Recovering Catholics.

June 3, 2008

You’ve heard the old joke, “I’m a recovering Catholic”, but the joke is turning sour – especially in this day and age of uncovering deceits and lies that have kept hidden the horrors and abuses committed by the hands of pious, “celibate” Catholic priests.

I’m not about to tell you anything you don’t already know – that the Catholic church’s choice to move known abusers to other parishes is the most egregious abuse of trust and power that can be imagined; that millions of tax-free dollars have been spent in order to make this all happen; that even more millions of dollars have been shelled out in legal settlements, which will never fully help these poor victims fully heal from their scars and traumas.

What I want to address is the core of the matter, that which you will not soon hear anyone in the mainstream media even dare to mention – why does there seem to be such an epidemic of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests? Why is it that one is not surprised to hear about another scandal when they so frequently appear?

I think it’s rather obvious and simple: religion, particularly Catholicism, has an obsessive need to control and, in the case of the clergy, suppress the sexual instinct. Catholic priests are asked to unnaturally bury their very healthy and natural sexual urges and desires in order to be more “pure”, to have a closer communion with god. However, the experiment has so obviously backfired – the more fervently you try to hide or deny the sex drive, the uglier it will be when it finally manifests.

Why do we not hear of Buddhist monks sexual molesting young children? Perhaps it happens; I’ve not yet found any account of such. The Buddhist “faith” (if you can really call it that, but that’s another matter) doesn’t seek to deny any feeling or instinct; rather, the aim, through mindful meditation, is to fully acknowledge and then transform that sexual energy to be used in another way.

The Catholic church would be wise to face the reality of human sexuality sooner rather than later – before more young lives are irrevocably scarred.