Priest Pedophiles

Why are so many priests pedophiles? The official Roman Catholic Church explanation seems to be that the cause is homosexuals in the clergy. That explanation is awfully convenient as it rests on common prejudices and shifts the blame away from Rome's own policies. But more to the point, it does nothing to explain why priests are raping girls.

We might then turn to abstinence as the problem. After all, humans are wired to reproduce. However, a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that [rape] offenses could be categorized as power rape (sexuality used primarily to express power) or anger rape (use of sexuality to express anger), [but] there were no rapes in which sex was the dominant issue; sexuality was always in the service of other, nonsexual needs. So apparently sex crimes have little to do with sex, and more to do with anger and power issues. So why are so many priests pedophiles?

I suspect the answer has a lot to do with the broken hierarchy of the Catholic Church. I haven't spent a lot of time in Catholic churches, but pretty much every one I know anything about is messed up, with people who want to do good being restricted by their position in an amoral or immoral bureaucracy. Case in point on Shelley's weblog. The inability to do good naturally makes people angry. The apparent discrepancy between God's will and the Catholic Church's will naturally creates power issues. And anger and power issues encourage sex crimes.

The attempt to mandate sexual orientation among abstinent priests is an ironic symptom of the problem here. It's not enough for Rome to control, to the point of elimination, the sex lives of priests; they also want to control the sex priests aren't even having. It's an unfortunate irony, a disease masquerading as a cure.

Ultimately, I think, priests are responsible for their own actions. But the Catholic Church is an apparent accomplice.

your theory rests on the assumption that normal people get turned into sex offenders after they become priests. i'm more inclined to think that the priesthood attracts a larger than average percentage of already messed up men. when become a priest you don't only vow abstinence, you also give yourself up to be assigned to live wherever and with whomever the Church pleases, and a lot of normal adults just can't make a lifelong commitment to that kind of social sacrifice. maybe people who are already socially abnormal are more likely to sign up.
your theory rests on the assumption that normal people get turned into sex offenders after they become priests.

Not at all. I think if you reread my words, you'll notice I was very careful to discuss the church's role as one of encouragement or influence, not causation. Because, as I've said before, I think people are responsible for their own choices.

But I also don't think priests, or people in general, are as static as you've painted them. I think we all have capacity for good and bad, and the church puts priests into situations in which it's easy to make bad choices. I'm sure bad people become priests, but I think more often good people become priests and then become bad people. (And, of course, good people also stay good as priests.)

I'd also like to make a distinction you don't appear to be making, between "socially abnormal" people and bad people. Mostly because I am a socially abnormal person.
re: distinction between "socially abnormal" and bad

yes, of course these two characteristics are not the same at all. and there are people who do very bad things who manage to lead what appear to be normal family lives and do have "normal" social skills.

i was referring in my previous post to people who want to do bad, violent things and also happen to have a hard time fitting in and therefore think the priesthood will be safe because they'll have to fit in. they think dressing like others and saying the same prayers means they'll be like others.

not many people like to talk about it, but there's a too much of a connection between violent sex crimes,domestic violence (also about power, not sex) and u.s. military bases. are men attracted to the army for the same reasons? of course the socialization that happens after joining up is likely a factor. so i suspect environment and nature are both at work in the case of sex offender priests, too.
I'm sure with both the army and the priesthood, there are just as many, and probably more, people who join because they are the type of people who enjoy the work and the structure it offers than there are those who join because they'd like to be the type of people who enjoy the work and the structure it offers. The existence of bad people is a problem without solution, so I don't find it very interesting.

I do think large social organizations like churches, schools, government, and media can - but generally fail to - create environments in which it's easy to be good, so this is what interests me. We can improve cultures, but we can't improve people. People must improve themselves.

So I don't care why priests are attracted to the church, but I do care what behaviors the church encourages in priests. You seem to have the opposite interest, but I don't see that leading anywhere. Even if we had some way of knowing why people join the army or the church, what could we possibly do with that knowledge?
The sickos that hid behind the collar of a priest are an abomination to any form of Christianity but to make matters worse, the Catholic hierarchy defends and covers up the actions of these criminals. How can anyone say they love God and condone such shameful behavior? In order for this situation to improve, Catholics must go back to the Bible and allow priests to marry as instructed for them to do.

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