Here is an
article on HBO’s hit piece on celibacy.
Roman Catholicism is not the only religious faith that
extols the virtues of celibacy. But as Antony Thomas points out in his eye-opening
documentary “Celibacy,” no
other branch of any major world religion compels its clergy to abstain from
The effect has been cataclysmic: 500,000 nuns and priests have left their
orders since the 1960s, Thomas says. What’s more, legal actions involving thousands
of children abused by priests have been filed in 10 countries.
This has got to be one of the silliest arguments against the
mandatory discipline of celibacy. If celibacy was the problem than why was
it only after the 1960s
that it became a problem? If you look at something was true before and after
an event you surely can’t say that it was the cause. Of course there have been
zero celibate priests who have abused children, it is only those who broke
their vows and were not celibate.
I can’t speak for all of Buddhism but in Thailand Monks are required
to be celibate. While looking up this information I found a rather interesting/funny
set of questions asked during their ordination ceremony. The man is asked
a series of questions, for which there is only one right answer to each:
- Do you have Leprosy? (No)
- Are you male? (Yes)
- Do you have boils? (No)
- Are you free of debt? (Yes)
- Do you have ringworm? (No)
- Are you released from government service? (Yes)
- Do you have tuberculosis? (No)
- Do your parents permit you to become a monk? (Yes)
- Are you epileptic? (No)
- Are you at least 20 years old? (Yes)
- Are you human? (Yes)
- Do you have your robes and your alms bowl? (Yes)
So I guess if your non-male and/or an alien or have other diseases, tough
luck. Sorry E.T. The article continues:
…“Celibacy” begins by making the case
that the sex drive is stronger than hunger. Thomas heads to the East, where
he produces remarkable
practices undertaken by other religions to sublimate the carnal urges of men.
(I should warn the guys that one of the scenes here will make you squirm.)
His point is that the sex drive cannot be ignored or
suppressed — and
yet, Thomas argues, that is exactly what the church has done.
So by this logic those who are married I guess are allowed to ignore temptations
to sin and can commit adultery. Or those before marriage can indulge in fornication
so to keep from feeling suppressed. If you are going to use reasoning like
this you are not just aiming it at celibacy but the whole order of the Church’s
teaching on sexual morality. Of course that is exactly the point. If you have
pedophile urges would he encourage these people to suppress them?
…One brave priest, interviewed on camera, admits to having
had two dalliances with women in 21 years. He says he is the rule, not the
exception, among priests,
many of whom have relationships with women. He says he understands why.
“I love being a priest,” he tells Thomas. “But
as (my parishioners) are leaving, I see that big empty church. And that church
is symbolic of the
emptiness inside me.”
My definition of a brave priest is one who has braved temptations
and has not broken his vows.