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Monday, 9 February 2015

Bright Light of Celibacy as a Sign That Sex is Not Inevitable

Father Hunwicke has a deeply thought post on the value of both the married, (as in the Anglican, and Eastern Catholic,) and celibate, (as in the Latin) priesthood, (all this is in reference to another, NTM, blog, in to which I shall delve.)
Fr Hunwicke, who spins phrases with a dazzling, rumpelstiltskinesque skill, writes of:
the centrality of the Priest's Wife and Family to the ethos of what we Anglicans built up in our centuries of isolation from Catholic Unity. Clerical Marriage, as we have known it, is not a rather pathetic Lesser Good than the normative Celibacy of Latin Christianity; some sort of concession to weakness. It is in itself a demanding and sacrificial model of sacerdotal life; a beautiful flower which the Lord tended in our part of the garde.
I have long thought that that, (forgive me, you to whom such ideas are anathema,) it would not be impossible for the Roman Catholic Church to admit of a "tiered" priesthood, only celibates eligible to ascend to certain positions and stations, but also only celibates subject to superiors absolute authority as to transferred "postings", moves, etc., (such obedience would wreak havoc on the lives of most families.)

But he is also, wisely, cautious that the admission of married men to the priesthood not be seen as a potential battering ram against the present structures:
few of us would want the tradition we have inherited to be used as, or in some way become, an engine for the demolition of the Western norm. In this sexually obsessed world, there has never been a greater need for the bright light of Celibacy as a Sign that Sex is not inevitable.
This caught my attention.
I have discovered, in more than one conversation about homosexuality and the Church, and about the sexualization of  sexual license that some think ought to be granted to those who are not yet grown-up, that some people simply cannot wrap their minds around the idea that sexual impulses need not be acted upon.

 I watched a television drama recently set in the '50s, about the homophobia inherent in the laws that then obtained, (the white hats in the story had notions of equality that struck me as anachronistic, but who knows?)
But there was no attention paid to the fact that the behavior that was being condemned would have been almost equally censured had it been committed by heterosexual couples, (which is dishonestly handled by most currently created fictional accounts of life in the "old days" as well.)
Of course, one might have thought, (I certainly did when I was younger,) that the infidelity, the promiscuity,  the sordid anonymous and/or purchased couplings were in a sense forced on homosexuals by the necessity to hide their true natures.
I think we can all see how true that is or is not, now that celebration has replaced suppression...

But to suggest chastity?
To acknowledge that SEX IS NOT INEVITABLE?
What, are you MAD??!??!?????

Likewise, there is a serious cognitive dissonance in some purportedly feminist circles, with the demand that "women" barely into puberty must be considered free agents of their own sexuality; alongside an equally forceful insistence that so much of the dance of courtship is inherently patriarchal oppression of women, that any congress of two drunken idiot adolescents, (oh... I repeat myself, don't I?) which occasions later regret on the part of the female idiot can be used in toting up evidence of rape culture on campus.

Any suggestion that abstinence from either the booze or the boys might be a wise course is victim-blaming and slut-shaming, doncha know....

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