HBO “Celibacy” distorts rather than informs

by on June 29th, 2004

The latest HBO venture into documentary making (“Celibacy“, by director and producer Antony Thomas), not only misses a wonderful opportunity to objectively inform and shed light on a very complex subject, but also echoes the position that many –most prominently on the Left– have embraced as the “hidden cause” behind the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in recent years.

How many times have we heard it? If only those priests had been allowed to marry or have sex, they would not have directed their repressed sexual apetites towards the most vulnerable among their flock. That argument is so perversely twisted in so many ways, it qualifies as what Jonah Goldberg correctly identified as black holes of stupidity: idiocy is crammed into such a small space, it folds upon itself and bends all reason and logic in its proximity.

To imply that anyone is capable of committing one of the most hideous crimes known to man (the sexual abuse of children), provided such person has been deprived of sexual intercourse long enough is both preposterous and false. But most worrisome still is the fact that all these hoopla about celibacy just helps undermine any serious effort to address the real causes behind the sexual abuse scandal: namely, the homosexual sub-culture that began to develop within Catholic seminaries following the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s.

How that came to be is beyond the scope of this piece, but for those interested in learning more about the subject, a two-part article published on the Weekly Standard on June of 2002 should prove a good start. Under the title “The Elephant in the Sacristy” (part I, part II), Mary Eberstadt –a Hoover Institution research fellow and consulting editor to Policy Review– directs a giant fan at the smoking mirror of propaganda that homosexual activists, secular liberals and many on the media have placed to seemingly divert attention away from undisputable facts.

But returning to the subject of celibacy, it is clear that those who advocate its elimination, in addition to supporting a fallacy (that voluntary sexual abstinence can be blamed for deviant fiends raping children), are missing the most important point about the whole deal: celibacy is, at the end of the day, voluntary. We are not living in 12th century Europe where parents decide who among their children will have to take the vows. Those who dedicate their lives to the priesthood do so voluntarily, and gladly embrace the many hardships that come with it (celibacy most prominently) as a humbling road and a modest imitation of the Passion of Christ.

Not surprisingly, however, all this is absolutely meaningless to the “enlightened” individuals who –often from outside the confines of the Catholic Church itself– pontificate otherwise. For these “sophisticate” and “progressive” souls, any form of personal sacrifice or displeasure is anathema, and those who dare not evade them must be helped to overcome this most horrendous malady –by any means necessary. 1984 anyone?

Missing the irony entirely, the very same people who accuse the Catholic Church of telling people what to do in their beds are now telling the Catholic Church what to do in its. This is by no means anything new, as blatant hypocrisy seems to have become an intrinsic part of modern liberal ideology. Those busybodies want the cake and eat it too. They claim to want religion, but “lite”, without any of the hardships and personal sacrifices that many credit with investing real leadership and character on those who experience them.

For the secular left, religious life is just another “lifestyle”, one of the many options available in a realm where the only differences are on the level of labels and appearance. Homosexual or heterosexual, caring father or rapacious pedophile, celibate or whore, it does not matter to the moral and intellectual relativists of today, for whom the only important thing is advancing radical social re-engineering –at whatever cost, even if it means sacrificing innocent children (the very same children on whose name most of the liberal agenda is carried out) to the raping hands of predatory monsters.

In this our age of immediate gratification and pleasure on demand, fixing a problem is not the solution, the solution is giving the problem a new name. But that does little to change the fact that celibacy is not the cause behind the sexual abuse scandal –sexual perversion is. Many will say that there is nothing new here, that sexual deviants have always been around, both in and out of religious institutions. Fair enough, but it wasn’t until the cultural malaise of the 1960’s and 70’s that the most dismaying form of sexual aberration seemed to explode within the confines of the Catholic Church. That fact deserves some serious pondering, instead of the usual response from the spinmeisters in charge.

Marcos Rodriguez