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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:07 AM

Cardinal O'Brien and the Church's Sexual Confusion

Personally, I find the premise of this article to be nonsense. I certainly have no problem with priests having sexual relationships with consenting adults of either gender. That is a very different matter from the statutory rape of children followed by a massive institutional coverup. I've never even heard of a coverup involving priests having sex with consenting adults--what usually happens is that the priest leaves the priesthood either voluntarily or involuntarily, and then hooks up with the person who becomes his spouse/partner--at least in the US. Elsewhere it's mostly ignored.

n many other countries, it's acceptable for priests to shack up. My grandfather ( Donauschwaben immigrant from the Banat area) was surprised that there was a scandal involving an assistant priest in his American parish--he pointed out that it was well-known in his former village that the priest had a mistress and a couple of kids.


http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/295-164/16218-focus-cardinal-obrien-and-the-churchs-sexual-confusion

Of course, the real problem is that the Roman Catholic church expects an entirely unrealistic standard of continence from its priesthood. Some priests can manage celibacy. The evidence from all around the world is that most can't. They certainly can't always. In the developing world the problem is largely one of priests having unofficial heterosexual families, as Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines - an outside candidate for the papacy - pointed out last week. In countries where that isn't an available alternative, the priesthood becomes a refuge for gay men - especially in societies where homophobia is the public norm.

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cardinal O'Brien and the Church's Sexual Confusion (Original post)
eridani Feb 2013 OP
Ilsa Feb 2013 #1
eridani Feb 2013 #2
Ilsa Feb 2013 #3
cbayer Feb 2013 #4
eridani Feb 2013 #5

Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:19 AM

1. Of course, if the men Cardinal O'Brien

"hit on" were subordinates, it is more of an employment matter. If they were all reporting to him because he was a bishop or something, it becomes inappropriate and might be deemed coercive because of the control factor.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:08 AM

2. Yes, a boss-employee thing

Illegitimate coercion, but still nowhere near raping kids and covering it up.

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Response to eridani (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:53 AM

3. Yes, you are completely correct.

One is a civil matter, the other is a criminal felony.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:40 AM

4. First off, I think it is absolutely critical to separate the issue of O'Brien's behavior from

the pedophile issues of the RCC. The only thing they have in common is sex, other wise they bear no resemblance to each other, and one might even argue that the pedophile issues have little to do with sex at all.

I think what brought this case to light is that he was accused of harassment and had taken very hard positions on GLBT marriage in the past. Had he been harassing women, I doubt this would have gotten nearly this much attention. Just before this broke, he had called for the Vatican to reconsider it's position on celibacy and heterosexual marriage among priests. While clearly this does not go far enough, it was a fairly bold position for him to take. I have wondered if what happened consequently was not punishment for taking such a position.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:20 PM

5. It may well have been punishment

The article cited in the OP conflated sex in general with pedophilia, which I thought was very wrong.

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