Monday, April 12, 2010



The Vatican must realize that the church’s belligerent, resentful and paranoid response to the global scandal is not working because it now says it will cooperate with secular justice systems and that the pope will have more meetings with victims. It is too little, too late.

The church that through the ages taught me and other children right from wrong did not know right from wrong when it came to children. Crimes were swept under the rectory rug, and molesters were protected to molest again for the “good of the universal church.” And that is bad, very bad — a mortal sin.

In the context of my last two posts, I decided to post the following which is an article I wrote on October 4, 2009:

Illinois state senator Heather Steans introduced the legislature’s first marriage equality bill on Thursday. Called the Equal Marriage Act, the bill was assigned the cheer-friendly number of 2-4-6-8.

In contrast, even while foaming at the mouth in its antipathy toward same-sex marriage and defamation of LGBT people, the Vatican is dancing as fast as it can in relation to its many sexual scandals.

“Sex” provides much of the root of homophobia: Such as the fear of sex; the fear of one’s sexuality; the fear of one’s being perceived as not clearly being in a (falsely) culturally approved and constructed dualistic box of gender performance and/or identification that is viewed by others as being appropriate to his/her anatomy.

It is no accident that the Roman Catholic Church is notoriously homophobic while at the same time having sexual scandals involving young victims that seems to know no bounds; offenses committed and facilitated by men who claim to be celibate heterosexuals who wear dresses and gowns.

Moreover, despite the admonition of the Apostle Paul that no one could or should forbid anyone to marry, all priests (who must, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, be men) must remain celibate.

Despite often stated “spiritual” reasons for mandated celibacy among the RC priesthood, the bottom line is that sexual expression is viewed by the Vatican as something that is largely antithetical to living a truly spiritual life that, to its way of thinking, can only accrue to those who remain celibate.

So, it’s no wonder that with this warped view of sex and sexuality, the RC Church and most of its clergy would feel, and express, revulsion against same-sex love, since many of their clergy are likely to be sexually fearful and/or sexually frustrated and repressed, unless they have been called by God to be celibate for God’s sake.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.(1Timothy 4:1-5)

Despite the biblical admonition to not ever forbid anyone to marry, the RC Church contravenes that admonition, often attracting sexually and/or emotionally stunted people to its ranks, and rejects healthy Gay people from its seminaries in favor of those who are often self-loathing closet cases who live lives of almost unendurable suffering by having to repress this most primal urge; they sometimes externalize their repressed sexuality onto vulnerable young people.

And, to add insult to injury, the Vatican blames Gay people for their sexual scandals [Also see here.], rather than blame itself for flouting Scripture regarding enforced celibacy; for rejecting healthy Gay people; for tacitly encouraging repressed, self-loathing closet cases; for consigning sexuality to an inferior position regarding the spiritual life.

The healthy integration of sexuality and spirituality is seemingly foreign to their views of sex and sexuality!

Similarly, it is no accident that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is notoriously homophobic while at the same time having a history of polygamy that was integrated into its theology until they were threatened by the federal government.

In 1890, “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government could deny the right to vote or hold office to all Mormons who practiced the Law of Abraham, or who merely believed in plural marriage. Later in the year, they ruled that the Edmunds-Tucker Act was constitutional, and that the federal government could repeal the LDS church charter and dissolve the church.” [See here.] So, given this court ruline, pragmatism overrode theology for the LDS Church!

Given its checkered history of sexual/marital practices, it is remarkable that the LDS Church argues against same-sex marriage based on its belief in “traditional family values.”

So, we have the tragic situation where major denominations within the institutional Church are notoriously homophobic, and most denominations within that institutional Church are homophobic to varying degrees, and a courageous politician, Heather Steans of Illinois, seeks to move the ball of equality forward by doing the right thing!

The Church should be in the vanguard of fighting for equal rights and justice for all of God’s children!

Yet, regarding most of the institutional Church, we see the very opposite, where so many intelligent, decent, and sensitive people accurately see much of what is proclaimed to be “Christian” to be nothing more than Reactionary sham religion that seeks to deprive people of equal rights and medical care; most of its gullible followers bearing false witness against God’s very own LGBT children.

Whether she knows it or not, Senator Steans is doing God’s work!

And those who seek to deprive LGBT people of equal rights, and who defame them as much as they can, and who give money to keep them as second-class citizens who are often viewed as pariahs precisely due to the lies promulgated by homophobic clergy and their blind followers, are doing nothing short of serving the demonic!
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Loukas said...

I too have noticed this tendency in the RC Church itself and various groups of its supporters who strive to present themselves as being attacked, as if media and people of the "Homosexual Hate Movement" kind waged war on the righteous Church; as if all the scandals and coverups were exaggerated. It's a very clever strategy, whose point is to persuade people that the statistics presented by media are being misinterpreted, that there weren't so many of these incidents anyway and that the Church did what it possibly could to prevent them from happening again. I don't know whether they realize how this kind of arguing really sounds, i.e. as tough they suggested that the scandals shouldn't be revealed and discussed because they may be interpreted as an attack and, thus, something immoral. And I can't help but wonder what's happened to the Christian attitude? Can we think of avoiding one's responsibility and commencing a counter-attack as a Christian thing to do? I think, by the way, that what matters here is not the statistical aspect of these cases, but the mechanism the Church uses to deal with them. And it is more then obvious that its policy has been controversial, if not criminal. Regardless of what allegations or charges we can produce or come across, it’s an unquestionable fact that the official procedures introduced by the Church in early 60s – by John XXIII to be precise – do instruct to try to prevent the victims from reporting the abuse cases to the authorities and to protect clergy, dealing with everything within the Church. And this document hasn’t been changed since it was issued. I suppose that’s the most important thing the pope ought to do now.

And I agree with what you wrote about celibacy or, in a wider perspective, about the whole formation process in the Roman Catholic Church and the impact it's teachings, methods and procedures have on people's psychosexual and emotional development. If one is not able to recognize and accept their sexual needs and this dimension of life is treated as a sinful, unwanted one, than of course - everything pushed into the subconscious comes back, sometimes causing really harmful, pathological effects that can lead not only to various psychological problems, but even such desires that, combined with the general inability to understand or control these feelings, may result in a sexual crime. But there is more to celibacy than that - well, I even suppose that celibacy is of secondary importance here. In fact there is some sense to it, in the image of someone who devotes himself and his life to everybody, every Church member, and feels that a personal relationship would be an obstacle in doing so. Celibacy is in fact about relationships, not sexual activity. Yet again - it shouldn't be introduced by force and made a requirement to serve God and the Church as a priest.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Loukas, for your very thoughtful comment. One point you raise: "Can we think of avoiding one's responsibility and commencing a counter-attack as a Christian thing to do?" I think as Christians it is our responsibility to preach and do our best to live out the Gospel of grace.

And when those who profess to be Christians defame God, and pervert Christianity, by equating their prejudices with what they call "Christianity," and seek to deny civil rights to others "in God's name," we are obligated to publicly confront those lies. Best wishes, Jerry.