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.