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Old 17-January-2004, 00:12
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Default Flesh and the Devil

Just had a chance to see "Flesh and the Devil" a Channel Four programme that I taped on Thursday.

It touched on issues raised in other threads here but it made out a very strong case that celibacy is a totally unatural human condition that will inevitably give rise to the problems we have seen from the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Other religions may see celibacy as an ideal state but only Catholicism holds it as an imperative. Its origins lie in Sinai, in St Catherine’s, the oldest monastery in the world that dates back 1,800 years. The early Christians who founded that community saw sex as polluting so they removed the monks from their families and from all forms of human love, and whipped, burned and starved their bodies to drive out the sexual feelings.

Today’s neuroscientists say that the brain is programmed for reproduction so if a person has no sexual outlet, the body’s need must be rechannelled into some other form. In Mediaeval Europe, whole populations would whip themselves in the streets. Today in the Philippines, people commemorate Christ’s suffering by causing themselves extreme pain – even to the extent of hammering nails through their hands – and in the process give themselves visionary experiences.

The biology is quite well understood. Pain makes the body produce opiates which can lead to ecstatic states. Sexual psychologist Dorothy Hayden sees a clear connection between Christianity and sado-masochistic sex. Both require a reduction in the ego – submission, either to God or a sexual dominator, a surrender of the self, total trust and a willingness to lose control.
Horror stories emerged about child abuse and beatings of Irish children within the Roman Catholic establishment and mention was made of the programme "States of Fear"

"The flood gates have opened and the shame of our past has poured out...RTÉ's States of Fear series produced by Mary Raftery was one of the most important TV programmes ever screened". The Star, 17 May 1999
One expert calculated that on the basis of reported cases that it was statistically likely that 6% of the American Catholic priesthood had been involved in child abuse cases.

As terrible as this figure was he wondered how the other 94% regarded their celibacy vows having regard to problems of sexual relationships with parishioners or nuns or even self relief.
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Old 18-January-2004, 01:38
jmk1
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The programme said it all. Since the 70s 200.000 Priests 300.000
nuns have renounced their vows. Thankfully, at least in Ireland
the RC Churches stranglehold on it's people has been broken.
The youngsters of to -day simply won't stand for it. Church attendances are down ,so are collections. In the meantime they
continue to exploit those that can least afford ,namely the
3rd world
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Old 18-January-2004, 17:09
squidgy
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it made out a very strong case that celibacy is a totally unatural human condition that will inevitably give rise to the problems
Hmm. Correlation does not imply causality. I'm wondering - how many of the people who have become priests would have been celibate anyway, even if the priesthood didn't exist?

What happened when they tested celibacy on rats?

I'm skeptical.
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Old 18-January-2004, 17:37
ewtie
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Try these:-

1Corinthians 9:5. New American Translation.
1 Timothy 4:1-3. Jerusalem Bi9ble.
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Old 18-January-2004, 21:08
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Thanks ewtie.....

Some ancient religions reserved particular religious offices for celibate people - one famous example would be the Vestal Virgins in Rome. These women had to remain celibate for 30 years while they served the perpetual fire in the Atrium of Vesta. Celibacy was also common among different cults dedicated to nature incarnated as the Great Mother.

For Christianity, celibacy has played an important role since the very earliest times. Insistence on it has been based upon the ideal of renouncing all familial ties for the sake of achieving the Kingdom of God, as described by Jesus in Mark10:29 and Luke 18:29. Early on, celibacy was more a matter of personal choice and was not required by those who sought or held any ecclesiastical offices. Restrictions in the West increased over time until married clergy were finally banned at the first and second Lateran Councils (1123 and 1139).

Why did it take until 1123 for the Lateran Council to interpret the scriptures to ban married clergy and why was this done?

