ethische non-monogamie / ethical non-monogamy

All-male, celibate Catholic priesthood is an an embarrassing relic [United States]

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Should Bishop Robert Finn resign? It would be a rare example of accountability. But this question, I believe, is largely irrelevant to the central problem behind the ongoing priestly sexual abuse scandals.

I am a lifelong, devout Catholic and a historian. To me, the central problem is not the fact that a relatively few priests have sexually abused children, evil as that is. Priests are prone to the same failings as everyone else. Like anyone else, they should face appropriate criminal penalties and civil liabilities.

Neither is the real issue those bishops who have been negligent in confronting the problem or complicit in covering it up. They too must be held legally accountable.

Most absurd of all, the main problem is not the cultural upheaval of the 1960s. A recent study blamed in part the “patterns of increased deviance in society” at that time. This implies the existence of a golden age of priestly celibacy that never existed.

As I see it, the central problem behind the ongoing clerical abuse scandal is the all-male, celibate priesthood. It is an embarrassing holdover from the Middle Ages.

Da Vinci Code aside, real historical evidence shows that women’s roles in the Catholic Church were increasingly restricted as the early church became established. At the same time, the view of all sexuality as evil crept into the church. The origins of this sex-denying ethic were cultural, not scriptural.

Other issues, such as the inheritance of church property for the many priests with families, also led to the church increasingly to insist on absolute priestly celibacy.

KansasCity.com, 11 juni 2011


Written by lovingmore

juni 12, 2011 bij 3:10 pm

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