A mailing list I’m on recently mentioned the notion of priests abdicating their vows of celibacy in light of the most recent charges of child abuse in the Catholic church. I responded:
I for one would hate to see the Catholic church do away with its celibacy rule. The simple fact of the matter is that the Catholic church needs dysfunction and foolishness to surive. For centuries, the Catholics made a career of finding fault with other peoples and cultures and working hard to assimilate, to purge, and to achieve political power, criticizing other religions as superstitious cults while grasping with white knuckles the notion that they were actually eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, castigating polytheists while praying to Mary, Jesus, Joseph, and anybody but the Man herself, and widely spreading the completely unhealthy philisophical view that humans are essentially sinful creatures in constant need of redemption and forgiveness. Vatican II may have allowed services to be held in English, but it didn’t reform the church’s twisted and bizarrely firm stance on birth control, a stance which does nothing to reconcile itself with the church’s even firmer stance on abortion, nor did it help to stop the church from lording over the rest of the world with an attitude toward human sexuality that is infantile and destructive. The douchebag sentiment at work here is the one that says that abstaining from fucking is a great way to become more effectively plugged in to the forming and nuturing forces of the universe. I have a suspicion that for centuries the creator has been giggling at them and wondering when they’d catch on to the fact that She put those tingly bits there for a reason, and that caging that energy is about as holy as kicking up your bare feet on a pew back during Easter service and letting a thundering fart rattle the wooden seat.
One thing that hasn’t come out of all of this yet: These latest events convince me that it’s high time for some American religious institution to extend a forgiving hand to the Rev. Sinead O’Connor for creaming the Pope on Saturday Night Live some years ago. This is, after all, precisely what she was bellering about, and while her method of protest was bizarre at best, it turns out that she was absolutely right. Let’s have a ceremony in New York City to affirm this woman’s priesthood in the church and a marketing push to welcome her back into the fickle fold of the American music industry.