Well, when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis last week, many heralded him as a proponent of change and reform for the Catholic church. So much of the Church’s reputation has been tainted this last decade by the ever-growing list of sexual abuses by Catholic priest and the Vatican’s inclination to want to cover up rather than expose and deal with the problem. New information from Pope Francis indicates that maybe changes are on the horizon, positive ones that could end some of this drama.
For some reason, there is a well-documented problem with “celibate” Catholic priests fondling and abusing children. While the act is despicable, few of us can imagine a life of true celibacy. Why would priests do what they do to who they do it to? Easy. Because they are in a position of authority and think they can get away with it. Now, I won’t go into the logistics of this as to whether any of us reading this article would turn to molesting little boys if we were forced to abstain from sex, no matter what reason. I pray that most of us would not resort to that as a solution, but yet, it is happening, so we must examine it and try to figure out why, something the Catholic Church has utterly refused to do for the last decade.
The now Pope Francis wasn’t as perfect as his monicker might suggest. He once teetered on the edge himself, as he has revealed in a book that is now doing a whole lot better since Bergoglio became Franicis. In the book, On Heaven and Earth, Bergoglio broke it down on quite a few controversial topics. Celibacy was one of them. The future Pope Francis admitted that he was once tempted by a dazzling young woman he met a wedding. He then spoke of how the woman haunted him and he couldn’t even pray without thinking of her. Apparently, he survived the temptation, but to this day, he encourages priests to not be afraid to admit that they just can’t deal with it. He says, pointedly, that it is better to take a wife and start a family as a good Christian than to resolve yourself to be a very bad priest.
So, it seems that Pope Francis at least understands the rigors of a celibate lifestyle. Would he consider the ultimate reform in Catholicism and allow Catholic priests to live like, well, you know, human beings?
That remains to be seen, my friends, but it’s good that at least the problem is coming up. That is a step in the right direction.
What do you think? Are Catholic priests just evil, child molesters, or is celibacy responsible? And, by the way, do you think that you would resort to child sexual abuse if you couldn’t get any at home? We can’t wait to hear your spirited answers.