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 (# of views)   1 comment
OpEdNews Op Eds

"The Disease Calling Itself the Cure"

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message James Brett     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 5/16/10

Author 215
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
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.

JB

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a 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 (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 Petition Site */
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 AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags

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

Capitalism, Fascism, and Socialism

The Meaning of the Mike Connell Story: Under the Bus

The End of the Marshall Plan