Well that’s a no-brainer, citizen of the world. You betcha!
When The Orgasm is held in It’s rightful place (the center of our being), to forgo having them isn’t just weird, it’s downright sinful.
To deny It leads all who don’t feed their natural urges for It to perform all manner of evils in the world. I know, this is a paradox, but hey, that’s how The Orgasm rolls.
Sadly, some folks just don’t understand this. Take Fr. Damien Ference writing at The Word on Fire blog today. He just doesn’t get that he is sinning against The Orgasm. Take a look,
Men and women are both created in God’s image and likeness. They are both good and equal in dignity. And they compliment one another. But they are not the same. A man’s body makes no sense by itself, just as a woman’s body makes no sense by itself. A man and woman can come together in such a way to create another life. Such is not possible for a man and a man or a woman and a woman, no matter how hard they try. There is a real difference between men and women that is natural and good. Only a man can be a father and only a woman can be a mother. Only a man can be a brother and only a woman can be a sister. Only a man can be a son and only a woman can be a daughter. These distinctions are not negotiable – they are given. Nature is intelligible, and any reasonable person can come to know and understand the beautiful complementarity and difference of men and women.
The male celibate priesthood by its nature points to the natural distinction of men and women. After all, a priest is a spiritual father, and only men can be fathers. The “father” aspect of the priesthood is a constant reminder of sexual difference and of sexual complementarity, both at the same time. For as much as it is true that only a man can be a father, it is equally true that a man cannot be a father without the compliment of a woman, who is a mother. The male priesthood protects and highlights this important and natural distinction.
The second underappreciated feature of the priesthood is this: Celibacy is a great reminder that sex in itself cannot make a person happy. Wherever we turn, we see images, and hear songs, and smell body sprays that remind us of sex. Even a cloistered nun could tell you that we live in an over-sexed culture. Of course, the kind of sex that the world wants to sell is empty, but for some reason, it’s still attractive and alluring.
Celibacy stands boldly in the face of a fallen world as a powerful witness that there is more to life than sexual pleasure, and that there is more to sex than just pleasure. A healthy celibate priest (or religious or layperson) becomes a prophetic sign that points to a much deeper and more satisfying reality than can be contained in the material world. In the spirit of St. Augustine, the healthy celibate reminds us that our hearts are restless until they rest in God, no matter how much sex we may have to try and fill them up.
Whaat? Poor Fr. Ference hasn’t been paying attention to the MSM Catechism. But you know what is worse? A fellow who comes so near to It’s truth, and then veers off unexpectedly into practically endorsing celibacy. Writing in The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead notes,
For those looking to cast stones at the Vatican there is no shortage of ammunition at hand, and Bruni’s piece, entitled “The Wages of Celibacy,” gives us a full measure of Catholic woe: tortured, self-rejecting gay priests and maybe cardinals and archbishops, ‘elite’ rings of transsexual prostitutes, hints of Vatican blackmail, pedophilia and tragic isolation. (Dowd takes it closer to the bone in a column dripping with juicy innuendoes about the Pope Emeritus’ relationship with his private secretary.)
No matter what a person’s sexual orientation, the celibate culture runs the risk of stunting its development and turning sexual impulses into furtive, tortured gestures. It downplays a fundamental and maybe irresistible human connection. Is it any wonder that some priests try to make that connection nonetheless, in surreptitious, imprudent and occasionally destructive ways?
Now I’m no Roman Catholic and my father is a happily married Episcopal priest; after 61 plus years of marriage my parents have four children, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and over the decades their home has been a warm and welcoming place, a visible sign of God’s love for friends, family and strangers alike. It’s not for me to advise a religious body to which I don’t belong how to manage its affairs, but if I were designing a new Church of St. Mead from the ground up, I’d have no problem with married priests.
There are good arguments against a celibate priesthood, even in the special context of Roman Catholic doctrine about the nature and function of priests. It’s not, however, clear that these arguments are as strong as Bruni and many others assume. The last time I looked, college football coaches, BBC celebrities, public school teachers and scout leaders weren’t required to be celibate, but we’ve seen high profile sexual scandals in these fields—complete with coverups. Horatio Alger was a Unitarian minister when he was fired for “unnatural familiarity” with boys, and there have been some recent high profile cases of married Jewish and Protestant religious leaders involved in inappropriate sex with young people.
