When I read about Fr. Cutie, I wondered if Catholic priests everywhere feel like they can walk with their heads a little higher. Why? Because he was caught messing around with a sexy woman on the beach and not a young boy. If you are a Catholic priest, this surely came as a relief. Let’s be honest, these have been difficult times for Catholic priests.
And with this scandal comes all the screams for an end to celibacy. If allowing a priest to have sex would cure all of their problems, then why do so many public figures struggle with their own sexual commitments. John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, to name a few political leaders could not honor their vow to their spouses. Ms. California could not follow the rules of the contest which forbid her to take nude or semi nude photos. Sure it seems like permitting priests to have sex would resolve their problems, but in truth, it will just create a new set of problems.
I would suggest we think of the priesthood like joining the military, Peace Corp, or Americorp. Specifiically, you sign on for periods of time and then you leave at the end of your contract. And yes, you will be asked to be celibate during that period of time. So if you make that commitment, you go into it knowing that is part of the deal. Let me guess, you’re thinking, how can you ask a guy who has had sex to not have sex for a few years. Between married couples that have grown tired of one another and side effects from medications, I imagine there are more men out there not having sex than we acknowledge.
Who would want to do this? For example, lets say your wife died and you are lonely; or you are single and don’t think you’ll get married; or you were married, had kids, and now you’re divorced, this might sound appealing. Why? A lot of men are lonely. This would give them room and board, meals, community, a positive way to give to others, and a way to show their love and faith in God. And if you offered an ongoing pension after they complete 5 years or more of service, guys would be knocking down doors to get in.
What about priests like Fr. Cutie who started in the seminary at 18? For the seminarian from about 16-30, I would suggest they delay the age they could formally be a priest. And during those “horny as hell” years, I would put the young seminarians in cities like LasVegas. In fact, I would set up locations near some of the legally sanctioned whore houses and strip clubs. This will surely rule out a great majority of the confused young men and likely produce a few very spiritually strong priests.
As you challenge this concept, ask yourself if the current system is working? Moreover if the church refuses to remove the celibacy clause, what are the alternatives?