Monday, August 11, 2008

Bad news for Father Nelson

The above headline references a rather tasteless joke involving wrestling and Catholicism. Speaking of which ... The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati has developed a list of actions that it finds inappropriate for priests, who are just now on notice that they should not kiss, tickle or wrestle children. Also on the no-no list: bear hugs, lap-sitting and piggyback rides. I don't remember those activities being part of the traditional service, but what the heck. You have to change with the times, and after the whole scandal involving a bunch of priests having their way with kids, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry, even if it's agreed that everybody loves a good piggyback ride. The archdiocese says these rules are updated every five years. Do you think, considering that messy little sex scandal, that some sort of interim action might have been in order? But, hey, this isn't an all-bad-news story. The archdiocese says priests can still shake kids' hands, pat them on the back and give them high-fives. Well, thank God for that.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Did you not tell him they were the Lord's cheeps?"

August 11, 2008 at 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a classic case of punishing everyone rather than face the need to root out the biggest offenders -- like an office manager who, rather than confront the employee who perennially is late and does sloppy work, post a memo on the bulletin board telling all employees to straighten up.

Actually, allowing priests to marry might give them a whole lot of real-world training on what it takes to deal with people and handle kids.

August 12, 2008 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Bravo to that. I'm not a Catholic, so I really have no dog in this fight, but I find it mind-boggling that they remain firmly rooted in the Dark Ages and will not allow priests to marry or women to become priests. By demanding celibacy of priests, the church actually makes it more likely that they will engage in surreptitious and sometimes illegal sexual conduct. And I don't know how any woman can be a member of an organization that systematically treats her entire gender like second-class citizens. I've always found it hilarious that priests conduct counseling sessions for people who are about to be married. What the $%^& would they know about it?

August 12, 2008 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I find it strange that there even has to be a set of rules for this sort of thing. In light of the whole scandal with the priests, it shouldn't even have to be discussed. I guess this is a PR move by the diocese, but it seems pretty creepy to me. Not only that, but the diocese seems to be acting like banning these behaviors being done out in the open will curtail any illicit activity behind the scenes...which is where all the other stuff happened anyway.

I was raised in a Catholic home. While I bailed on the religion years ago, my mother, at 81, is a staunch believer in the faith. That's fine with me. It's interesting to me, though, that she adamantly and almost angrily refuses to discuss the pedophilia at all.

I don't understand how a priest is qualified to counsel married people or many other folks since they lack a world view that would enable them to offer any cogent advice. It's a mess, from the Vatican all they way down to the little book of rules.

August 12, 2008 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Captain said...

Why dont they just allow the priests to get married?? Then perhaps the chances of this happening again will be reduced?

any thoughts?

August 12, 2008 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I don't think it's the supposed celibacy that's the problem. There are many children who are molested by people who aren't celibate. There's more to it than just's about power, control, manipulation, humiliation. Marriage might give priests a better perspective and some varied experience from which to draw in many circumstances, but I doubt that it would stop the molestations. Unfortunately.

August 12, 2008 at 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Jodi said...

First off, not all priests are not allowed to marry after they've entered the priesthood. It depends on the denomination. In the Catholic denomination, priests may not be married when they are ordained, nor may they marry after they are ordained. Men who want the duties of a priest, but still marry and have children become Deacons, and are able to do most of what priests can do (excluding hearing confession and a couple of other things).

It wasn't always like this. There came a point where the Church was in serious need of funding and could barely afford to run the churches based on the donations of the church patrons. The Church needed a way to obtain more funds. It was noticed that priests who had families and family money were leaving their families their possessions and assets in their wills. The Church needed that money, but legally they couldn't take it if the priest was married to a woman and had heirs even if he was widowed. Therefore, the Church doctrine changed to have priests "marry the Church" so that legally the Church had rights to the monetary assets when their priests (and later, nuns) died. There were no heirs to worry about that way, at least not legal heirs, and with priests and nuns legally "married" to the Church, the Church was entitled to the assets and money and could win in a legal loophole if things were disputed by distant relatives.

August 13, 2008 at 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point is, you don't go to the Kennedys for marital counseling.

It's unrealistic to expect someone who has never been married to understand the issues that come up in marriage, just as it's unrealistic to expect someone who has never had children to understand the issues associated with rearing them. It's unrealistic, also, to exclude women from the priesthood based on the "fact" that there were no female apostles -- especially when the Bible was written and edited by men living in a patriarchal society.

Of course it's not only the Catholics who have problesm with ministers molesting kids or who exclude women from any meaningful role in the church.

August 13, 2008 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Captain said...

All good points here. I know marriage wont correct it, but perhaps its reduced in its rate and severity. Although living through this cannot be easy be it once or hundreds of times. I hope any one who has experienced such vile encounters seeks whatever therapy they need to cope and understand its not their fault but the sicko and pervets who did not seek or get help and those who kept the cycle going or worse hid it when they could have helped.

I just wish there were viable solutions that the vast majority could support. Do we simply regress back to primitive days where a horse thief is hanged if caught and laws were simpler and swifter?

I cannot imagine my daughter telling me something about being violated by any boy, man or woman against her will. But these predators are very good at scaring and conniving and more so at straight convincing. If we could only think like them we might have a better chance at corralling them before they continue to destroy our future through or children.

This could be one of the societal reason many people although religious and have strong beliefs do not attend church or use the TV to acquire spiritual direction.

August 16, 2008 at 6:34 PM  

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