Is it sex, and therefore not a sin, if there's no passion?


It’s Sunday, and I’m feeling decidedly just a little fed up with folks attempting to couch bullshit within a non-existent layer of piety. Humor me. [sigh] Or don’t.

I was watching the “Sixty Minutes” television program tonight, and Mike Wallace was doing a segment on some Catholic pedophile priests out in New Mexico. I’m sorry I can’t remember folks’ names and I haven’t taken the time to find a cite for this story, but Wallace was doing a story about several pedophile priests, and there was this one particular priest whom Wallace reported was on record as testifying to the fact that his raping a 15 year old girl until she was 18 was not a sin nor a violation of his vows of celibacy “because there was no passion involved.” :eek: :rolleyes: :mad: :eek: [shudder] First off, celibacy means having no sex at all, whether there is passion or not. Second, why in the world would anyone want to have sex if there’s no passion? Thirdly, if there was no passion involved, then what in the holy hell was involved? :confused: :mad:

Now I confess. I’m just a little confused here. Well, actually I’m thoroughly confused about all this sex/pedophilia business going on in the Catholic church and no doubt other religions too–I imagine we just ain’t heard about them yet. [sigh] How could that priest go on record saying that he didn’t think what he did was wrong? IIRC–I ain’t no Catholic–the Catholic church preaches that pre-marital sex is wrong, that priests are supposed to be celibate, and the last time I checked rape is against the law! What the hell is going on here? How is it that all these Catholic priests are sinning left and right with the belief that they are not violating other folks’ rights, violating sacred law, abusing their positions of authority, destroying their parishioners’ faith and/or sanity, and breaking secular law as well? Where do these priests learn this behavior? Were they abused as altar boys or something and then decided to carry on this sick tradition by becoming priests too? Is it a part of the curriculum at the schools where they go to become priests?

And, though I feel for the victims of all this rape/pedophilia, I just have to wonder how those folks could remain Catholic after seeing/experiencing all the hypocrisy. Has everyone lost their damn minds? It seems that folks are just so focused on sinning and talking about not sinning that they’ve left all thought of love or Jesus or God behind. :frowning:

Actually celibacy means an abstention from marriage. Abstention from sex altogether would be a vow of chastity, which I don’t think priests are required to make. Of course, it is a sin to have sex when not married.

The dude is question is definately an asshole, however.

I saw a psychologist (an expert on pedophilia) interviewed, on this subject. He said that the level of denial is astonishing in these pedophiles. They’ll rationalize in the most amazing way. They’ll say “Well, there was no penetration, so it does’t really count” or some other similar deluded bullshit.

That’s all this is. Deluded bullshit, an attempt to justify their perversion.

I didn’t see the TV program in question (there are more entertaining things to watch on TV at that time, in my opinion), but I can answer your question—The guy is a nutball.

A. He’s mentally ill/deranged/psychotic.

B. He’s simply a liar trying to hustify his actions.

C. All of the above.

As noted: celibacy = no marriage; chastity = no sex. Whether or not a priest makes a vow of chastity, church discipline and any normal acceptance of Christian belief makes fornication a sin. Rape is always a sin.

I will not assume that the guy has no mental illness, but his actions are wrong and his “excuse” is totally without merit.

(And by claiming there was no “passion” involved, he is adding at least one more lie to his total. If there was no passion, what was he claiming to be doing, administer pre-marriage training sessions?)

Well, actually, friedo, according to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1991), “celibacy” is: “1 : the state of not being married 2 : abstention from sexual intercourse b : abstention by vow from marriage” ( p. 219). But, I agree this sicko priest is an asshole.

yosemitbabe, wow. The level that folks can delude themselves to is just frightening. [shudder]

One thing that gets me about the OP is this:

People remain Catholic because that’s what they chose to believe. These priests do not represent what Catholic faith believes. They are a sick cancer of the religion that needs to be cut out. Also, the media is doing all the talking about sinning and not sinning, at most churches it’s business as usual. Granted, the whole pedophilia thing is always on the back of most people’s minds, but it’s not like that’s the focus of mass.

Now that that’s off my chest…

That priest was a sick fuck to start with, but to rationalize it like he did, makes him even worse. And he is most certainly a black-hearted bastard to rape someone and feel no passion of any kind. Not to hijack but if he did indeed feel no passion, would it be about control?

[giggle] emmy6, I usually don’t watch “Sixty Minutes,” and I shouldn’t have been doing so tonight because I have a lot of work to do. [sigh] But I just happened to catch it tonight. And yes, that creep is a complete nut. I just feel for the children he and others who think like him have victimized.

I should say that this thread is not intended to look down on Catholics who have somehow managed to retain their faith through all of this. I respect folks’ right to worship however they see fit. But, I’m not going to stand for bullshit.

tomndebb, it wouldn’t surprise me if this creep thought he was providing some pre-marital sex education. :rolleyes: But, oddly I don’t think this guy is insane. IANAP, so take that with a grain of salt. However, when Wallace tried to interview him, he wouldn’t look at the cameras, he kept walking, he finally defended himself when Wallace asked him why the woman in question would make such accusations of him by saying: “Her lawyer told her to say it.” He was totally unrepentant and really almost scornful of Wallace for having the audacity to question his authority in the manner that he did. Simply frightening.

