If Only Teachers Could Marry!

The phrase “If only public teachers/coaches/scout leader/whoever could marry!” is often bandied about by conservotrads to mock the notion that the clerical abuse crisis is caused by celibacy, noting that non-Catholic individuals who are presumably free to marry are also guilty of sexual abuse. While it is true that child molesters can be of any marital status, religion, or profession, the “If only X could marry!” view ignores the reasons why the reputation of the Catholic church has been so damaged by the clerical sex abuse scandal.

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A Tale of Two Encyclopedias

One thing you hear a lot of in the Catholic blogosphere is how the church is an antidote to the moral relativism that is supposedly rampant in our society. Unlike those quisling mainline churches with their female pastors and gay marriages, the Catholic church doesn’t change its doctrines just to be popular; it takes a stance and sticks with it. Or not. The Catholic church has changed its mind on any number of issues from slavery to liberal democracy to usury. You can find apologists who take great pains to show that the church’s position on these issues and other issues hasn’t changed, but one gets the feeling that they’re really trying to convince themselves more than anything. Case in point is the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

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Celibacy in Crisis: A Must Read Book

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the problem of sexually active priests in general and the ongoing situation of former EWTN friar/personality David Stone. In that post, I stated my belief that consensual relationships between priests and adults were abusive by definition, not just because of the power deferential but also because of the secrecy and lies that such a relationship requires. I recently finished “Celibacy In Crisis” by A.W. Richard Sipe, a former Catholic priest now turned psychologist, and I now realize that my previous assessment of priestly sexual relationships was too kind.

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