The Catholic church kinda amazes me. The facts and figures about what it’s done throughout history have always been weird. Yes, it’s fed millions of people. It’s also killed millions of them, and arguably, continues to do that through mis-information, misogyny, and other wonderful ways it has of trying to grab power, and through it all, it’s supported by the people it oppresses.
I find that fucking weird.
But that’s not what I’m here to discuss today. Today, I’m here to talk about how it’s come to pass that the priesthood is filled with such scum. And I have a theory, that no one is gonna like, which is probably why it’s right.
Some Personal History
I’m from an Irish Catholic background, and the children of my lineage tended to have huge families where all the kids had roles. There were, throughout history, gay boys in these families. They’d be sent to seminary. I’m forever thankful that I wasn’t born to my family 50 years earlier as I’d have been pope by now, and that should scare the fuck out of everyone.
But I digress. There have always been the boys who were more qualified to read than fight. Those boys were sent to the places for readers, and they tended to be church-affiliated places. No biggie, but there it was. After all, if I’d shown a proclivity to physical things, I would have been sent to do those things. Seems reasonable, and more importantly, having a son in the seminary solved two problems – it gave a child to the church, which was seen as a necessity, and it gave a life to what would be otherwise a wasted child. Win-Win, really.
Back To The Point
Now, you have that bit of interesting phenomena going on, and you can easily see how the church is filling, from the bottom upwards, with men who have no interest in having relationships with women. Not that they are the majority of priests, but they have a higher percentage than in the general population due to this “give the wuss to the church” mentality that was, and still is, fostered by the church.
Then you have the Borgias. Pope Alexander gives a stunning, brutal display of why a Pope shouldn’t have children, and up to this point, the church hasn’t really cared one way or the other, although it’s getting politically difficult to have both a family and be the pope. Or even a cardinal, a bishop or a priest. In fact, it’s getting that the familial ties are difficult enough, and the influence of expected inheritance and lineage is causing much consternation.
The short story: People suck. People with power suck powerfully.
Anyway, at some point after Pope Alex has ruined it for fathers everywhere, the church takes a stance that the Pope can’t have a wife or kids. No family. He must be wed to the church, and only the church.
The funny thing is, at this point, only a few orders within the church had celibacy vows in place, so it effectively limited which orders could raise a pope, which was the first of the unintended consequences of this vote.
The way the church decided to fix this was the only reasonable way anyone could see, which was to reverse the vote and fix things like adults. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No, that’s not true at all.
The way the church decided to fix this was that all the other orders adopted celibacy for new initiates, so that the pope could come from any part of the church. Well, any part with a penis and two (not one, not three; two!) testicles. This further reduced the number of willing initiates from the ranks.
Did the vow of celibacy stop the men from actually having sex? Nope. But the fact that having sex in the middle ages carried the very real danger of pregnancy for straight dalliances, it greatly increased the dangers and difficulties for those poor souls trying to get a piece while keeping the flocks herded. Mind you, it wasn’t impossible, and there are many cases of bishops and cardinals being found with mistresses and heirs, but those cases were greatly reduced, and the number of popes that had them prior to being pope was reduced even further.
The desire to join the ranks of the church amongst virile straight men was reduced. But for gays, the danger of getting a partner pregnant was nil, and even better, there was a collection of men who lived together, did all manner of things together, and it’s where the gays tended to be sent, so why not go there? Add to that the very real power that comes from leading a group of dedicated people, and the desire to be in the priesthood, at all levels, had to go up for those of us born slightly different.
So that gets us to the late 1800s and into the last century. Gays are in the church, as it offers a very real hiding place for them, a shelter, and at least the promise of power.
The unfortunate side-effect of this was that pedophiles saw much the same benefits as gays, although the pedophiles’ gain was because the churches also ran schools, and so a collection of targets were under one roof, and easily accessed and silenced by these predators.
Anyway, the breakdown of the priesthood at this point is probably something along the lines of 1/4 gay, 1/2 straight, 1/4 pedophile. Yes, that seems high, until you realize that the priesthood is a very small contingent of the entirety of catholics. There’s somewhere around 500,000 in the priesthood currently, and a population of over a billion catholics on the planet. So we’re well under the statistically valid 10 Million gay catholics there are around the world, so I think my thinking is about on. And I would argue that because of the relative safety that the church has afforded it’s clergy because it sees itself as infallible, the number of pedophiles that sought out the church is even higher than the number of gays. After all, gays tend to be artists and musicians as well, and those communities would not offer the same shelter to pedophiles.
Again, anyway, back to the point. Which is that it’s 2011, and in the priesthood we seem to have a whole bucketload of pedophiles, and a bunch of old men who either sheltered pedophiles or, unfortunately, are being unveiled as pedophiles themselves. I think the numbers are probably about 1/2 straight (but why, is unknown) and 1/3 pedophile, with the rest being repressed (or not) gays.
This is happening for the straight men because the idea of being celibate, of giving up your life to an unknown to be a part of an organization that is in the news for all the wrong reasons most of the time it has a newsworthy moment, is absurd. The church offers nothing of value to these men, and as other churches have sprung up that allow them the same leadership, power, and the chance to have a family, there’s no contest, they choose another church. At least in the west. In developing countries, the status and power that come from being the church are still in place, so there is that, and a good many catholics are from third-world countries. So that’s why the straights are still there, somewhat, although not in the developed countries to the extent they were.
I think the gays are having much the same realization at least in the first-world countries. The shelter that was offered by the church has diminished to the point of being meaningless, and the power that it offered has been reduced even further for anyone who actually grasps their own sexuality if it happens to be gay. So they not only don’t join the church, as families no longer have the ability to ‘give’ their children to the church, but those that do join are more likely to figure out that they didn’t hear a calling from god, they heard him singing a bit of disco and they just wanna fucking dance.
For gays in the third-world countries, there is some shelter, but not as much power as the church is now actively pursuing the gays. So again, the numbers are slowing for gays even faster than for straights, and as gays become more accepted in the mainstream, which is happening, they’ll join up even less.
So, the straights aren’t joining the priesthood, nor are the gays. But the pedos, even to this day, still see an organization that tells them lies that they can be saved from their sins, and all can be forgiven, and it can be well, and so they join, they hide, they suppress their tendencies for as long as they can, but at some point, the dam breaks and they do something horrible. They’ve been put in places of trust and power, they have access to those least able to defend themselves, and they have lost control over their own tendencies and commit atrocious sins that harm children. That’s just wrong.
It’s wrong, but it’s so easy to see how we got to the place where the church would be controlled by those of this ilk. The church wanted it’s leadership to be pure of the bonds of family, not realizing that the bonds of family, a true, loving, supportive family, are the bonds that really make life worth living.
Yes, I have many problems with the Catholic church. This is only one of them. But it’s one that, in order to fix it, the church has to own up to it’s own mistakes. Ordain women with and without families. Ordain men with families. Ordain, and stop persecuting, gays. And stop the pedophiles that are the current rank-and-file of the priesthood from committing atrocities in the name of it’s savior.
One can only pray.