All across the world, rampant and hideous sex abuses especially of children by the Catholic clergy are coming into the open – US, UK, Belgium,Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Australia and more. The 21 volume report of the Royal Commission of Australia published in December 2017, after a painstaking investigation spread over five years, did not evoke the serious attention it deserve from the Catholic Church. The Church, as usual, resorted to semantics to skirt the issue.
The offers of mass resignation by the Bishops of Chile, at best, can be the the latest ploy of evasion by the Catholic Church, by letting sleeping dogs lie. The running for cover and attempts for “Great Escape“ have along been the track record of the Church. Nothing good is likely to come out by the latest PR exercise. The Catholic clergy will continue to molest children as usual.
What is the real cause of this dire situation? The simple answer is: the distorted, lopsided and illogical view of the Church on human sexuality. The cynical Church has sunk to the lowest level of venality in its attempt to demean a great of gift of nature that maintains the continuity of human species. Without the sexual union between human male and human female, Homo Sapiens may disappear from the face of earth. But the Church has condemned this process as the “Mother of all SINS”, and named it “Original Sin”. With one fatal blow, the Church tried to take out callously the very joy and bliss of the sexual act. The Church foolishly thinks that it can, by its diktats, set at naught the natural instinct.
How did this nefarious frame of mind and skewed view come about? For this one has to look at the history of the Catholic Church.
In the beginning, Christians were notorious for licentious sexual conduct. The general population of the Roman Empire looked down at the doings of the early Christians with aversion and utter contempt. One should not forget that the earliest followers of Christianity belonged to the lowest classes of the Roman Empire living in ghettos at the periphery of Roman cities. Hence the Christian religion, with a vengeance, made a 360 about turn and embraced with alacrity the harsh anti-life Stoic philosophy with its implicit revulsion of human sexual activity.
“Sin” is the most lucrative merchandise traded by the Church to make money on the sly. Making its followers guilt-ridden appears to be the most effective tool to make them toe the dotted line.
Paul of Tarsus, the actual founder of Christianity, postulated the idea that the disobedience of Adam, caused “Sin” to enter into the human realm, in the sense that humans are predisposed to” Sin”.
It was Augustine of Hippo (354-430 C.E.) who twisted the myth of the disobedience of Adam and Eve differently from contemporary views of Jews and Christians. The eating of the “Forbidden Fruit” from the “Tree of Knowledge” was treated by him as the first “carnal knowledge” of Adam of Eve by their first sexual act that resulted in the commitment of “Original Sin”.
The myth which was viewed for centuries as the tale of “Human Freedom” became in his hands, a story of “Human Bondage”. Augustine postulated that spontaneous sexual desire is the proof and penalty for universal “Original Sin”, an idea that would have baffled most of his Christian predecessors. For instance, Clement of Alexandria ( C. E. 180 ) opined that the real story of Adam and Eve represents the “moral freedom and responsibility to choose between “good” and“evil”.
In order to understand Augustine’s anti-nature preposterous views on human sexuality, one has to understand who he really was. Augustine was born into a North African non-patrician family. His pagan father, Patricius Aurelius, was habitually unfaithful to his wife and was a gross philanderer. He did not care to root out the brambles of lust from his son; on the contrary he expressed pleasure in his son’s sexual appetite. His Christian mother, Monica endured her husband’s infidelities, but most earnestly implored Augustine to desist from his debaucheries and passions of the flesh. But Augustine plunged into unbridled sexual anarchy with scores of women. He kept a lower class woman as his concubine from the age of 15 for 15 years. This woman allowed him to have free run of his passions with her; she bore a son, Adeodatus for him, out of wedlock. But the ever ambitious Augustine callously abandoned her for a socially advantageous marriage proposal his mother arranged. He had to wait two years for his intended bride to reach the then marriageable age of 12. During the interim period, he maintained sexual liaison with another woman to satisfy his uncontrollable need for frequent sex. The proposed marriage fizzled out; a disillusioned Augustine turned to religion for solace. He was baptised in C.E. 387 at the age of 32 and in C.E. 391 he was elevated as a bishop of the expanding Church of Milan of the powerful Bishop Ambrose. The death of his son and the setback to the wedding proposal to the rich heiress would have made Augustine a proponent of “anti-life” philosophy and made him to fulminate against human sexuality. The reformed and contrite “celibate” Augustine, who had indulged in crass sex for years, by his own admission was “insatiable for sex”. Augustine, who never married and whose experience of sexual pleasures was illicit and guilt-provoking assumed that frustrated sexual desire was universal, infinite and all-consuming.