He’s getting into heretical territory there, folks! See how alluring this sin is? And he’s not even a Catholic! What can explain his falling under this delusion?
Human sexuality is tricky ground; many married people have from time to time resorted to exactly the kind of “furtive, tortured gestures” that Bruni thinks characterize celibacy. Few of us live up to our own sexual ideals or standards; gay or straight, single or married, drunk or sober, large numbers of human beings look back on certain incidents with sadness and regret. Not even Maureen Dowd can believe that America’s burgeoning porn industry survives on the patronage of furtive and twisted celibates alone. Celibacy, like monogamy, is a sexual ideal. Not many people live up to either ideal fully, and many fall sadly, woefully, and even horrifically short of the standards their own consciences declare.
But ideals, even unattainable ones, are often there for a reason. The Christian ideal of celibacy wasn’t invented by the Catholic hierarchy and didn’t originate as a tool to capture and repress homosexual men. Nor was it rooted in either Jewish or Roman antiquity. Caesar Augustus passed laws to penalize bachelors, and while Rome had its Vestal Virgins, they had no male counterparts. While ancient Greek culture celebrated many forms of what we today would call pedophilia, it strongly condemned adult men who engaged in passive homosexual intercourse and placed strong social pressure on men to marry women even as they continued to accost high school age boys. The closest thing to the Christian ideal of celibacy was found among some Middle Eastern cults and mystery religions, but the voluntary castration among some devotees of these cults never really caught on among the followers of Christ (Origin excepted).
The Christian ideal of celibacy comes straight from the source: Jesus, despite repeated attempts by later writers to whomp up romances with everyone from Mary Magdalene to St. John the Divine, never married.
That’s the problem right there! You know, I searched the scriptures up and down and never saw the mention of the word Orgasm anywhere. Oh sure, there was an allusion here, and a double entendre there. But this Jesus fellow just didn’t get It.
I’m glad Mead mentioned Maureen Dowd, though, so I can end this post on a hopeful note. You see, Maureen really gets It. Writing about Colm Toibin a few days back, her mind is properly recollected on Things Orgasmic, as is fitting and proper. Tell us a story, Maureen!
[Toibin] has written about visiting Catholic shrines in Europe and about his shame growing up gay in a church where homosexuality could not be mentioned. He talks about how strange it is to see the church recede in Ireland to the point that Dubliners seem more obsessed with shopping than Mass on Sundays.
He was relieved when his play opened in Dublin and church leaders there reacted calmly.
I wonder what he thinks of the pageantry in Rome. He is dubious about the showy helicopter exit of Benedict to nearby Castel Gandolfo: “There’s absolutely no reason why he couldn’t have gone by car. The roads in Italy are really good.” But he expresses admiration for the easy affection between the 85-year-old former Holy Father and his 56-year-old private secretary, Msgr. Georg Gänswein, whom Toibin has described as “remarkably handsome, a cross between George Clooney and Hugh Grant, but in a way more beautiful than either.”
Benedict may have given up his flashy red loafers, downgrading to brown ones made for him in Mexico, but he is taking “Gorgeous Georg,” as the younger German is known, to live in his new home, a monastery in the Vatican. Some cardinals are worried about the arrangement of having Gänswein serve two pontiffs, by day as prefect of the new pope’s household and at night as secretary to the emeritus pope.
“An 85-year-old man having such a beautiful companion with him morning and night to talk to and walk with,” Toibin said. “It’s like the end of a novel. It’s what all of us want for ourselves, straight or gay. It’s better than sex.”
I ask him whether he thinks the church will evolve under a new pope.
“Everyone is hoping for some change,” he said. “If you could see nuns making sermons. Clerical celibacy has to be abolished and soon. And we must quickly begin the process of allowing women into the priesthood.
Now that is the MSM preaching the gospel of The Almighty Orgasm as It should be proclaimed. No naysaying, no facts contrary to the pleasurable narrative, and so very understanding that no women priest would ever deny herself the glory of It. The Huffington Post knows the benefits of The Orgasm, especially for females. Except, you know, nothing is better than sex, Toibin.
The MSM Catechism would never lead us astray.