Papamurf, I beg your pardon. I guess I wasn’t quick enough with my little caveat. See the post above this one where I say I respect folks’ right to believe what they wish. Still, your point is well-taken. I do think it’s about control in this instance, and that is what frightens me about all of this mess, as sick as it is. Still, I imagine Catholics to some extent do put their faith in priests, as they are considered to be representatives of the Catholic Church and intermediaries to god. I mean, they listen to folks confessing all sorts of things. I wonder. Who takes confession for the priests? I guess other priests do. Maybe that’s why all these bishops and whatnot have been keeping quiet about stuff. [sigh] Just doesn’t make any damn sense, though.

While we’re in the pit (HIJACK!)

For Catholics, is it a sin to question/dis-believe the teachings of the Church?

(I know a hell of a lot of ‘heretics’ died for doing so)

Does this principle extend to any/all clerics?

Is a Priest within his (justified) mindset to consider himself above reproach?

Well, the RCC excommunicated Fr. Feeney of Boston for preaching that only Catholics could go to heaven and refusing to change his spiel when he was told that that was not Catholic doctrine.

Recently, an African bishop was chucked out for maintaining a concubine on the side, then marrying her when he was challenged. (He’s a bit of an odd duck, anyway, and the story has gotten even more weird in the last two months, so I don’t know the current status.)

Clerics are supposed to be held to a higher standard than the laity–which is why the currently publicized situations are causing so much commotion among the people in the pews. The hierarchy made noises about correcting this problem 10-15 years ago and discovering that several bishops have lied is upsetting a lot of people.

Priests are not above the law–civil or ecclesiastical.

Wrong-priests do INDEED make a vow of chastity. And since the Catholic church believes that sex without marriage is a big no no, then it’s a sin whether he took a vow of chastity or not.

It’s as one friar put it-vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience:
“No money, no honey and I got a boss.”
Perhaps some people stay Catholic because there ARE priests out there who we do believe, who aren’t doing these things?

It’s like saying, why would you go to school, if it was a school teacher who molested you?

As far as Catholics who don’t believe church doctrine-eeeehhh…it’s tricky. They do believe once in a while, you have to go with your conscience (like, for example, stealing bread to feed a starving child, or hiding people from the Nazis, like some did during WWII)

Hmmm, learn something new every day. So when regular, non-priest people (unmarried ones, who are OK with sex before marriage) say, for example, “I’ve been celibate for six months,” they are using the term incorrectly (assuming they mean that they haven’t gotten laid in six months)?

Well, I’ll be damned.

Chastity is supposed to be the rule for all Catholics, actually. When one is chaste, one engages only in “lawful” sexual intercourse, which for Catholics means only the person you’re married to. When one vows celibacy, one vows not to marry, and vowing chastity (not having sex with anyone you aren’t married to) makes that a vow never to have sex.

Chastity has sort of become a popular synonym for celibacy, but that’s not the meaning it started out with. Or so I was told in school. gives both meanings for the word.

Now, as far as the jerkwad mentioned in the OP, I’ve been astonished all my life at how self-delusional people can be when trying to justify their own actions. “Yeah, but, see, this is different…” Most people just don’t take it to that kind of an extreme. Yuck.

IIRC, the triple vow (Chastity, Poverty, Obedience) is called the Benedictine Rule, and is pretty much your standard priestly vow. More vows are piled upon that, as the sect and order require.

I’m voting for “sociopath”: No passion, no impulse control, no remorse. I’m also voting for “World-Class Asshole”.

Benedict’s rules have been adopted by (nearly?) all the religious orders. Priests who are ordained by the bishop for his diocese (called diocesan or secular priests) do not take those vows.

On the other hand, they do pledge obedience to the bishop and chastity is in force for all Catholics at all times (whether everyone follows that rule may be a different story, of course).

Priests are clearly expected to refrain from any sexual activity–however, it they may not actually take a vow to reinforce the idea.

Well, not to hijack the thread any further, but Benedict’s Rule has been adapted by almost every religious order. (Tom~, you may recall some contretemps between Francis of Assisi and Pope Innocent on what rule the Friars Minor would have to follow.)

Let me note further that many orders have Oblates and Tertiaries (the latter being a branch of the Franciscans) who are bound by a rule of chastity rather than celibacy (and of simplicity rather than poverty) – my wife is a Franciscan Tertiary in the Anglican Communion’s Society of St. Francis (SSF).

However, as Tom~ points out, the requirement of celibacy placed on a priest is different from the vow of celibacy made by a monastic. The former is a law of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church governing its clergy; the latter is a vow made before God by a person entering a religious order.

While the SSF has friars and sisters under vows of celibacy like any “normal” religious order, there is no requirement of celibacy on Episcopal priests – except those few who belong to religious orders where it’s part of the Rule.

I learn something new every day, even in the Pit. :slight_smile:


Tranquilis, I know what you mean, hon. I just love sittin’ back and lettin’ all these intelligent folks edumicate lil ol’ me. :smiley:

I just wanted to add that it is also extremely common for child molesters to claim that the child ‘wanted it’, and even that they initiated the activity. I’ve heard this claimed in cases involving infants!

Blaming the victim is a popular human excuse. There are several examples variations floating about currently on the board. “He/she was asking for it” must be engraved on the inside of our skulls somewhere.