Why did the Catholic Christianity adopt Augustine’s paradoxical and preposterous views? Some historians suggest that such beliefs validate the Church’s authority: if human condition is a disease, Catholic Christianity, acting as the good physician, can offer the spiritual medication and the discipline that alone can cure it. Augustine’s views also effectively served the Christian State. His theory of Original Sin proved politically expedient; that human beings do invariably and universally need an external authority to discipline them. The imperially supported Christian Church was thought to be the most appropriate agency to do that. It also offered a blinkered view of human nature that became to all subsequent generations of Christians, the major influence on their psychological, moral and political thinking. Even today, Catholics and Protestants alike regard the story of Adam and Eve as virtually synonymous with Original Sin.
The Church has failed miserably to realise that a vital and powerful natural urge cannot be subdued by its diktats. Human sexual instinct, in the ultimate analysis, is the potent force that pave the way for the continuation of the human species. It cannot be made to vanish from our psyche by some mumbo jumbo of misguided clerics. The surging flood water of the most powerful human instinct cannot be tamed with a fragile earthen embankment.
Mandatory celibacy for the run of the mill clerics, in charge of parishes, was introduced in the 11th century. But the Popes and the high echelons of the Church indulged in all sorts of sexual orgies and deviant pleasures. A good number of the “Most Holy Popes” kept concubines openly and fathered illegitimate bastards who were well cared for by misusing Church funds. Even today, stories of sexual orgies and unnatural sex is widely prevalent in the land of the Holy Pope, Italy and the hidden nooks of the Vatican.
Documented instances of thousands of pedophile Catholic clergy caught red handed in the abuse of defenceless children, boys and girls, are coming out in the open all over the world. The conspiracy of silence, omertà, has miserably failed. The Church is running out of cover. There is virtually no place to hide. The Catholic clergy involved in various types of deviant sexual abuses are growing exponentially. In an open vigilant society they cannot keep the lid of unsavoury misdeeds behind self-styled holiness. They cannot escape public glare and oversight in this age of Internet and other fast mediums of instant communications.
The only way out seems to dump forthwith mandatory celibacy for the Catholic clergy. The present practice of roping adolescent youth for training in seminaries to be priests should be discontinued. The beast of repressed sexual urges of the newly ordained clerics will prowl around for some defenceless prey for satisfying pent up sexual urges. Am alternative is to ordain as priests mature men and women, past the age of 60 whose fire of passion for sex would have subsided.
The Church should keep its nose away from the sexual orientations of humans. The clerics who indulge in all sorts of deviant sex should not be placed in the position of supervising the sex life of non-clerics.
In the not too distant past, the age of marriage for a girl was 12 and for the boy 14. The world did not collapse into moral turpitude because of early marriages and the resultant sexual activity. Let two consenting humans have sex as they please. But the sexual act should be with informed mutual consent, accountability and responsibility of both the persons involved. It should not be solely for the gratification of one participant alone. The world will not implode itself by the sexual acts of people. The only class of persons adversely affected by a liberalised view on sex will the Catholic Church clerics who make their living on the “ Sins of Sex”. They may become nervous wrecks if their preoccupation with human sexuality ceases. The drying up of the cashflow by marketing nostrums for healing sexual sins of Catholics will be harsh blow.
Marriage gives stability to family life and is good for the children born. But all sexual encounters may not and need not end up in marriages and procreation of children. Sex confers psychological and physical benefits for both men and women. Sex should be liberated from the clutches and controls of the Catholic Church and it’s ever greedy clergy.The Church should disengage itself from being the wholesale dealer of all matters connected with sex and marriages. Calling the Catholic marriage a sacrament is laughable. Marriage is a social institution, nothing more, nothing less.
Once the Church frees itself from its obsession with human sexuality it may devote it’s attention towards more pressing problems like global poverty, exploitation of people living on the margins of society, environmental degradation and other issues affecting the people of the world. Thereby it may justify its relevance.
But nothing can save the Zero S.M. Church run by hypocrites and no gooders. So long as there are superstitious stupid women who drag their grand children to rakes wearing cassocks to be blessed and conferred with the so-called fire of the non-existing Pentecost, the cheating outfit called the Catholic Church will survive, nay even flourish.