Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

"The Disease Calling Itself the Cure"

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 5/16/10

Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -
There is an old joke that finds a few monks down in an archive pouring over ancient religious texts. The gloom and darkness are suddenly punctuated by the exclamation of a monk: "Holy heck!" he moans. "The word is "celebrate" not "celibate."

And well he has moaned since the Second Lateran Council of 1139 wherein it was decided that the cure for the problems of worldly inheritance among the Roman Catholic clergy would be to cut them off from progeny ... by celibacy.

What happened after that was a process of "natural selection" to the clergy--given the new rules--that slowly but surely selected for men in the clergy who could sustain a life of celibacy or a furtive pretense of it. But, moreover as, James Carroll writes in Sunday's Boston Globe, this intrusion into the human privacy of cleric divorced them, deliberately, from the laity among whom they moved and lived and sinned.

Carroll's essay is simply the best exposition of this subject I have ever read. He describes the nexus of power that the Council erected on this central focus of our humanity, our sexuality, our procreative freedom, our very existence. I believe with Carroll that the celibacy rule must and will be demolished and along with it nearly a millennium's worth of power politics emanating from the Church.

Things that happen take place in a context. The context of the Second Lateran Council was, broadly, feudalism. There were currents of modern finance and commerce building in Italy, but the essential fact was that of a strict hierarchy in civil life made plain by strict rules of property and subservience. Civil life was not nearly as separate from spiritual life. Medievalists will chafe at a three sentence definition of age, but the point is incontestable that we (western and eastern) are now quite different from what we were a thousand years ago.

The Roman Catholic Church needs to find the courage to address the issue. I believe that the changes between now and then include the salient feature upon which the Vatican can take its cue. That feature is literacy. No longer does a Pope have to deal with a majority clergy that cannot actually read, nor a laity, for that matter. With literacy comes freedom and the imposition of power over freedom brings revolution. It is up to Pope Benedict XVI, Joe Ratzinger of Nazi Germany, to find the courage and the way, for if he does not the Roman Catholic Church will collapse.


- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -


James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese History, (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Economy v. Ecology

VP Debate: One Gigantic Mistake by Sarah Palin ... Huge!

Tell It Like It Is

The Meaning of the Mike Connell Story: Under the Bus

Capitalism, Fascism, and Socialism

Sack Rahm


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

There have been agreements and, at home among frie... by James Brett on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:27:41 AM