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Home > Culture and Society

Jesus Wept

13 February 2003

Eighty Catholic priests have been identified as being involved in a US child-abuse scandal centred around the archdiocese of Boston. That's right. Eighty. Eighty priests. Eighty Catholic priests.


Now, before we go on, we want to make it quite clear that we're not just picking on Catholics. Because, God knows, the Church of England is little more than a convocation of farts. And the Alpha Course people are just plain evil. But the Catholic Church is special. A vast gothic construct of hypocrisy, hatred and shame, built upon a mixture of medieval morality and schizophrenic psychology. Nothing in the history of mankind, with the possible exception of the
New Romantics movement, has fucked up so many lives. And why does it fuck people up? Two words: rumpy pumpy.

Catholicism, with an almost divine stubbornness, refuses to get to grips with human sexuality (except, of course, in that godforsakenly inhuman 'procreation not recreation' way). The iconological and liturgical core of Catholicism is the virginity of Mary. Not the moral courage or spiritual freshness of Jesus - but the spotless integrity of Mary's hymen. Sinlessness is sexlessness. Perfection is a sperm-free chuff. (It must be stressed, we are talking here about old-school Catholicism. Not all of Catholicism is mental.

The liberation theology being practised in South America is perhaps the most vibrant, socially-effective religion that currently exists. But it is still very much the exception).

So: to the priesthood. Your typical Catholic priest is like a caricature of sexual imbalance. The incarnation of sexual dysfunction. His life is one of denial, but denial doesn't get rid of sexuality. It twists it, perverts it. Denial is the radiation which sporns monsters. The fact that there are eighty child-abusing priests in Boston doesn't mean that the Church turned them into what they are; it most certainly doesn't mean that something intrinsic in Catholicism makes you a child-abuser; but their existence is symbolic of a vast and terrible malaise. In short: the Church is a sexually abusive force. Not just in particular, but in

So why in God's name are we still listening to the Church in matters of human sexuality? The frothing protestants of America are barely any saner than the Catholics, but their voice is growing stronger. Sexual denial is growing stronger worldwide, growing hand in hand with bigotry, misogyny, intolerance, xenophobia and repression. (Where sexual urges are repressed, so are women. That's a plain fact of nature).

What should we expect next from the Church? The Spanish Inquisition?

Sadly, we must lay the blame for all this squarely at Jesus' door. Because never once stood up and said: "oh, and another thing - homosexuals are fine, and don't worry too much about sex, it's all perfectly natural. Just make sure you wear protection"

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