Ending Priestly Celibacy Would Not Stop Abuse by E. Condon – Celibates Are Not Pedophiles
Celibacy is not engaging in sexual activity.
Not having sex does not cause sex or sexual abuse. Celibacy does not cause pedophilia.
It’s highly insulting to adult celibates, such as myself (and no, I do not molest children or have any desire to) to suggest or plainly state, that celibacy leads to pedophilia.
Celibates are not pedophiles. Pedophilia is one type of sexual attraction or sexual behavior, and celibates do not engage in sexual behavior.
I am not a Roman Catholic, by the way.
I was raised Baptist and believed – and still believe – that the Bible teaches that sex outside of marriage is sin, which is one reason of several I did not engage in sexual behavior.
Studies have shown that a percentage of male pedophiles are married (and having regular sex with a wife) when they are molesting children. I have blog posts on this blog with links to news articles about married men (some Christian pastors) who were arrested for molesting children or using child porn.
Being married (in a hetero marriage and having regular sex with one’s spouse) does not make a person less capable of, or unwilling to engage in, sexual sin. When they’re not fondling children, hetero married persons sometimes hire and use prostitutes, have affairs with other married people, or view pornography.
Trotting out the canard that married priests would mean less abuse isn’t just ignorant. It’s a shocking disservice to victim-survivors.
by Ed Condon
July 31, 2022
The Economist recently ran a lead article arguing that if the Catholics “want to reduce the scourge of sexual abuse by priests, they should demand an end to the rule requiring priestly celibacy.” I found myself checking the year of publication. Surely this must have been an article from 20 years ago.
But no: In the same week in which the Catholic bishops of the United States published their annual report on the (still falling) number of abuse claims made in American dioceses, the Economist was running with a tired, discredited argument.
[The author goes on to explain that the Roman Catholic Church has horribly dealt with child sex abuse, and he acknowledges that fact.]
… But the suggestion that abuse is caused, amplified, or sustained by the unmarried state of clergy isn’t just without evidence: It flies in the face of the experiences of so many survivors of abuse in other settings.
No one who has followed the terrible reckoning the Southern Baptist Convention has had with its own institutional failure to protect children could cite the “successful” example of Protestant clergy as proof that married pastors mitigate the risk of abuse.
Likewise, consider the heartbreaking experiences of survivors of abuse in families, schools, youth organizations, the Boy Scouts, and the child-welfare system.
The assertion, which the Economist is by no means first to make, that Catholic priests are more likely to be abusers because the practice of celibacy attracts pedophiles in the first place is based on a false premise. At its root is the conviction that there must be something suspect about the practice of celibacy in the first place.
In our society, which has saturated itself with sexuality as identity and with sexual practice as self-actualization, the idea that an entire class of people can offer a witness to a different means and end to human fulfillment is treated as necessarily sinister.
… But the greater problem with the notion that celibacy is linked to child abuse isn’t the misrepresentation of the Catholic Church. It’s the endangerment to children. It ignores the reality that abusers are often sexually active with adults, including spouses, even while they target, groom, and abuse minors, and it clouds the conversation about how to protect young people.
The Catholic Church doesn’t deserve, or ask for, any quarter in its reckoning with the atrocious crimes of abuse committed within its institutions and by its ministers. Attempting to tie those crimes to clerical celibacy seeks to paint abuse as a uniquely Catholic problem, which it demonstrably is not.
… The urgent goal of fulfilling that commitment [to protect children from being sexually abused] and building institutions that are ever safer for children is not served by the lazy conflation of clerical celibacy with sexual predation.
(Link): Marriage is Not A Cure For Pedophilia, Making a Joke of Marriage: Christian Preacher (Doug Wilson) Marries A Known Pedophile To Young Woman, Pedophile Then Apparently Molests His Own Biological Infant Son By That Woman
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals” (ie, it’s supposedly an impossible feat for any human being to achieve)
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): “God’s gifting of singleness is rare” – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage -and- God gifts only the rare the exceptions the few with the gift of Marriage
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site