Catholicism is probably the only religion where the holy men are required to be celibate. If you can think of another one, let me know. As the Orthodox consider themselves the true and pure Catholics or Christians, it follows that the Orthodox consider priestly celibacy to be some sort of crazy deviationism. Orthodox priests can marry, and as the original Christian Church was Orthodox, it follows that allowing priests to marry is right within the proper traditions of Christianity.
The reason for this is obscure and I’m not sure of the roots of it, but it was instituted at some time after the split between Rome and Constantinople.
It’s often said that priestly celibacy is the reason priests molest kids so much. The implication is that if guys are not given a healthy sexual outlet, as in a woman to fuck, they will go towards other things like kids. So guys who are not getting any pussy are at risk of child molesting.
I don’t agree that that’s the case.
Anyway, there are tons of priests out there messing around with women, trust me. What’s really going on here is that the priestly celibacy requirement means that you end up with a bunch of guys as priests who don’t care if they never fuck another woman or not.
That is, they have no use for normal sexual relations with women. What kind of men have no use for sexual relations with women? Guys who are not attracted to adult females.
Homosexual men, for one, and Andrew Greeley, a popular author and former priest, estimated that 1/3 of Catholic priests are gay. AIDS has actually hit the priesthood very hard, and many priests have died of it already, though you don’t read about it much. Catholic seminaries are said to be hotbeds of male homosexuality.
There’s not that much homosexuality in convents and monasteries as that is a preselected group, and there are not that many of them anyway.
It’s true that other religions have celibate monks and nuns. In Thailand, for instance, it is quite common for young men aged 18-21 or so to go off and join a monastery and be celibate for a couple of years. It’s kind of like going in the army, and seems to be good for them. Most only do it for a couple of years, then come out, marry and have normal lives.
In the Middle Ages, there used to be tunnels between nunneries and monasteries where the priests and nuns could meet and have sex with each other.
The other type of guy who has no use for sex with women is a pedophile or hebephile, since they are attracted to teens and especially children instead of adults of either sex.
So, it’s true that the celibacy requirement is the cause of a lot of the priest child abuse, but not in the way that you normally think.
It’s often said by dogmatic sexual liberationists that priestly celibacy will harm a man even after he comes out of it.
Not true. Most men like to fuck.
The argument makes no sense. If you’ve been on starvation rations for years, are you going to come out of it hating to eat a square meal? Forget it. Most people who have gone through that live for nothing more than a good square meal every day – that’s all they want out life to be happy.
Studies of ex-priests have shown that years of celibacy did not harm them. They come out of the priesthood, marry and go on to live normal, healthy, sexually well-adjusted married lives.
The whole argument is silly, but it was common in the 1970’s among what I call Sexual Liberationist Fascists. Among these folks, lack of sex, celibacy or virginity was regarded as a horrendous sin similar to the way child molesters are seen these days.
Say what you want about chastity, but it’s hardly a sin. True Sexual Liberation, what I preach, means total freedom about sex. You can have sex with any consenting adult you want to. With your own sex, with the opposite sex, with both, or with no one. As frequently or infrequently as possible and with as many or as few partners as you wish. Celibacy is one of the options available in a Sexually Liberated world. Some people actually prefer it that way, mostly women, but some guys too. You would be surprised.
Celibacy has a long tradition in Hindu India. A Brahmin friend of mine told me that he was celibate until he married at age 32. He felt absolutely no shame in this lifestyle, and he said that this was a typical way for a male Brahmin to live – to be celibate until marriage.