Chartres 2006
Photo Story

Remnant Tours

Click Here to visit
THE REMNANT Scrapbook!


See Remnant


A “Celibacy Problem”?

Catholic-Bashing, NAMBLA and the Dalai Lama 


Celibacy brings consolation, independence,

more freedom. The Dalai Lama

(Posted May 2, 2010 On April 4, 2010 the blog page of the London Review of Books posted an article titled “The Celibacy Problem,” concerning the current priest scandal in the Catholic Church. The author, R.W. Johnson, states:

Nobody I knew at either my convent school or at the Christian Brothers was ever the victim of sexual abuse. But I could weep as I think back not just to the savage physical punishments common to both schools and the quite obvious fact that the sexual frustration of unnaturally celibate young men and women was being poured into such punishments, but at the sad way in which the nicer nuns, in particular, would gather us up in their skirts and hug us in what were clearly transports of maternal deprivation.

Johnson attempts to fashion a historical defense against the vow of celibacy taken by Catholic priests, nuns and religious:

Nobody seems to have said this in public but if you read about the popes at the time of the Medici it is a continuous story of bishops and popes with mistresses, often intriguing to gain preferment in the Church for their illegitimate offspring. That is, we know how thoroughly and lastingly the Church’s rule of celibacy had broken down then. We also now know how pervasive in modern times were not just lapses from celibacy but the stooping to commission of appalling sexual crimes against children. Surely I am not the only one who joins up the dots and concludes that the rule of celibacy enforced by the Church on all its priests, nuns and monastic orders is so unnatural that it is bound to have led to sexual transgressions not just in medieval times and now but in all the centuries in between? What a large hidden history must be there …. The initial problem lies simply with the rule of celibacy. No wonder both the Protestant churches and the Jews are sensible enough not to make such extreme demands on their clergy.

R.W. Johnson closes his anti-celibacy diatribe with the grandiose declaration that “[The Pope] will only be skirting the issue if he doesn’t face up to the fact that Holy Mother the Church has been plain wrong about celibacy for the past 2000 years, that it is a rule which has caused untold suffering on all sides and that it has to go.” Dixit Johnson!

Johnson has bought into the error that the current scandal is a pedophilia problem. Pedophilia is a compulsive disorder resulting in the abuse of prepubescent children by an adult. However, the overwhelming number of cases of abuse by Catholic priests involves ephebophilia, the homosexual attraction of adult males to adolescent boys. According to the Rev. Charles Fiore, a priest of 42 years standing (who received clinical training at the Menninger Clinic and the State Hospital in Topeka, KS, and has taught at the Dominican Pontifical University in Rome), “More than 90 percent of the cases involve the clerical molestation of teen-age young men."

The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) notes that the majority of cases of abuse by catholic priests involves ephebophilia, which often involves sexual activity by homosexual priests "with young seminarians or 16- or 17-year-old boys … While such homosexual activities with minors are criminal offenses – and immoral – they are certainly not examples of pedophilia or child molestation." While this distinction in no way diminishes the seriousness of the offenses, it does (1) help to accurately diagnose the situation, and therefore (2) aid in proposing a viable solution.

In 2001, Oxford University Press published “Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis” by Philip Jenkins, Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Jenkins (a non-Catholic) noted at the time that celibacy bore no causal relation to deviant sexual behavior, and that the number of sexual abusers in the priesthood was comparable to the rate among married men. The Catholic Education Research Center summarized some of the relevant points found in major research on this subject:

In the general population, the majority of abusers are regressed heterosexual men who sexually abuse girls. Women are also found to be among those sexual abusers. While it's difficult to obtain accurate statistics on childhood sexual abuse, the characteristic patterns of repeat child sex offenders have been well described. The profiles of child molesters never include normal adults who become erotically attracted to children as a result of abstinence (Fred Berlin, "Compulsive Sexual Behaviors" in Addiction and Compulsive Behaviors [Boston: NCBC, 1998]; Patrick J. Carnes, "Sexual Compulsion: Challenge for Church Leaders" in Addiction and Compulsion; Dale O'Leary, "Homosexuality and Abuse").

R.W. Johnson of the London Review of Books has knighted himself defender of the world against the “untold suffering” of clerical celibacy, eh? On October 21, 2007 the Associated Press reported that over 2,500 instances of sexual misconduct had been reported among public school teachers during a five-year period, with cases ranging “from bizarre to sadistic.”

Public-school teachers do not take vows of celibacy, Mr. Johnson.

On March 20, 2010 the Associated Press reported that the Boy Scouts of America were in possession of 1,247 documents which they had classified as “perversion files” – i.e., 1,247 internal documents used to track Scout leaders suspected of sexually abusing young boys.

Scout leaders do not take vows of celibacy, Mr. Johnson.

On October 13, 2009 the New York Times reported that, during 2009 alone, 26 child abuse arrests were made among rabbis, yeshiva teachers, camp counselors, merchants and family members of the Orthodox Jewish Community.

On June 18, 2007 the Insurance Journal reported, “The three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members.” But, of course, R.W. Johnson has assured us that “both the Protestant churches and the Jews are sensible enough not to make such extreme demands [celibacy] on their clergy.”

In today’s pop-psychology parlance, Mr. Johnson would be labeled an “enabler” – someone who enables another person to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or helping the person to avoid the consequences of such behavior. Normal, heterosexual, celibate men do NOT suddenly assault young boys merely because they happen to be in proximity to them. That’s not the way it works, Mr. Johnson. The current “priest scandal” is not a celibacy problem. It is a homosexual predator problem – as distinct from “homosexual problem,” which would unfairly imply that all homosexuals are predators. It IS a homosexual predator problem in that young men and boys are being targeted by older men.

