Escher rocks my socks. <3
I cannot even tell you how much I despise the phrase that creates my title. It's like an MC Escher painting (Escher, BTW, is my favorite artist). You know something's just a bit off, but you're not sure exactly what it is until you take a deeper look.
This phrase is the calling card of Cafeteria Catholics. Chances are, if someone starts off labeling themselves as Catholic only to snarkily comment about Church teaching two seconds later, they are the cafeteria variety (translation: they're not actually Catholic).
Oxymoronic disclaimers like this exist in all forms. "I'm not racist, but listen to this black joke..."or "Look, I 100% believe men and women are equal, but let's be honest..." or my favorite, "... homosexual joke..." *pause as folks look on, obviously uncomfortable* "What? I've got plenty of gay friends, so it's okay."
Ay yi yi.
A friend of mine posted this article to Facebook (regarding the resignation of Bishop Zavala) which garnered quite the response. He headed the article with: I think the Church needs to rethink the celibacy mandate for priests...
The first to respond, I said:
This isn't an issue of celibacy. We've gotta do a better job of screening applicants. We've also gotta do a much better job of solidifying a proper support system for priests who are under ridiculous amounts of stress from being stretched too thin and having too, too much expected of them.
My heart breaks for priests these days... we are lucky to have ANY, and things like this are good (if disappointing) reminders that they are men... human men with human failings the same as us. That we expect them all to be living saints is tragically fallacious. May Our Lady protect our priests... ♥
Pretty soon, however, responders were adamantly decrying the "old-fashioned" and "sexually repressive" celibacy rules as nothing more than remnants of a greedy Church that realized priests with families would water down earnings through inheritance.
Now, while I realize that celibacy for priests is not dogma (especially considering we do actually have some married priests through conversion and/or reconciliation with Rome), I don't feel as though it's simply an outdated practice meant to hoard Church resources and repress sexuality either.
Celibacy is not just about refraining from sex. It is the understanding that one's objective in life is all-consuming, resulting in the refusal of hinderances to that objective. For a priest, this objective is to bring as many souls to Christ as possible through becoming as Christ-like as possible, thus things like romantic relationships, drug habits, or even arrogant pride are hinderances to that objective (hence the vows of obedience and chastity).
Priests understand that when they take upon themselves the mantle of priest, they are "in persona Christi" (or, acting in the person of Christ). Their personal goal is to become enflamed with the love of Christ, since that Christ-like love will radiate out towards the people and pull them closer to Heaven. This personal goal - to attain such Christ-like holiness - is not an easy thing. It is an on-going process that requires dedication and constant vigilance.
Romantic relationships detract from this goal as the priest is no longer able to remain vigilant / dedicated to being in persona Christi. Instead, he is forced to split his time between catering to the people and catering to a family. I'm not saying holiness is impossible to obtain for married folks. Quite the contrary. However, a priest models his married life after Christ. Married folks model the Holy Family (St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother).
Marriage is the sacrifice of two persons for one another. Well, marriage in the way it's supposed to be, anyway. The wife submits herself to her husband, and the husband submits himself to his wife.
For a priest, he follows the example of Christ who submitted FULLY to His bride, the Church (even to the point of death and on-going imprisonment). The Church, in turn, is expected to fully submit to her Spouse, Jesus (though we're notoriously awful for doing that). Just as the faithful should obediently submit to the teachings of priests (so long as these priests are in good standing with the Church, of course, and aren't teaching anything contrary to dogma).
Anyway, would I be super against priests being allowed to marry again? No. Christ, Himself, chose married men to be His first priests. However, upon choosing these men for this ministry, all "left their families" to focus on their mission. Mind you, they did NOT abandon their families. Instead, they lived as Essenes did - celibate and apart from their wives.
But I digress.
Celibacy is not the root issue of these types of stories. Celibacy also isn't the evil, archaic or sexually repressive thing current generations attempt to paint it as. Allowing priests to marry isn't going to solve our problems, and may very well bring up new ones (scandal of infidelity, divorce, wayward children desecrating holy things, etc, etc, etc).
Ah well. I'm curious if any one else has thoughts on this. I'll admit it's not something I've really delved too deeply into.
