With the Pope`s apology this week for the abuse of children by priests, I am going to attempt to delve into this issue.
I feel that the central issue to this problem is celibacy. That is not to say that I believe that celibacy in itself causes child abuse, it just attracts men with the kinds of problems that can result in child abuse and magnifies those problems. Take away celibacy and the numbers of child abuse cases would surely diminish to expected levels we see in other members of the clergy. Why does celibacy illicit abuse of children on the scale that is apparent in the Catholic church ? Let`s take a look:
I think that we should begin by looking at people, whatever gender, who want to enter any religion as a priest (or equivalent)... Most of us want approval, positive regard, we want to be acknowledged for our good actions, and those of us with significant need to feel good about ourselves and gain approval, may opt to become a priest. There`s nothing wrong in this, of course, with this motivation, it`s a "calling" to our better nature and our aspirational goodness. Of course, part of this has to do with our pack instinct to lead and to command, but within this, many gravitate to a religious profession for positive reasons.
In the case of some of us, however, our need to have power over others, to DISPLAY our goodness for all to see, makes religious position an attractive thing for all the wrong reasons. I have personally seen, in Judaism for example, that religious position is a tempting prospect for the power-driven and the egotistical. In any religion, though, there will be a full range of people, from the most humble and least self-interested and goodly, down to the devious and base characters, with a mix in between. But if there is one thing for sure, the highest caliber religious figures will be in a minority because the qualities that serve these spiritual heights are exceptional. Of those entering a religious profession as a priest or teacher, as well intentioned people seeking expansion of their spirituality and increased capacity in compassion and good deeds, most will remain ordinary and will not rise above this.
This is no less the case in the Catholic church, no less and no more, the only difference is that we have to factor-in the requirement of celibacy. Given that I have previously stated that only a few priests in any religion will reach the highest spiritual level, it becomes obvious that only a few Catholic priests will have the capacity to fulfil the vow of celibacy, such are its demands. There will be a sliding scale beneath this of priests who manage this moderately well, priests who fall from grace, but regain their position and, given the special difficulties with the celibacy issue, many who will not only fail to maintain their vows, but will be in an aggravated state due to their sexual abstentions, in other words, due to the very struggle with celibacy itself.
To elucidate this further: for a Catholic priest to struggle with a requirement that is not within his capacity to achieve, is a recipe for child abuse.
I think though, that this is not the entire picture: the romance, if I can call it that, of religious celibacy, is a seduction for men with existing sexual problems. For these men it offers a "cure", in the sense that if they already have sexual tendencies that they feel are guilt-laden, perhaps are deviant, seeking refuge in celibacy will seem like a possible solution, as a way of making them good people on a road to purity.
The plain fact is that the Catholic priesthood will be likely to magnetise men with sexual problems because most normal men would not entertain the idea of celibacy, and most would not achieve it, i.e.in terms of numbers, there will not be the numbers of men who have a normal sex-drive wanting to become priests, as those with sexual problems. But further, I believe that a man with preexisting sexual difficulties, whatever those may be...that is, even if they aren`t around homosexuality, will have his difficulties exacerbated, will be in a more suspect psychological state, and therefore more likely to find SOME kind of sexual outlet, when they strive to be celibate.
Coming soon, more, on the coverup !!!!!!!!!!!!