Since the time of Martin Luther, the Catholic priesthood has been the target of choice for enemies of the Church. Both “Reformation” England and “Revolutionary” France saw many good priests senselessly slaughtered. In the 1950’s, former American Communist Party official, Bella Dodd, testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Dodd, who had served as legal counselor to the Communist Party in the U.S., revealed,In the 1930’s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within …. right now they are in the highest places in the Church …. you will not recognise the Catholic Church." The decade following Dodd’s testimony witnessed the arrival of the “New Springtime of Vatican II.”

On June 3, 2002, reported this unfortunate news:

AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported today. The newspaper said its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicates several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s. The death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said.

Michael Rose documented the existence of a “gay subculture” within the Catholic priesthood in his book, Goodbye, Good Men. The homosexualization of the Catholic priesthood has been nurtured and supported by a compromised seminary screening process that drives good candidates away by the score. Also, orthodox seminarians have been persecuted by this “lavender mafia” (a phrase coined by Fr. Andrew Greeley, hardly a proponent of traditional Catholicism). Rose has documented seminary life where sexual harassment and promiscuity are common occurrences. Ten years ago, Father Donald Cozzens (author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood”), declared, "At issue at the beginning of the 21st century is the growing perception that the priesthood is, or is becoming, a gay profession.”

R.W. Johnson self-righteously and foolishly states that the priestly vow of celibacy has “caused untold suffering” and that “it has to go.” However, the percentage of priests involved in sexual misdeeds with youth is approximately 0.02% (a figure comparable to the percentage of married men involved in such activities). If celibacy were truly this maleficent virus, destroying almost everything it touches, would that number not be much higher, say 50% … or 70% … or 90%?

Mr. Johnson, blaming the vow of celibacy for the homosexual predator scandals is like saying the Titanic sank because it was painted the wrong color! The Catholic priesthood has been attacked from within, its enemies eating away at its ramparts like so many ravenous termites. The solution is the rooting out and legal accountability of malefactors, and a complete overhaul and repair of the seminary system itself.

The vow of celibacy is a gift from Christ Himself:For there are eunuchs who were born so from their mother's womb and there are eunuchs who were made so by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.”  (Mt. 19:12)

No man is forced to enter the Catholic priesthood. No man is forced to embrace a life of celibacy. In fact, a proper and healthy seminary experience involves a period of discernment, during which time the seminarian will learn whether or not the priestly life and its sacrifices are for him.

Get it, Mr. Johnson? The priestly life entails sacrifice. It is disingenuous to behave as though celibacy is a “surprise,” sprung on the unsuspecting priest after his ordination. The Church’s (and the world’s) holiest and most learned men, from St. Jerome to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, embraced celibacy as a gift from Christ. That is what it was, and that is what it always will be.

One more thing. In 2005, FBI agent Robert Hamer infiltrated NAMBLA (the “North American Man/Boy Love Association”). Over the course of three years’ undercover work, he became active in the group, eventually helping to arrange a boat trip to Mexico for men wishing to have sex with young boys.

Earlier, in April of 2002, the Boston Herald announced that records had been found at the Archdiocese of Boston revealing that notorious predator-priest Rev. Paul R. Shanley had been involved with NAMBLA, that he even “spoke in favor of sex between men and boys at a December 1978 Boston convention that led to the founding of the intergenerational sex advocacy organization” (Church Uncovers File on Shanley NAMBLA Activity – April 25, 2002).

Pundits like R.W. (“Holy Mother the Church has been plain wrong about celibacy for the past 2000 years”) Johnson and author/blogger Andrew (“Celibacy is part of the problem, but deeper still is the authoritarianism”) Sullivan have expressed their righteous indignation over priestly abuse of young boys – which is a serious problem that affects only 0.02% of Catholic priests. Would you not expect that such outraged folk would be waging a nonstop journalistic campaign against a group like the non-celibate NAMBLA, whose sole reason for existing is the legalization of sexual relations between adult males and young boys? Well, they haven’t. Apparently, their agendas are better served by flagrant attempts to hijack the “priest scandal” for the pathetic purpose of knocking Catholic practice.

But celibacy is not only a Catholic practice. During a November 2008 visit to Lagos, Nigeria, the Dalai Lama praised the celibate life. He told reporters that married life had too many “ups and downs,” that sexual desire “is short-period satisfaction and, often, that leads to more complication," and that a life of celibacy brings “consolation … more independence, more freedom.”

"Naturally as a human being ... some kind of desire for sex comes,” explained the Tibetan Buddhist leader, “but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those relationships are always full of trouble."

By the standards of Johnson and Sullivan, this should make the Dalai Lama an accessory to the crime of advocating celibacy, a criminal out to destroy the world’s innocents. But, no, while many pundits are calling for Benedict’s head, the Agence France-Press news agency reported (Apr. 23, 2010) that the Dalai Lama came in at second place (with 75% of the votes) in a Harris Interactive poll of the world’s most popular leaders.


- Pediatricians Warn Educators Against Encouraging Homosexual Lifestyle

- Technology Reveals Renaissance Masters’ Sketches


Want More News?

Mark Alessio's "Remnant News Watch" column appears in every issue of The Remnant

Subscribe to The Remnant! For more information, please click here 

  HOME    |    PRINT SUBSCRIBE    |    E-EDITION    |    ADVERTISE    |    NEWS    |    ARTICLES   |    RESOURCES    |    ABOUT    |    CONTACT
Web Format and Content   ©  1996-2010 Remnant Press