Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Opinion concerning Ophrases like "priests are sexual beings" and "celibate intimacy"

I have a bone to pick with the language of "sexual" and "intimacy" applied to priests—that all men and priests are "sexual beings" and are ordered "not to deny their sexuality". I understand that this language was constructed to stress the humanity and completeness of life lived in celibacy—celibate life is not, as Coleman says, “sadly incomplete and unfulfilled.” Yet using the language of sex, sexual-ness, and intimacy to describe the authentic maleness and male identity of the priest, or the close friendships that the priest has with women and men, arising out of his relational human personhood, seems to me to obscure and soft-peddle something. This is the unique, strange, difficult, transcendent, testamental, counter-cultural, and sacrificial dimension of celibate life. Why water down the stark fact that this man, or this woman, has given him/herself totally to a God who is transcendently mysterious yet intimately immanent, and for this reason alone is available to give themselves to all people in a unique way?

1 comment:

Skalpel_tongue said...

You have a very good point. It seems that this language (sexual being)comes from a very poor attempt to counteract what some call an almost Jansenistic denial of human sexuality that took place in the last century in Ireland and in the States.

The problem arises when you hear the same language in "Catholic sex-ed" classes. Disturbingly enough, sometimes in such classes teenagers are told that they are sexual beings and that they should contemplate their sexuality when they recieve Christ in Holy Communion. This is where the underlying thought process is shown.

Any rational person realizes that they were created by God by means of the marital intimacy of their parents. That is not even a question. Human sexuality is the will of God (Be fruitful and multiply-Genesis). But, the incredible dignity of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ places it in a unique place in all human history, and throughout eternity. Treating of such a topic demands that it always be held in the highest of terms and venerated, even by our speech. The double standard of our culture is that in other cultures, if there are those who choose to refrain from marriage for some religious reason, they are hallowed as "wise sages" and we marvel at their wonderful ways (such as tibetan monks). It is even perfectly acceptable to laud them for their purity of life and for their simplicity that rises above secular life. But, if you talk in the same way about a Roman Catholic priest, Anathema Sit!

I congratulate you for actually following a path that will do the highest amount of good for the greatest amount of people for all eternity. Laudetur Iesus Christus!

oh, and sorry for the roughness of the post, I just got started.