Thursday, May 7, 2009
A Clown Suggests That Clerical Celibacy Causes Sexual Abuse. Honk! Honk!
In a recent article by the person known as Turretin Fan (A side-clown of James White), he implies that clerical celibacy causes sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Here is what he said, “Yes, sexual abuse may be a real problem in Catholicism. It may even be the necessary and natural outworking of the celibate priesthood that Rome imposes.” So let me take a look at this asinine statement and tear it apart.
Does cleircal celibacy cause sexual abuse? If this is the case then Saint Paul must have been a liar when he said, "An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided." It is quite apparent that a person who is celibate and is not married can focus more on the work of God. So it is with the Latin Rite priesthood. Did Saint Paul tell everyone that it would cause sexual abuse? No, he only told those who had the burning desire to be united to a women to then go and get married, rather than burn in lust. Saint Paul also tells us that he wishes that all could remain unmarried to serve God more attentively, “For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I.” Saint Paul is obviously not worried about people becoming sexual deviants because they are celibate, as Turretin Fan implies in his writing that, “It may even be the necessary and natural outworking,” to become sexual abusers. Who do we believe, the great Saint or the inept Turretin?
Turretin Fan implies that the Catholic Church “imposes” celibacy, which is obviously not the case since no one is forced to become a priest, but they do so with full knowledge that they will have to serve God in the fullest and most focused state of being single as Saint Paul tells us. The priesthood is a calling from God that the person along with the Church must discern. This is unlike Turretin's “church” which people appoint themselves as “clergy”. Data also tells us that his self appointed “clergy” are abusing more often than Catholic priests who are celibate. Turretin Fan also fails to recognize the married priests that we have in the other Rites of the Church. Celibacy in the Latin Rite is a discipline and it could be changed if the Church should deem it so. We also acknowledge that there have also been exceptions made in the Latin Rite as well. So no it is not “imposed” and even it were the data does not support Turretin's statement, “Yes, sexual abuse may be a real problem in Catholicism. It may even be the necessary and natural outworking of the celibate priesthood that Rome imposes.”
Are there any studies that prove that celibacy causes a person to sexually abuse anyone? No there are no credible sources that tell us so. In fact there are more Protestant abuse cases filed each year than that against Catholic priests, and the Protestants are usually married. (260 Protestant abuse cases per year vs 228 filed against Catholic churches.) People like Turretin who make such foolish claims know nothing of marriage either, thinking that marriage will fix a sexually disturbed person. I wonder, does that mean that everyone who is not married, and not living in sin is more prone to be sexual deviants? This is nonsense. That makes the entire celibate population a hazard to society for they are all now more prone to abuse people sexually. Can we see how absurd this claim is? Or does he think that Saint Paul was sexually abusing boys as he went to preach the Gospel as a single man? I would suggest that Turretin refrain from any Catholic apologetics statements, because every time he does so he proves that he is ignorant of the facts of Catholicism. Sexual abuse is not the natural consequence or outworking of celibacy, as our pinheaded accuser suggests.
Here is some data showing that the Catholic Church has no more sexual abuse cases filed against it than the Protestants. I think that maybe Turretin should make sure his own house is clean before he starts hurling accusations against the Catholic Church. Did Turretin ever stop to think that Jesus Christ Himself was celibate?
Catholic League Article
Protestant Abuse Cases
Catholic Exchange Article
Fr. John Hardon on Celibacy