This post is full of highly upsetting subject material. I warn you of this because some folks are much more sensitive to these types of things than others. Stop reading now (and CERTAINLY don't click on any links) if this sounds like you.
Children in Uganda are being ritually sacrificed by wealthy businessmen who are hoping the sacrifice will bring success and money to them in return. This article details some of the cases and even goes so far as to track down one of the prime witch doctors guilty of these murders. Unfortunately, the government is a combination of understaffed and unwilling to go after these vicious murderers, leaving families absolutely terrified of allowing children to go about their normal lives. May the Holy Spirit anoint these people with both understanding and compassion... that they turn from this life of ignorance and greed.
On an entirely different front, we're abusing children here in the States through this sordid attack on sexuality. While I have no doubt this problem is legitimate for some families, it is symptomatic of an on-going problem that has permeated society for the last 100 years! The idea that they'd dole out hormonal treatments to children who very well could grow out of this is mind-boggling to me. Of course the media hops all over it and presents it in such a "compassionate" way as to solicit music from the heartstrings of readers, once more numbing the populace quietly with these imperceptible Lidocaine injections.
Then, over in San Fran we've got children subjected to THIS stupidity. Now granted, San Fran is probably the last place I'd wanna raise a child considering all the perverse things going on there, but still... this is a special level of ridiculous.
Dear God... please protect our children. We, ourselves, cannot. In fact, we are the ones destroying them. Open our hearts to them. Instill in us the understanding of how special they are... how in need of love and protection they are. Pour out Your Grace over the world... we need such healing. We need such strong, fast healing...
Does this not disturb anyone else???
Let me warn everyone: Lots of links today, but all are very useful in understanding this pervasive (and very perverted) issue.
I love that folks give me the “Woman, you’ve done lost your mind” look when I lament the overwhelming push to indoctrinate children in an attempt to sexualize them way sooner than they are psychologically, emotionally, even biologically capable.
Well, bring on the crazy. I defy any of you to attempt brushing this one under the rug as a product of my over-paranoid personality.
Switzerland has (against parental opinion) introduced a new “sex education program” for their 4-10 year olds. Taken directly from the article (my bold/italics/underline):
The guide [being sent to 30 schools in Basel] included with the kit instructs kindergarten
teachers to "show that contacting body parts can be pleasurable." It also recommends having children massage each other or to rub themselves with warm sand bags, all accompanied by soft music.
According to Daniel Schneider, a deputy kindergarten rector who helped develop the program,
“Children should be encouraged to develop and experience their sexuality in a pleasurable way.”
So in other words, it is now becoming not only acceptable to teach children to masterbate both themselves and one another, but MANDATORY (because this program is, in fact, mandated by the government). All under the guise of protecting children from predators???
Are you KIDDING me?!
The rate of dumbing down going on in our schools rivals warp speed. It’s become normal for our kids to not read, write, spell or add properly, but we’ve got time to teach them MASTERBATION?!
Kindergarteners and elementary students should be concerned with learning their ABCs, numbers, and social behaviors like sharing and basic conflict resolution. Where, exactly, does one find time for plush vaginas and wooden penises? And what purpose do they serve other than to expose children to a subject that, first and foremost, they’re not ready for, and secondly, is the responsibility of PARENTS to broach?
This should be an absolute OUTRAGE, yet too many folks are turning a blind eye, thinking it isn’t such a big deal (because the big, scary child predators are all out to get your kids!) or that it won’t happen “here.”
Guess what, it already IS happening here. Slowly, but surely, this creeping perversion is snaking its way into schools because we’re being conditioned to fear child predators on a scale that does NOT make sense. In fact, this is detrimental to our children!!!
Mind you, I am not at all advocating that we ignore a very serious problem, but I’d like to caution against strapping TNT to the bathtub while the baby is still in it. That’s what we’re doing, and I truly believe it is a very calculated game folks are attempting to play in passing this trash off as necessary to “protect” our kids. What we need protection from are sexual perverts like these “education experts” who are again trying to over-sexualize children in a culture that is already off-the-deep-end with turning children into sex-products.
If that makes me a crazy, paranoid person, I don't want to be sane, especially with evidence like THIS supporting that this is nothing but harmful to society as a whole.
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