Sunday, September 25, 2005

New Vatican Policy in the works

William Rees-Mogg writing in the Times of London with no apparent irony:

For the past three years, mainly under the late Pope John Paul II, that body has been drawing up a new instruction, which will cover the issue of which candidates should be admitted for ordination. The outcome is a document, not yet published, on which The New York Times has been given a special briefing. That is an unusual way for the Vatican to behave, but it reflects the Vatican's sensitivity to American opinion on this issue. [bolding mine]
That's like consulting Mike Tyson before you write domestic violence laws. Who does Rees-Mogg think actively promotes homosexuality everywhere from the diversity quotas in the newsroom to the classroom? It isn't Vatican sensitivity to American opinion, for God's sake. They know the New York Times/WashingtonPost/LosAnglesTimes and the Stepford media will immediately and vociferously condemn the policy. The Vatican just wants to know how they will frame the argument.

Rees-Mogg is under the impression that it is pedophiles who committed the offenses against children in the Catholic church. He ignores altogether the fact that only 1% of the abused are female. The consequence of that is if he can claim it is pedophiles, he can claim there is absolutely no reason to exclude homosexuals from the priesthood. I hate to disabuse him, but former seminarians acknowledge that homosexuality is rampant in U.S. seminaries, so much so that straights quit in abject frustration. And disallusionment. (Imagine 200 Andrew Sullivans in a seminary and you got the picture. One disagreement with the church and then imagine the emotional tantrums.) A Kansas City Star investigation of priests with HIV and AIDS indirectly confirmed the sexualization of the seminaries by appallingly high HIV/AIDS rates among priests. They wanted to validate homosexuality. They ended up confirming what we know about AIDS and HIV.

HIV virus is sexually transmitted -- infection through needles is rare and confined to drug addicts. Most HIV infected people are men, and the virus is transmitted through anal sex. The higher infection rate in priests in the Kansas City Star article points to an epidemic of sexual activity in the seminaries. And not casual sex either. The victims who have come forward to accuse the priests have not themselves been infected. They do not charge that. You don't get infected through casual or infrequent contact. HIV infection involves multiple partners and a lot of sex. Of course, the Kansas City Star blamed AIDS on celibacy because the seminaries didn't teach enough sexuality.

I hate to shatter Mr. Rees-Mogg's defense of homosexuals, but most boys abused by priests are not children but adolescents. It isn't a love of children that motivates the priest. It is love of boys and young men.

Contemporary English lacks a common word for the behaviors included in the great majority of “clergy-abuse” cases, in which the “abused” is often fifteen or sixteen years old. The best and most comprehensive term is probably pederasty, the erotic love of a youth (Greek, pais), which is etymologically very close to pedophilia but covers relationships with any young person, usually male, up to the age of full adult maturity.
Not all homosexuals are pederasts. Most homosexual men are not interested in young boys. All pederasts are homosexual. Many of the pederast priests so accused had engaged in sex with boys who turned out later to be gay which makes you wonder whether the attraction was mutual. It does not make it acceptable and it does not excuse the adult homosexual priest. Adolescents are still below the age of consent. And priests should not be shielded from prosecution for acting on their inclinations. And no homosexual should be ordained. Period.

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