Surely if the result of a celibate clergy is to put women and children at risk of sexual abuse by frustrated and sexually immature clergy then it is time to review the decision of the Lateran Council.
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Old 19-January-2004, 16:08
squidgy
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Insistence on it has been based upon the ideal of renouncing all familial ties for the sake of achieving the Kingdom of God
Hmm - now you mention it, it sounds odd. Sounds like someone has picked up the wrong end of the stick somewhere along the line - and the misinterpretation became church policy. I used to believe that the nation state is guilty of splitting families up - due to the effects of taxation, cash benefits, public housing, the education system, local authority care, and maybe even parts of the NHS too. But I wouldn't have said the same of the church - until you mentioned it.

Food for thought then. Because I think that the church played a big part in creating the government-backed welfare and education systems we take for granted today. Maybe there's a link?

Surely if the result of a celibate clergy is to put women and children at risk of sexual abuse by frustrated and sexually immature clergy then it is time to review the decision of the Lateran Council.
Yes - but the key word here is if. So I'm still skeptical.

Here's my suggestion. Enforce celibacy on lab rats in a controlled environment. Then observe for a while. See if those rats start sexually abusing little baby rats. You also need to compare it with rats who haven't been forced into celibacy, but who have been controlled for the other variables that are suspected of predisposing immaturity and sexual abuse (eg diet, medication, environmental conditions, the opportunity to interact with baby rats etc etc).

If the instance of sexual abuse among celibate rats is higher than among non-celibate rats by a statistically significant margin - then I think you're onto something.

Short of that - I take it with a pinch of salt. Like I say - correlation doesn't imply causality. But I haven't even seen evidence of correlation yet, never mind causality.

Last edited by squidgy; 19-January-2004 at 16:14.
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Old 19-January-2004, 19:02
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Three young candidates for the priesthood are told by the Monsignor they have to pass one more test: The Celibacy Test. The Monsignor leads them into a room, and tells them to undress, and a small bell is tied to each man's penis.

In comes a beautiful woman, wearing a sexy belly-dancer costume. She begins to dance sensually around the first candidate. Even before she has begun to remove her veils: *Ting-a-ling* goes the little bell...

"Oh Patrick," says the Monsignor, "I am so disappointed in your complete lack of self-control. Go take a long, cold shower and pray about your carnal weakness."

As Patrick leaves, the dancer then continues, slowly dancing around the second candidate and peeling off her layers of veils. As the last veil drops: *Ting-a-ling* goes the bell...

"Joseph, Joseph," sighs the Monsignor. "You too are unable to withstand your carnal desires. Go take a long, cold shower and pray for forgiveness."

The dancer then proceeds to dance her sensuous dance around the third candidate. Slowly around him she dances, now devoid of all of her veils, but the third candidate remains unmoved.

"James, my son, I am truly proud of you," says the Monsignor. "Only you have the true strength of character needed to become a great priest. Now, go and join your weaker brethren in the shower."

*Ting-a-ling* goes the bell...

Of course this sort of thing would never happen to an Anglican ordinand!!!
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Old 19-January-2004, 19:21
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Two nuns are painting their convent bedroom and deciding that they do not want to get paint on their habits, undress and continue their painting naked. Twenty minutes into the job they are interrupted by a knock on the door.
"who is it?" shouts Sister Theresa?
"It's the blind man" a voice replies.
Deciding that it will be ok to let the man in as he cannot see them, they unlock the door and allow him to enter the room.
"now.." the man asks.."where do you want me to put these blinds?"
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Old 19-January-2004, 19:39
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@ Apps

Great in topic joke.....

by squidgy
Here's my suggestion. Enforce celibacy on lab rats in a controlled environment. Then observe for a while. See if those rats start sexually abusing little baby rats.
The frustrated celibate rats wuld probably eat the baby rats
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Old 19-January-2004, 19:50
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Struth - things are slow right now.....

@ kdee's nun joke too
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Old 19-January-2004, 19:55
squidgy
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*Ting-a-ling* goes the bell...

The frustrated celibate rats wuld probably eat the baby rats


I want to play with rats ... But my tenancy agreement forbids pets.
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Old 20-January-2004, 19:37
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Originally posted by squidgy

I want to play with rats ... But my tenancy agreement forbids pets.
I'm sure if the landlord found out you could organise a cover up and say it invaded your room from a broken drain and you are waiting a visit from the Council's Pest Control Officer
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