted priestly marriage but knew the ideal was for a priest to sacrifice himself to become a celibate. This assumes that the apostles believed in acts over and above oneís duty which is not only unlikely for it is a ridiculous belief but also for it is not in the Bible. The early Church would have been made to do things perfectly for when it was ruled by inspired prophets that would be the only time it could be perfect. The apostles believed that Jesus wanted them to be perfect examples for the world so they would have performed every act of supererogation in the book or commanded perfection. If the apostles were loyal to their God and permitted priestly marriage then it is sinful to have celibate priests in the compulsory way.

A priest who beds one man or woman after another is preferred to one who is honourably married, under the papal regime. The Church might object that he should never have been a priest. But is it fair to say that of sexual sinners when there are plenty of other bad and worse sins? A person would only degrade themselves to take on celibacy if they perceived themselves as sexually abnormal. They fear sexuality and that must be down to something in themselves Ė how else could you explain the big deal they make about sex? The priest that meets a woman and gets married is one that recovers from that something. The Catholic adulation for enforced celibacy is an indication of psycho-sexual ill-health. There is something wrong with the pope for example. He wants celibacy to stay. Actions speak louder than words so donít let his lofty observations on marriage and sexuality lead you up the garden path. It would be better to be stricter on drink. It would be better to make a bigger deal about a priest drinking and ban it than it would be to be so obsessed with keeping them out of the marital bed.

The Church says a man who doesn't want a companion in a wife who can make him happy and be with him in old age but who prefers to bed one woman after another is emotionally damaged. There is a part of him that hasn't grown up. But this man though he has sex has the mindset of the celibate. He is celibate though he is a bed-hopping celibate. Actions reflect what kind of person you are. So according to the Church this isn't true for a chaste celibate who doesn't have marital sex and has renounced it forever is considered normal while a man who also has renounced marital sex forever but who has sex anyway is considered psychologically defective. The point is, though the actions are different the actions in both men reflect their being at the same level as human beings.

St Paul in Romans 1 condemned people having same-sex relations and other sexual sins and was infuriated by the lack of shame they felt about these things. In other words he was saying that if you commit sexual sin you should be deeply ashamed. Shame does no good. If you do wrong do not be ashamed but correct yourself in as positive a way as possible for self-esteem is the parent of all that is good in humanity. To advocate the inducing of shame and guilt is to advocate revenge Ė seeing a person needlessly suffer for doing wrong.

A huge number of areas are without a priest and many others just see a priest who is spreading himself thin just briefly now and again. The pope can remedy this by ordaining married men to the priesthood but he wonít. The pope acts as if he sees the loss of the mass, the supreme act of worship in Roman Catholicism, as better than the loss of celibacy. He does not respect the mass and by implication he does not respect anybody else. He does not have to allow married priests forever but they could do until the vocation crisis is resolved. The bishops would all ignore him if they were decent and their priests would twist their arms if they didn't if they were human. These things donít happen much. The authority of the pope comes before helping others. Yet the Catholic faith still says that we are only obliged to obey the pope in all that is not sinful. Priests say that it isnít a sin to obey an unreasonable command of the pope though it would be if that command were sinful. This is obviously unintelligible. Sin is doing stupid things.

Is celibacy and lack of sex-drive unnatural? Most people these days would believe they are unnatural and perverted. For example, choosing to be celibate for life like a priest does indicates a turning away from sexual love and the intimacy and outstanding support it brings. Sexual love does not necessarily have to be expressed in physical actions. It is still there even if the partners have no sex drive. This illustrates how abnormal what priests do is. Better to be a homosexual and have loads of partners than to be like that. Lack of sex-drive is abnormal only when the person has no desire for physical closeness with a partner, when he or she does not like kissing or being held. For some that can be enough sexual activity and that is fine. But sexual pleasure is healthy and an important part of life and anybody who settles for kisses and cuddles should try and get help so that he or she is not doing wrong by missing out. But if they cannot be made more interested in sex then they should be happy the way they are.

PAPAL SIN, STRUCTURES OF DECEIT, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000