Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let priests marry and enjoy life

When I was a little more than a boy, a priest was caught red-handed in the house of a widowed lady, in our neighboring parish around midnight. Someone had seen him entering the house who made a big commotion and villagers apprehended the chaste white-robed guy. The whole thing was hushed up immediately. I have also heard reports of priests fathering children. Three priests eloped with women from parishes close to ours whom they married after they were deconsecrated as priests.       
There was a famous murder case in which a priest was reported to have had raped and killed a beautiful woman. There has been a number of such cases ever since. I have noticed that priests always behave nicer to women and there is a sparkle in their eyes if beautiful women are around.  I have witnessed a guy slapping our parish priest for misbehaving to ladies.
Just the other day I was reading about both gay and straight catholic priests enjoying  the sexual opportunities offered by Rome’s nightlife.  ‘Both the types take full advantage o f it’ says Carmelo Abbate an Italian journalist in his new book,   “Sex and the Vatican: A Secret Journey in the Reign of the Chaste” He has taken his conclusion from his interviews with priests and his undercover reporting. According to a news release from the book’s publisher, Piemme, Abbate, “priests of all nationalities divide their time between Via della Conciliazione [the main road leading to St. Peter’s Basilica] and the party scene of Rome by night.”
This may not be the only place where priests look for nocturnal pleasures. Nightlife is not confined to Rome. It is there everywhere in the west and the ‘starving’ priests cannot be blamed if they resort to their services.

 The history of the church is blemished with the sexual promiscuity of priests, bishops and even a  pope or two (during the Middle Ages) who used to keep cohorts and who made their illicit offspring the heir to their thrones. The Church was then immensely rich and was the biggest land-lord; they had both temporal and spiritual power. Sexual corruption was bound to happen.  I have often wondered as a boy and as an adult why Catholic priests are not allowed to marry. Sex is the most natural expression of life. God made his favourite creation man and woman and He  instilled in them the urge to mate.

The hate of women starts with the story of the original sin. The genesis story and later commentaries simply hate women.  It was St. Augustine, the bishop of Hippo, who popularized the concept of original sin.  The sin of Adam and Eve, he argued, has been passed down intact to every member of the human race, and it is, he maintained, transmitted through the semen produced during the sexual intercourse. 
St. Augustine equated sex with sin, the greatest blunder. In the Bible, there are relatively few places that even mention sex being sinful. Only two parts of the Bible really point to this, and they are: the sixth commandment: "Thou shall not commit adultery," and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Most people  believe that the Bible would be the book that states sex is a sin. But it is not.  Bible is sex-friendly. Please read through the narrations of the OLd Testament and you will realize it.  
Northern Ireland’s Bishop Edward Daly is trying to get the Catholic Church to accept married priests, mostly because it would boost dwindling numbers of new priests. 
How did the tradition of celibacy arise? Christianity grew out of Judaism which has no such restriction placed on its rabbis. The Church may be thought that  Celibacy would focus the priest’s energy on his work more There is no evidence at all that compulsory celibacy results in a higher output of work.  The married priests of the Church of England or those of the Malankara church who converted into Catholicism discharge their duties well. On the other hand, sexual frustration has a negative impact on focusing on anything.
May be the Church didn’t want to bear the financial burden of the upkeep of a priest’s family. Or, it could be an unintentional result of an early restriction in the Church that people attending Communion were to fast and abstain from sex from midnight before. In early days of the Christian sects, meetings like this were held monthly, but once the ritual became a daily event marriage became a non-viable option for priests. Why should the poor priests suffer due to a tradition which has no relevance today? Let those guys who are dysfunctional sexually keep the celibacy vow. Not those who have flesh and blood and are heterosexually inclined.  


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